Help Avoid Short Turns (Updated)

Today I received a note in another thread from Drew who said:

I was riding the 512 home last night, and noticed a sign that read:


There. Short-turns are our fault.

Of course, exiting through the rear doors is written all over every surface vehicle —  it does make boarding/alighting much faster … it could be done without the inference that we cause short-turns.

Now we KNOW on St. Clair, it can’t be traffic causing short-turns (or where, aside from St. Clair West Stn these turns take place), so it must be us.

I too saw this notice on a 504 King car.

Update:   Joe Clark has supplied a photo of the sign.

I was sorely tempted to start a guerilla campaign of my own with signs saying “Manage headways, not schedules”, but I would probably be arrested for defacing TTC property.  I won’t say anything about loading delays caused by three cars leaving the end of the line in a pack with the first one having to wait forever to board passengers at each stop.

Yes, passengers do need to move back, but that’s not the whole story.

49 thoughts on “Help Avoid Short Turns (Updated)

  1. This is not an authorized TTC sign-it is an operator efficiency/awareness initiative based on the Yonge/Bloor subway increase in trains.

    Traffic is not the main cause of short turns, nor are customers; they are jointly collaborative. The blue print explains the reasons-less dwell time per stop, which adds up and can help cause bunching. Think of it as a turnstile — in one way, out the other. It also helps customers get in out of the cold, rain, etc. faster. Whether it is a bus or streetcar, the front doors always open and close slower than the rear/centre.

    People that do leave by the front tend to go right to the door while the bus/streetcar is still moving; this blocks the operator’s view and is illegal, risking the operator’s licence. As a side note, it helps keep the operator warm, reducing illness.

    CIS sent a text to all cars on Friday to remove the signs.


  2. I thought (the vehicles) traveled in packs for safety?

    OBVIOUSLY, no one here is suggesting that baby carriages, seniors and people with mobility difficulties should be prevented from exiting at the front — and the vast majority of people on streetcars that I see, use the rear doors.

    Oddly, I’d never heard of a bus short-turning (what is the comparative frequency for this practice in buses?), but I am rarely off the subway/streetcar system.

    Steve: Yes, buses do short turn, sometimes in quite odd places.

    Laurie’s idea is absolutely fantastic! Spadina, Harbourfront & St. Clair West are prohibited from making short turns after reaching St. Clair West Station, indeed if the front vehicle is short-turned, the next is express (until at least the next major stop) while the third travels along it’s regular routing.

    Where possible, ideally, it would be nice to see additional loops along the way [to minimize short-turn inconveniences] (on some routes). Subway stations aside, the only loop on the 506 is at Lansdowne (with short turn ability on Spadina, Bathurst, diversion to Dundas West Stn., Eastbound diversion to Dundas Street, and to Queen via Coxwell)


  3. @Drew: back when I was a regular TTC rider, short turns were not uncommon on the very long Lawrence East (54, 54A) route.

    Steve: Recently, all of the routes operating along Eglinton Avenue from Yonge Street had “Bayview” added as a short turn destination for westbound buses. Yes, those are buses that never get to the subway, but they’re on time!


  4. I listen to the TTC surface supervisors on my scanner and they are often turning back buses on longer routes like Finch east and west, Steeles east and west, Dufferin, Bathurst, Jane and, my favourite, the 512 shuttle bus at either Townsley or Lansdowne to go back east. What good is a 512 Bus that never gets off the street car line?

    I often hear Lawrence East buses being turned at Don Mills, Laird, and sometimes Bayview to head back east and never get to the subway. I think that the supervisors would have appreciated Laird as a short turn over Bayview as the turning is easier and the buses make up more time. So what if they don’t carry any passengers. I have seen a 54 bus short turn by doing a U turn just west of Victoria Park. Mind you that was in a snow storm at the end of the morning rush hour and there was a 25 minute gap going east.


  5. Steve: Recently, all of the routes operating along Eglinton Avenue from Yonge Street had “Bayview” added as a short turn destination for westbound buses. Yes, those are buses that never get to the subway, but they’re on time!

    About time. 🙂 36 has had an eastbound Bathurst short turn and 60 an eastbound short turn at Yonge for as long as I can remember. Why should we have all the fun? 36 eastbound to Keele was also a popular one, but don’t know if it as popular now that the little loop at Keele/Finch is not accessible.


  6. In the case of the Bayview short-turn, other routes can pick up the customers to take them to the station (34 Eglinton East, 100 Flemingdon Park, 56 Leaside). There are two branches for the Lawrence East, so delay time at the station is minimal (hopefully). The same can be done for the other two routes (34, 100) if they get turned at Bayview (or Laird). Mt. Pleasant is also a short turn (using the loop), but kinda pointless. It took us a long time to get them to stop turning the 34 Eglinton East eastbound at Warden.

    The 54 Lawrence East gets short turned because of the length of the 54A, and lack of time past Orton Park. The length is close to the Queen route.

    Steve: Yes, the folks turfed off at Bayview can ride other routes over to Eglinton Station. But the passengers waiting for a 54 at Eglinton Station get no service.


  7. DavidC wrote: “Of course, the NextBus system which has been in beta test for two streetcar lines since 2006 is not showing signs of ever being ‘finished’, but we live in hope!)”

    I haven’t seen a NextBus display outside of Spadina & Union stations but I stumbled across a NextBus display w/b on King @ Bathurst last night. It’s a 2-line LED display bizarrely mounted INSIDE the transit shelter. Currently it displays only the time-of-day. If you’re standing at the streetcar stop, there’s nothing to indicate there’s an information display inside the shelter and the display is not visible unless you approach the shelter entrance.

    It’s an odd location to present the information and I don’t know why, in 2010, anyone would install an LED display instead of LCD – with LCD’s obvious opportunities in presentation and formatting of information.

    There is no indication (for the uninitiated) what the display is for or when it will be in service.


  8. The next bus system outside of the Spadina Line just started getting installed at various stops two weeks ago-it won’t be operational until all stops along that line are equipped and testing has been done. I don’t know how that one is installed, but the one at Broadview Station has the hardware under the shelter seat for protection and access, and the top of the shelter has a solar panel grid. LCD can withstand extreme temperatures better (especially speed) than LED. LCD is also cheaper, and cost accumulates with more panels. Most people go to the shelter rather than the stop, so it’s a logical place. I’ve always thought that Spadina was a poor choice since it operates on two minute headways most of the time anyways.


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