TTC Service Changes Effective Sunday, February 12, 2017

Updated January 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm: The 95 York Mills restructuring was omitted in error by me in the original version of this post and the linked spreadsheet. This has been corrected.

The February 2017 schedules bring a relatively small set of changes to TTC operations.

Among them are a number of route restructurings where service is shuffled between the various local and express, where it exists, branches.

  • 199 Finch Rocket will see:
    • more frequent AM peak service on the 199B STC to York University branch, offset by reductions on the other two branches;
    • more frequent midday service on the 199B offset by reduced service on the 199A to Finch Station;
    • slightly more frequent PM peak service on the 199A and 199B services offset by a reduction in service on the 199C to Morningside Heights.
  • 191 Highway 27 Rocket will see improved peak service on the 191C branch to Humber College.
  • 72 Pape’s peak period short turn service 72A to Eastern Avenue extended to become 72C to Commissioners with headway widenings to compensate on both the 72B Union Station and (now) 72C short turn.
  • 24 Victoria Park will see peak period improvement in the 24B Consumers Road branch offset by a slight reduction in 24A to Steeles.
  • 95 York Mills will see better express service to UTSC in the PM peak offset by a reduction on the local branches.

Other significant route changes include:

  • 511 Bathurst bus operation will be changed so that on weekday peaks and midday half of the service will short turn at King Street. This will reduce the cost of operating the replacement bus service on the streetcar route, and will also reduce the peak bus requirement.
  • 52 Lawrence West will be modified so that the 52F service to Royal York loops via Braecrest and returns east on The Westway rather than running north on Royal York and then east on Dixon Road. Schedules at various times will be modified to better reflect actual operating conditions. There will be a slight decrease in PM peak service levels on all branches, with a small increase in the early evenings weekdays.

Service improvements (beyond those involved in the items above):

  • 108 Downsview (Midday weekdays)
  • Various school trips have been rescheduled to better match dismissal times for students

Service trims on various routes continue to reduce vehicle requirements and costs for 2017:

  • 511 Bathurst (as noted above)
  • 504 King (PM peak)
  • 505 Dundas (Midday weekdays)
  • 26 Dupont (PM peak)
  • 15 Evans (PM peak)
  • 46 Martin Grove (PM peak)
  • 37 Islington (Late Sunday evening 37C service on Steeles to Kipling cut back as 37B to Islington)
  • Some operational changes have been made to hook up runs on various routes and address situations where a bus runs into a garage at roughly the same time as another one is scheduled to leave.

There is no announced date for the return of streetcars to 511 Bathurst. This depends on the timing of new streetcar deliveries from Bombardier and the condition of the remaining streetcar fleet. Although some old cars are in the shops for major rehabilitation, many more remain on the street with declining reliability.

Once 509 Harbourfront and 514 Cherry are fully equipped with new cars, the next route to be changed over will be 505 Dundas and then 511 Bathurst. If Bombardier deliveries continue at the late 2016 rate and do not ramp up until April 2017 (as planned), the conversion of 505 Dundas will not start until sometime in the second quarter.

Details are in the linked spreadsheet:

2017.02.12_Service Changes_v2

How Much Service Actually Runs on King Street? (2)

In a previous article, I reviewed the capacity of service provided on King Street over the past few years to see just how much, if any, change there has been in actual capacity as the mix of streetcars and buses changed over time.

This article expands the charts with current data to the end of 2016 and with some historical data going back to December 2006. The periods included are:

  • December 2006
  • November 2011
  • March 2012
  • May 2013
  • July 2013 to January 2016
  • March 2016 to December 2016

Data for route 514 Cherry is included from June 2016 onward when that route began operation.

Methodology:

Vehicle tracking data gives the location of transit vehicles at all times, and therefore gives the time at which each vehicle crosses a screenline where values such as headway (vehicle spacing) and a count of vehicles by hour can be calculated. This is done for every weekday (excluding statutory holidays) in the months for which I have data to produce these charts.

The capacity values used for each vehicle type are taken from the TTC’s Service Standards.

  • CLRV: 74
  • ALRV: 108
  • LFLRV: 130
  • Bus: 51

In the charts linked below, the data are presented in several pages for each location:

  • By count of vehicles separated by type, by hour
  • By total capacity of vehicles, by hour
  • By total capacity across a four-hour peak period span

The most critical part of King Street where service quality and capacity are at issue is the section from Yonge Street west to Liberty Village.

For the AM peak, the capacity is measured eastbound at two locations, Bathurst Street and Jameson Avenue.

[Note: In these charts, the horizontal axis includes labels for every 13th entry based on what will physically fit. The exact days for each point are less important than the overall trend in the data.]

Items of note in these charts:

  • The effect of service reallocation to the central part of the route with the creation of 514 Cherry is evident from June 2016 onward. Cars that formerly operated over the full route were confined to the central portion between Cherry and Dufferin adding capacity there while removing it from the outer ends. However, the running time allocated was insufficient, and after schedule changes to correct this, the actual improvement in capacity on the central part of King was not as great as had been expected with the new configuration.
  • The capacity provided eastbound at Bathurst is only slightly better in 2016 than it was in December 2006 during the key hour from 8 to 9 am. Capacity is improved notably in the shoulder peak hour from 9 to 10 am.
  • Although bus trippers make up for the shortage of vehicles in the streetcar fleet, they do not proportionately replace capacity. The TTC’s characterization of these buses as being an “addition” to the streetcar service is misleading.

For the PM peak, the capacity is measured westbound at Yonge Street. In cases where service was diverted via Queen for construction, the measurement is at Queen and Yonge.

The PM peak period operates with wider headways (fewer vehicles per hour) and has some room for growth before hitting the practical lower bound of two minute headways (30 vehicles/hour) on a busy street in mixed traffic. Over the years, capacity has improved, although with ups and downs along the way. However, a good deal of the total capacity increase fell in the shoulder peak periods.

These charts show the capacity, based on design parameters that do not reflect packed cars, and it is likely that total loads are higher than shown here especially during the height of the peak periods. What these charts do not show, of course, is the latent demand for service that might appear if only there were room for passengers to board.

I have requested vehicle loading data from the TTC to determine how this can be incorporated with the service analysis to demonstrate how ridership and crowding interact with headways and overall capacity. The TTC has not yet replied to the request.