This is a companion piece to my review of service at Long Branch Loop which, for over two years, has been provided by a bus shuttle west of Humber Loop.
Apologies in advance. This is a long read intended for those who are interested in the fine detail of service behaviour over a period when there were many changes in the service design, and where there is a wide variety of reasons for irregular service.
One might assume that with the 501 Queen route shortened, and at times with a separate bus shuttle operating on the east end of the route, service at Neville Loop would be better than with streetcars running all the way from Neville to Long Branch. This is not entirely true, and even some periods of bus service were quite unreliable. There are many days when shuttles ran with vehicles missing or in bunches with no apparent efforts to manage and space the service.
As on the west end of the route, the TTC’s abdication of line management brought irregular headways, large gaps and bunching. A common situation is for a group of cars to leave Roncesvalles eastbound closely spaced, and to continue as a parade across the city. Sometimes, short turns in the east end partly correct this problem, but sometimes the parade simply echoes back across the line. This is not caused by “congestion”, but by the failure to maintain service spacing.