This article continues the analysis of the King Street Pilot with May 2018 data. Part I is in a separate article.
Many topics are covered here, and the intended audience is those readers who want to look at the details of how routes operating on King Street behave. The sections include:
- Headway reliability on 504 King both in the downtown pilot area and at the terminals.
- Short turning on the 504 King car.
- Headway reliability on 514 Cherry and 503 Kingston Road.
- Headway behaviour for the consolidated 504, 514 and 503 services downtown.
- A detailed review of 504 King operation on certain days in May 2018.
A common factor through this article is that while travel times in the pilot area have improved thanks to the transit priority scheme, the headways on all affected services are erratic, especially on 514 Cherry and 503 Kingston Road.
The pilot transit project on King is intended to make service more attractive to riders, and this can occur in various ways:
- Travel times through downtown are shorter and more reliable than during the pre-pilot period.
- Route capacity has improved partly from schedule changes and recapture of excess travel time, but mainly through the replacement of the older streetcars used on King with larger ones, primarily the new Flexity cars.
- Headway reliability (consistent times between cars) can be improved if random congestion events are reduced or eliminated, and reliable travel times lessen the need for short turns.
No one change by itself “solves” King Street’s problems, and all three are needed to achieve benefits that will attract riders.
An important part of a transit journey is the time spent waiting for a vehicle. One reason the subway is so popular, aside from its speed, is that trains come frequently and reasonably reliably, although this has become a sore point in recent years. Surface route reliability has always been an issue, and although trips may be faster, there is still the issue of how reliably vehicles actually show up to carry riders.