How Much Has Subway Service Improved? (II)

Recently I wrote about the discrepancy between the TTC’s claimed improvement in subway service for September and the information available in various sources. See How Much Has Subway Service Improved?

The TTC has provided an update on their service for the next few months as shown in the table below.

Source: Email from Mark Mis, Head of TTC Service Planning, September 9, 2021

The discrepancy between previously available figures and the claimed level of increase arises from various factors:

  • In addition to scheduled service and “gap trains”, the TTC will operate three extra trains on each of lines 1 and 2.
  • The City and TTC statements about percentage increase are based on the number of trains, not the capacity of scheduled service.
    • On Line 1, two of the additional trains are used to extend the scheduled travel times.
    • On both lines, there are five more unscheduled trains (gap trains and extras) in September than in August.

The TTC advises that this arrangement will last through the September and October schedule periods (which run through mid November) as they determine the level of subway demand and appropriate level of scheduled service.

Extra trains are deployed by operations. This provides the flexibility to adjust the number and time of these trains and crews outside of the normal board period window. The extra trains on the subway are being deployed by operations starting this week on a regular basis to coincide with back to school.

We took this approach for the September + October board periods because we want to see how our estimated demand projection compares to actual demand.

We will be reviewing ridership numbers over September before making a final decision on the number of GAP trains and extra trains on Line 1 and Line 2 for the November board period.

Source: Email from Mark Mis, Head of TTC Service Planning, September 9, 2021

The effect on actual service should appear in stats included in the CEO’s report showing the ratio of actual to scheduled trains/hour at peak points. With 7 unscheduled trains, the actual service operated should be well above the scheduled level, and this metric would show how these trains affect capacity at key locations.