This article continues a series reviewing service quality on some of the TTC’s shorter routes that generally escape notice when buses like Dufferin and Finch come under fire for erratic operation.
65 Parliament is a very short route operating from Castle Frank Station on Line 2 BD south to The Esplanade. The 2022 Service Plan proposes extending the route south to Queens Quay to the loop at Corus Quay serving George Brown College.
The service design during September 2021 is shown below:
Although the scheduled headway varies from 11 to 20 minutes, the actual headway operated can at times be well over half an hour either because buses are missing from the route, or because the limited number of vehicles on the route are running in pairs.
In the headway charts below, I have extended the vertical scale from the 0-30 minute range used in past articles to 0-60 minutes so that the data points will be visible.
Southbound From Castle Frank Station
The screenline for the data here is on Bloor Street west of Castle Frank Station.
In spite of this route being short, there is a wide dispersion in headway values as the charts show. In a pattern seen on other routes, the standard deviation of the headways (dotted lines in the first chart) lie between 0 and 5 minutes for the first few hours of service, but rise substantially thereafter. This is a measure of the degree to which headways diverge from the mean value.
Those means show their own variation on a week-by-week basis indicating that the number of trips (and hence the average headway) was not consistent across the month. Day by day breakdowns are in the rest of the charts.
Days with very wide gaps and bunching are not rare oddities, but are a common situation on this route.
Northbound From Front
The screenline for the data here is on Front Street just east of Berkeley which is the start of the south end loop.
Daily Operating Charts
This section includes selected days from the month. The degree of scatter in the charts above shows that service problems occur often, and I have not included charts for every single day.
Wednesday, September 1
Service on September 1 begins well enough, but after the am peak it falls apart and does not recover until mid-evening.
- At 9:30am, “blue” and “turquoise” form a pair that persists well into the afternoon.
- At 10:30am, “brown” disappears from service. It is replaced by “purple” at about noon.
- The two, then three buses on the route run as a parade with gaps of 40-50 minutes between trips.
- Just before 3pm, “yellow” enters service. It may be an extra bus for the pm peak but it runs lock-step with “purple” and later with “blue” for most of the period it is in service contributing nothing to capacity on the line.
- At 3:30, “purple” disappears and is replaced by “pink”.
- The pm peak service includes a gap of about 40 minutes courtesy of “yellow”
- The evening service has only two buses, “pink” and “turquoise” which, except for a period just before 10pm, stay fairly evenly spaced.
Monday, September 6 (Labour Day)
On September 6, the two-bus service runs on even headways almost all day except for a period between about 3:30 and 5pm when the buses pair up.
Thursday, September 9
September 9th was a better behaved day, and I have included it to show what the service could look like, although it is not entirely perfect.
- Through the am peak, service is well spaced, but after 10am, “turquoise” and “pink” become close friends on and off until about 2pm.
- There is occasional bunching through the pm peak, but not actual pairing until “yellow” on its last trip runs early before going out of service just before 7pm.
- Service through the evening is uneventful and evenly spaced.
Saturday, September 11
On September 11, a Saturday, there are two buses in service all day. Until about 1:30pm all is well, but then the buses begin operating close together, on one trip back-to-back, creating gaps of 30-40 minutes on a scheduled 20 minute service. They move apart again at 5:30pm, but form a pair for a round trip at 7pm with a half-hour gap. The remainder of the evening service runs as it should.
Tuesday, September 14
Service on September 14 is well-behaved until about noon, but then the wheels really do come off.
- From noon until 1:30pm, “green” and “turquoise” run as a pair. Both of them then disappear, and are replaced after 2:30pm by “brown” and “pink”. However “brown” only makes one trip and disappears at about 3:20pm.
- There is a 45 minute gap northbound between 2:05 and 2:50pm, and a 35 minute gap starting at 3:05pm.
- Until 5pm, only two of the four buses that should be in service are actually there, “yellow” and “pink” and they do not run on an even spacing leaving a 30 minute travelling gap behind “pink”.
- “Blue” joins in at 5pm, but it too runs clustered with the other two buses.
- At 6pm, “turquoise” comes into service, but the other three buses disappear leaving this bus alone on a 40+ minute headway until after 9pm.
- “Dark blue” sets off southbound from Castle Frank at 9:40pm, but promptly disappears (possibly the operator signed off in error) until it shows up northbound just before 10pm. It will continue to run fitfully, but often close behind another bus.
- Meanwhile, “purple” comes into service after 10pm and for a few hours there are three buses on a route where only two are scheduled. “Blue” continues to operate until after 1am, although it is unclear why there is an extra bus on the route.
Friday, September 24
On September 24, service runs quite reliably until the early evening with only one example of bunching that lasts barely half a trip (“yellow” and “turquoise” at about 5:30pm). The evening is another matter.
- A two-bus service operates until about 8:20 when “dark blue” joins in, and subsequently replaces “yellow”.
- “Dark blue” and “brown” operate irregular headways until almost midnight. There is a very wide gap at about 9pm northbound, and smaller gaps due to bunching later in the evening.
Sunday, September 26
On September 26, service is evenly spaced for only a few hours.
- Just before 10am the two buses become progressively closer together for several hours causing gaps of 25-35 minutes until 4pm.
- At 9:10pm, “pink” disappears from service leaving “dark blue” to serve the route alone until “yellow” shows up at 11pm.
Wednesday, September 29
- “Pink” comes into service at 5:40am, but lasts only half a trip. It is replaced by “purple” at 7:20.
- Service operates regularly until after 1pm when “dark blue” skips a trip.
- At 3:30pm, “purple” is held northbound at Shuter.
- Although the full four-bus service operates through the PM peak, the buses are clumped with a travelling gap of up to half an hour between them until after 7pm when the two remaining buses establish a regular headway.