TTC Confirms Streetcar Service Levels With New Fleet

Toronto’s Budget Committee has asked staff for many briefing notes on details behind various programs. Among these requests was for TTC to detail the level of service that would be operated on all streetcar routes after the 204 new Flexitys have been delivered, and how this would be improved with the addition of a proposed 60 car order.

The TTC has responded with a report that details how the cars would be used.

Long–Term Peak Headway Projections for Streetcar Routes

With the initial 204 car order:

  • Peak headways would widen by varying degrees on all routes except 501 Queen where existing AM peak frequency would be maintained using the larger cars. The biggest change would be on the 502/503 services changing from 12′ to 14’30” on each of the routes which, in theory, provide a blended service.
  • Capacity increases in the AM peak would be greater than in the PM peak.

With the additional 60 cars:

  • Peak headways would return roughly to current levels. Capacity, relative to today’s service, would be considerably higher than today, except anomalously, on 501 Queen.

The report notes that additional cars will be needed for routes to serve the waterfront, but gives no indication of the service levels or fleet requirements for these routes. Because the report shows only headways for existing routes, not vehicle allocations, it is unclear how many of the 60 cars go for service improvement and how many for new routes. The percentage improvements on existing routes are high enough that it is possible that cars have been double-counted for this purpose. I will follow up on that issue with the TTC.

Updated at 12:22 pm: At Budget Committee, Andy Byford confirmed that the only “expansion” covered by the 60 cars is the Cherry Street spur south from King Street.

Updated at 3:00 pm: The TTC has confirmed that all of the 60 additional cars would be allocated to “legacy” routes with none reserved for expansion. As to the spare ratio they would design for:

“Spare ratio of 18%. We expect that that we will be able to reduce that when the fleet is settled in and we have confidence in the performance and reliability but, until then, this is our going-in assumption.” [Email from Mitch Stambler, TTC]

The ratio for the streetcar fleet today is about 25% (not including cars out of service due to cold weather) with roughly 200 of the 247 in the fleet scheduled for the AM peak.