504 King: Did Eliminating Car Stops Make Any Difference?

On Sunday, June 19, 2016, the TTC eliminated several carstops on the central portion of the 504 King route with the alleged purpose of speeding up service. This is an idea that sounds good in theory – fewer stops means faster trips – but that’s not necessarily what happened.

The stops in question were located at:

  • Victoria Street westbound
  • York Street both ways
  • Simcoe Street both ways
  • Brant Street both ways

Another stop outside of the core that was removed was on Broadview north of Queen, northbound. This was originally created for the Don Mills night bus when it served Broadview, but had become a popular location for riders making the transfer from westbound Queen to northbound King cars without having to make a double-crossing of the intersection. That convenience is gone in the name of faster service.

Readers of this blog will know that a common thread through many of my service analyses is that some of the worst ongoing delays come from poor or non-existent transit priority including badly timed traffic signals or the lack of transit-only green time for turns. Other major delays arise when there is anything unusual such as utility construction with no corresponding change in traffic/parking regulations to retain as much of the street’s capacity as possible.

When the TTC floated the idea of eliminating minor stops at various locations, the idea sounded plausible. Did the change actually achieve anything?

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501 Queen: Construction Effects on Service (Updated)

Since May 8, 2016 and continuing until Thanksgiving weekend, route 501 Queen is diverting around water main construction on Queen west of Spadina. The westbound diversion takes streetcars south to King at Spadina, west to Shaw and back north to Queen, and eastbound service follows the same route in reverse.

This article compares the line’s operation before and after the diversion took effect.

Updated July 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm: A chart has been added shown the delaying effect on King Street service eastbound at Spadina caused by queues for left turning eastbound Queen cars.

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