29 Dufferin is one of the TTC’s target routes for improved performance, and it also happens to be a route that I have been following with TTC vehicle tracking data from selected months going back to November 2011. This article reviews the line’s operation on weekdays.
This article is somewhat technical, but has been written for a general audience to the degree the subject allows.
Scheduled Service History
An important factor in reviewing service on the street is the schedule itself: the headways (time between vehicles) and the running times provided for each trip. Headways may look good on paper, but if service arrives unreliably, or if some of it never reaches the destination thanks to short turns, then the advertised service is a polite fiction. Running times also have an effect, especially if they are shorter than the typical time required to drive from one end of a route to the other. When an operator cannot make the scheduled trip, the bus runs late and is quite likely to short turn simply to get it back on time. In theory, this “restores” normal service, but if vehicles are chronically late, the process never ends. The “treatment” never cures the “patient”.
The months included in this article are:
- November 2011
- March 2012
- May 2013
- September 2013 (Dufferin Bridge at CNE closes)
- March 2014 (Diversion from College to Queen southbound for water main construction)
- November 2014 (Introduction of articulated buses)
- April 2015 (Major schedule revisions to reflect actual operating conditions)
This spreadsheet shows the scheduled headways and trip times for all of the periods covered by this article. In a few cases, there are two schedules shown for the same month because a change was implemented part way through.
The Dufferin Bus operates primarily between Dufferin Loop (at the Western Gate of the CNE ground) to Wilson Station. During peak periods there is a short turn at Tycos Drive where half of the service returns south. During certain periods (with seasonal variations), half of the service runs through the CNE grounds to the Princes’ Gate (eastern entrance).
In September 2013, the bridge on Dufferin at the rail corridor north of the CNE closed on very short notice for repairs. Service that was scheduled to operate to the Princes’ Gates turned back at Dufferin Loop. This resulted in half of the buses having more running time for their trips between Dufferin Loop and Wilson Station. Concurrently, a diversion for water main construction was operated southbound between College and Queen. These two offset each other, at least for the buses that were scheduled to run through to the Princes’ Gate. Extra running time (up to 10 minutes) was not added to the schedules until the end of March 2014 in anticipation of the re-opening of the Dufferin Street bridge.
In November 2014, the route officially switched to articulated bus operation Weekdays and Saturdays, although these vehicles had been present for some time before.
In April 2014, there was a major restructuring of the schedules: considerably more running time was provided to reflect actual conditions, and the split operation at the south end of the route was discontinued on weekends.