Where is my Streetcar?

TTC website and related services claim to provide riders with information about streetcar and bus routes so that riders have up-to-date information. This is critical not just for schedule changes, but many diversions and special services related to construction, street festivals, civic events, to name a few.

Alas, the actual structure and behaviour of the TTC’s website works against easy navigation. Information is scattered in different parts of the site. Some of it is out of date. Some of it is incorrect and contradictory. Some notices that should be there just don’t exist at all.

The current site is the product of a redesign that is now about a year old. There has been some tweaking along the way, but the site still leaves a lot to be desired. This article is an exploration of the TTC website structure as it relates to current service information and planned changes.

Updated September 13, 2022 at 12:50pm: Sundry typos and grammatical fixes.

The Short Read

The TTC Website has evolved since the current version went live. It was far from perfect then, and has since grown additional problems even as those from version one were fixed.

This article looks mainly at service information, probably the most common reason someone would go to the TTC site. There is a big problem that this information is scattered through many places and is rarely complete on one page. Attempts have been made to cross-link some pages, and more of the frequently used pages have gained banner links on the main page.

However, the whole thing has a feeling of being built and maintained by multiple people who do not talk to each other, and who do not explore the various places information might hide to ensure that “their” part of the site is consistent and complete.

This compounds problems that arise when the announced version of services do not match what is actually operating. You might or might not track down information about your route, or even worse be given wrong info. A related problem is that trip prediction and planning apps do not necessarily use the live configuration of routes and can mislead riders about how they might travel and where vehicles actually are.

The TTC really needs to do a thorough review of how it publishes service information and ensure that “one stop shopping” is available for information about routes, or where appropriate, areas of the city that are affected by multiple changes.

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