Analysis of 501 Queen Service 2008/09: Part I — Comparative Short Turn Data

A few months ago, I received the TTC’s vehicle monitoring data (a.k.a. “CIS” data for “Communications & Information System”) for 501 Queen and related routes for the months of December 2008 and January 2009.  I have been whittling away at it for the past few months as time permitted, and now it’s in shape to begin publishing commentaries.

Of particular interest are the effects, such as they may be, of the new line management strategies implemented by the TTC.  Operations in the two months differ because of a change in the schedule.

  • December 2008:  Drop back crewing was used at Connaught so that operators would leave westbound on their time while relief operators drove the vehicles to and from Neville.  The intent is to allow the operators to get on time without affecting the through service.
  • January 2009:  A new schedule was implemented in which run numbers remained assigned either to the Humber or the Long Branch service.  The intent is to avoid short turns whose entire purpose is to sort out the relative order and location of each branch’s runs to make sure that they are in the proper sequence westbound.

For reasons best known to the TTC, relief crews were available during Christmas Week, but there was no extra line management.  Therefore, that week is in a way an example of a “do nothing” approach, although under less than the most strenuous circumstances.

Anyone who was in Toronto this past winter knows it was much worse than the previous few years and we had a particularly bad December.  This shows up in the service quality, but generally for the period needed to get the roads back in proper shape.

Because I now have data for December 2006, December 2007, January 2008, December 2008 and January 2009, we can review operations over three winters, a variety of weather conditions and different management strategies. Continue reading