This article continues a series reviewing the quality of service scheduled and operated over the COVID-19 era in summer 2020 that began with an introduction and continued with Part I looking primarily at Scarborough. Part II moves further west looking at north-south trunk routes between Victoria Park and Jane.
There is a pervasive problem across the network shown in these data. Because of the need to quickly implement new schedules in May and June, two actions were taken:
- Selectively crews were cancelled to reduce the number of vehicles and drivers. This produced gaps in the scheduled service.
- Trippers were scheduled on many routes starting on June 22 to replace the ad hoc operation of standby buses. These trippers are in service in two seven-hour long waves with a break from midday to the start of the PM peak. In most cases, the headways of the trippers do not blend with those of the regular service causing scheduled bunching and gaps.
The TTC could manage its service to smooth out the schedule problems on the fly, but the actual vehicle tracking data suggests that little of this happens. The result is that vehicles on many routes operate at erratic headways and therefore with uneven wait times and vehicle loads.
Moreover, the schedules have not been adjusted to smooth out their problems, possibly because the TTC expects to go to revised schedules sometime in the fall based on resumption of some demand such as school trips.
In two cases, Dufferin and Keele, articulated buses are supposed to be operating, but in practice the trippers, which might account for half of the service, use standard sized buses thereby reducing capacity and adding to crowding.Continue reading