The inaugural meeting of the TTC Board for the new term of Council met on December 8. As is common for the first meeting, the agenda was light, and the event was more ceremonial than substantive.
Councillor John Burnside is the Board’s Chair, replacing Councillor Jaye Robinson who was not re-appointed.
Joanne De Laurentiis, who acted as Vice-Chair in the past term, was re-elected to the position. Note that terms of citizen members are not coterminous with the Council term, and so she remained on the Board through the recent election.
The Board received a presentation from staff as background to the CEO’s Report. A chunk of this was introductory giving some background on the TTC and its recent accomplishments. It included a short section on ridership and plans under the the title “Key Focus on Service and Customer Experience”.
CEO Rick Leary talked about the benefits of the move to Automatic Train Control on all of Line 1 and the implementation of One Person Train Operation. He cited a recent case where the TTC achieved a throughput of 32 trains/hour at Bloor Station between 8 and 9am, an increase over the typical pre-pandemic level of 24 to 26.
Note that this would have occurred after a gap with a backlog of trains, not as a routine level of service. The AM peak scheduled level sits at 21 trains/hour plus a few gap trains if needed. One advantage of ATC is that it provides a faster throughput of bunched trains after a delay at choke points like Bloor where platform dwell times are long.
Ridership continues to recover on the system, although only modest growth is expected for 2023 due to the effect of work-from-home. The bus network, which serves proportionately more trips that are not amenable to WFH, continues to show the best performance carrying 77% of pre-pandemic demand.
Weekday ridership sits at about 70%, while weekends do better at 80%.
Trips on the TTC occur for many reasons. Note that in the chart below, the percentages for October 2022 are on a ridership base about one third lower than the pre-covid values. The category “Professional and General Office Commutes” has not only fallen from a 28% to 22% share, but on a smaller base. Some percentages increase because their category is now measured against that base. For example, “Market Trips” went from 7% to 9%, but this still represents fewer trips.
This chart is important because it shows how many transit trips are not traditional office commutes, and that the wide variety of demands do not necessarily fit a system organized only to handle office workers.
Customer satisfaction is a softer metric than trip counts, but the general trend in 2022 has been downward, notably in October with the increased crowding levels associated with stronger ridership.
This is echoed by both crowding and wait time being two areas of dissatisfaction, especially wait time. TTC staff noted that customer pride ranks higher with frequent riders, while satisfaction ranks higher among infrequent riders.Continue reading