TTC Bus Service Frequency and Reliability in 2020 (Part V)

This is the final set of route-level reviews of TTC service reliability within this series.

The routes discussed here serve parts of the central area and the old “inner” suburbs York and East York.

47 Lansdowne

The 47 Lansdowne bus operates between Queen Street and Yorkdale with two branches:

  • 47A runs from Queen to St. Clair looping through Earlscourt Loop
  • 47B runs from Queen to Yorkdale Station continuing north from St. Clair via Caledonia. The loop at Yorkdale is a large on-street circuit.
  • 47C is a peak period variant of the 47B that uses an extended loop at Yorkdale via Orfus Road.
  • 47D is a tripper supplementing AM peak service between St. Clair and Bloor.

The summer schedule has two major changes:

  • The 47D tripper service is removed.
  • Running times on the other branches are trimmed and the number of vehicles in service is cut during all weekday periods. However, the combined effect is that service is more frequent on weekdays.

Northbound at Bloor, service is scheduled at a consistent spacing because the branches have a common headway.

Northbound at Eglinton, only the 47B Yorkdale trips remain, but these too are scheduled on a consistent headway.

Southbound service is similar to the northbound designs shown above.

Northbound from Queen the service is irregular leaving the terminal, particularly as the day goes on. The standard deviation of headways rises and with it the scatter of headway values.

The screenline used is north of Seaforth, the northern end of the loop at Queen.

At Eglinton, only the 47B/C service to Yorkdale remains, but headways are not reliable with wide gaps common especially in the afternoon and evening.

Southbound from Yorkdale, the headways are fairly reliable in the AM peak, but they deteriorate over the course of the day.

South of St. Clair, service is more frequent, but headways are scattered between zero and 15 minutes all day long.

Full chart sets:

63 Ossington / 163 Oakwood

63 Ossington is currently operating a special schedule due to construction that blocks access to Eglinton West Station, its normal northern terminus. There are two overlapping services:

  • 63 Ossington operates between Liberty Village and St. Clair at Oakwood Loop.
  • 163 Oakwood operates between Ossington Station and Lawrence West Station replacing the north end of the usual 63 Ossington and the south end of 109 Ranee which temporarily also ends at Lawrence West.

The summer schedules for both routes have uneven headways due to selective cancellation of runs.

Winter:

Summer:

Northbound service on 63 Ossington shows the effect of uneven headways during most periods. The southbound service design is similar.

Like the Ossingston bus, the 163 Oakwood has uneven headways during some periods. The same pattern appears in the southbound service.

Northbound from King, the service is fairly well-behaved with many trips concentrated in a band from 5 to 10 minute headways. However, the seeds of more irregular service exist near the terminal and the service will not be as reliable further north.

The screenline is on Shaw Street north of King, the point where the south end loop through Liberty Village begins.

North of Ossington Station, the band of headway values widens and ranges from zero to 15 minutes. The screenline is north of Northumberland, the northern exit from the loop through the station.

Southbound at St. Clair, headways range from about 2 to 15 minutes for much of the day.

163 Oakwood buses originate northbound at Ossington Station. Headway reliability is affected by missing runs.

Full chart sets:

70 O’Connor

The 70 O’Connor bus has two principal branches:

  • 70A operates from Coxwell Station to Eglinton looping via Victoria Park, Craigton Drive and Pharmacy.
  • 70B is a late evening (weekdays and Sundays) variant of the 70A looping south of Eglinton.
  • 70C operates from Coxwell Station to Warden Station. Late evening service weekdays is interlined with 135 Gerrard, and on Sundays with 16 McCowan.

Service on the two branches is scheduled at the same headway although in previous articles I have shown that in practice this route can be quite disorganized with buses running in pairs even though, in theory, this should be an easy route to manage. With changes in traffic patterns in the covid era, the service is better organized although the schedules have not changed.

Winter:

Summer:

The scheduled service leaving Coxwell station runs on a consistent headway within each service period.

Southbound from Sunrise (a common point near the north end of both the 70A and 70B services), the service is half as frequent as on Coxwell.

Westbound from Warden Station, the 70C service has a similar service design to the 70A/B branch from Eglinton.

Northbound from Coxwell Station, service begins the day with a low amount of scatter in the headways, but this builds up from the midday onward. What is supposed to be an even 9 minute headway spans a range from zero to 20 minutes well into the evening.

The screenline is at Wolverleigh, one block north of Strathmore Boulevard where buses exit from Coxwell Station.

Service westbound from Warden Station on the 70C is relatively well-behaved with headways close to the scheduled values all day. The standard deviation is small showing that most headways are close to the average. (Note that the scale here is to 60 minutes to give outlying data points room to appear.)

Sunrise is the common point to the two versions of the 70A/B Eglinton branch, and I have used this as the screenline for service quality.

Early in the day, the SD values are low, and headways are well grouped around the average. However, this becomes more of a problem through the afternoon and early evening. (Note that the scale here, as at Warden Station, is 60 minutes to allow outlying data values to show up in the charts.)

Westbound at St. Clair & O’Connor both services have rejoined. However, they do not blend well in spite of having a common headway on each branch. Headways are scattered over a range from zero to 20 minutes or more.

Full chart sets:

75 Sherbourne

The 75 Sherbourne bus is a simple route running from Queens Quay to South Drive (in south Rosedale). A major demand generator during pre-covid times was George Brown College on Queens Quay.

Weekend evenings, the Sherbourne bus interlines with 82 Rosedale.

The summer schedule includes two changes: running times are shortened to reflect different traffic conditions, and the number of vehicles in service is reduced from the winter schedule. Part of this is done by elimination of some runs resulting in uneven headways during some operating periods.

The service design here is shown southbound, although Northbound is similar. The gyrating peak period headways are caused by the missing runs, notably a 15 minute scheduled gap at the start of the afternoon peak.

The south end loop is large via Sherbourne, Queens Quay, Jarvis and Esplanade. I have set the northbound screenline at Front Street.

The SD values lie in the 3-5 minute range for much of the day showing that the service is not tightly clustered around the average headway. In the peak periods, this is easy to understand because of the missing runs and scheduled unevenness in the headways.

This is a route which should easily maintain regularly spaced service, but through a combination of schedule design and a lack of management, the service is quite irregular much of the time.

In these articles, I have omitted the weekend service because this has not been modified in almost all cases. However, I could not resist including the Saturday headway chart showing how the gap between buses varies over a half-hour range almost all day. This is a short route and this type of “service” should not be possible. It will drive away all but the most dedicated riders, or those who have no choice.

Although Bloor is only a bit south of the terminal in Rosedale at South Drive, the standard deviation of headways sits at four minutes or more for much of the day. The headway values are scattered between zero and 20 minutes.

Full chart sets:

94 Wellesley

94 Wellesley operates with two branches during most periods:

  • 94A runs between Castle Frank and Ossington Stations.
  • 94B runs between Castle Frank and Wellesley Stations except during evening period.

There is more service on the east end of the route because of the concentration of high rise development there.

Winter:

The summer schedule is almost identical to the winter service except for a cut in weekday evening service.

From Castle Frank Station, the scheduled service has a regular headway all day.

At Bay street, the daytime headways are wider than east of Yonge because of the 94B short turn service. In the evening, all buses operate as 94A and so the service is more frequent.

Westbound from Castle Frank Station the SD value is low through the morning, but it grows later in the day indicating that the service becomes less reliable. This is reflected in the scatter of points on the headway chart from about noon onward.

Westbound at Bay Street, there is only the 94A service with headways scattered mainly within a 10-minute band. However some cases of 20-30 minute headways also occur.

Eastbound from Ossington Station, headways are fairly well clustered around the average except in the evening.

Eastbound from Wellesley Station, a point where it should be possible to co-ordinate and space departures of the two branches, the headways are scattered over a range from zero to 20 minutes that worsens through the day. In the evening, with only the 94A through service operating, bunching is rare, but headways lie across a 15 minute wide band.

Full chart sets:

2 thoughts on “TTC Bus Service Frequency and Reliability in 2020 (Part V)

  1. Too bad the 47 Lansdowne bus couldn’t be extended south of Queen Street. They don’t have the trolley wire excuse anymore. Though there is the 402 Parkdale Community Bus, but that one is much less frequent.

    Steve: The dog-leg at Lansdowne-Queen-Jameson would be a pain in the butt and then there is the question of where a southern terminus should be.

    Like

  2. The 94 Wellesley can get stuck in traffic, especially when the various condo construction projects block parts of the road. I am less sure about 75 Sherbourne. And there is no excuse for Schrodinger’s Bus on 70 O’Connor.

    But even if there are construction projects and traffic issues, surely this would be well-known, and therefore some effort would be put into evening out the service. Well, you would think.

    Like

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