504 King Core Area Travel Times 2019:2022

In previous articles, I have documented the benefits of the King Street transit priority corridor between Jarvis and Bathurst Streets. This had the combined effect of reducing travel times at certain times, but more importantly of providing greater regularity.

Since the covid-19 pandemic began, traffic downtown has been considerably quieter than before. This article updates the stats on the priority corridor to show the period from immediately before the pandemic to the end of March 2022.

The changes in travel time in mid-March 2020 when a state of emergency was declared are quite evident, although to varying degrees by time of day and direction. The brown vertical lines in the charts mark this point.

The charts below are arranged with eastbound times in the left column, and westbound times in the right showing averages for various hours of the day beginning with the AM peak and running into the mid-evening.

In some periods that saw a drop in March 2020, travel times have not changed much over the past two years. Small changes are evident in early 2022, notably in the times for evening trips westbound where entertainment district traffic typically affects streetcar service, but not to the degree of pre-March 2020.

Comparable data for some suburban bus routes tell a very different story with a recovery to or beyond pre-pandemic travel times through 2020 and 2021. I will review several routes in a future article, and will return to King Street in fall 2022.

Note: Data in these charts include only vehicles on route 504 although the segment between Jarvis and Bathurst has been shared by other routes from time to time.