This article is a follow-up to my review of travel times and speeds on the 512 St. Clair route starting with the completion of the reserved lanes in 2010 and tracking forward to January 2020 just before the onset of the pandemic.
The charts in this article are based on the same six two-week periods used for the travel time analysis.
One issue on not just St. Clair, but on all of the TTC streetcar routes with reserved lanes, farside stops and supposed transit priority signalling is that riders and operators find that “double stopping” is a common event at traffic signals: once on the nearside to await a green, and again on the farside to service the stop. This is something of a mockery of the word “priority” suggesting either that it is not working very well, or that it is not working at all.
This is an important consideration in light of pending TSP proposals in Toronto:
- Both the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT lines will have “priority”, but it will work similarly to TSP installed on other routes. This does not bode well for speedy travel.
- There is a proposal to change the TSP algorithm (to the extent that it is active at all) so that only streetcars that are “late” to their scheduled times would get any priority treatment. This is counterproductive in a city where schedules are padded, and falling “late” is difficult to achieve. It is a recipe for no priority at all. (Moreover streetcars on diversion and extra service do not have a reference schedule at all, and it is unclear how they would be treated.)
The charts in this article illustrate where along the St. Clair route streetcars actually spend their time.Continue reading