This is the second article reviewing the effects of the pilot King Street transit priority scheme. Part 1 looked at the behaviour of the 504 King streetcar route, and Part 2 concerns the operation of 501 Queen and 6 Bay during the same period.
Among the effects anticipated from the pilot was an increase in traffic on parallel streets with the effect reaching as far north as Queen Street. Queen suffers badly during the shutdown of King for TIFF in September, and by extension some problems were expected to show up with the pilot’s changes changes on King.
Another effect that was expected was congestion on the north-south streets crossing King. Only one transit route in mixed traffic, 6 Bay, operates on such a street.
The City of Toronto is monitoring traffic behaviour on many streets in the study area and will publish their own preliminary findings in mid-December.
The charts presented here are in the same two formats as those in Part 1:
- One pair of charts shows the travel times between Bathurst and Jarvis on Queen, and between Dundas and Front on Bay, both ways. Each day’s data are plotted individually to show the difference between individual trips, the evolution of travel times over the day, and the degree of dispersion in travel time values (i.e. the predictability, or not, of travel time for any journey).
- One pair of charts shows average times, by hour, for each day to illustrate daily fluctuations and any before/after changes concurrent with the King Street Pilot.
For both routes, there is almost no change in the average travel times after the pilot began. Values on Queen bounce around a lot, but they do so both before and after the pilot began.
There is a quite striking weekly pattern with much higher than usual averages during the PM peak eastbound on Queen and southbound on Bay with low values usually on Mondays, and much higher values later in the week. This shows the importance of studying route behaviour over several days, while remaining aware that external events can create patterns in the data, or can create one-time disruptions for special events such as parades or sporting events.