News   May 27, 2024
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News   May 27, 2024
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King Street (Streetcar Transit Priority)

bad ttc policy. Essentially the TTC maintains some of its switches poorly. Drivers are supposed to stop, check to ensure they are in the correct position, and drive over them at 5km/h, to ensure that the poor condition switches are not damaged. Of course most switches are perfectly fine to go over at full speed, but a few bad apples ruin the bunch as the TTC applies the policy network wide. If the TTC did like most other streetcar operators globally and actually ensured it's switches were up to standard and had their automatic switching working, the policy would be unnecessary. Hell, they could even just limit the policy to the switches that actually need it. You also notice these poor standards when drivers often have to get out and manually change the switch position, as many of the automatic switches are broken and the TTC has not bothered fixing them.
That's only partially true it's more becue the driver has no indication other than their observations on what direction the switch is set in. It sometimes happens that the previous car through the switch doesn't signal it to properly go back or the driver doesn't switch it back manually. In other systems, they have lights that will show the driver which direction the switch is in so they can proceed at a normal speed.
 
It always did. How is it any worse?

If it doesn't improve, presumably one of the first things they'll try is removing the exemption for Taxis.

Between Uber and Lyft arriving in Toronto next month, I’m not sure there will be much of a taxi industry. They were already on the ropes.
 
I was on King @ Jarvis last night and noticed many cars continuing westward. As has been noted before, there is a 'disconnect' for drivers who see a 'regular' green light and (maybe because they have done it for decades) continue to go straight ahead. In daylight the Red Arrow (no straight ahead) signs are fairly clear, at night the are virtually invisible. They need the LED Ones SOON!

I don’t think this is an issue of sign visibility. So they don’t see the “no through” sign up ahead. Fine. But what are they doing driving on the striped zone?
 
Between Uber and Lyft arriving in Toronto next month, I’m not sure there will be much of a taxi industry. They were already on the ropes.

Given how many taxis pass me with a fare already, when I'm looking for a taxi, I'm not sure they are on the ropes. Wasn't Beck reporting they are doing better than ever?

I'm not unconvinced that Uber is stealing from transit more than taxi - perhaps cornering the market on those who are unable to figure out how to hail a cab, or use a telephone.
 
Given how many taxis pass me with a fare already, when I'm looking for a taxi, I'm not sure they are on the ropes. Wasn't Beck reporting they are doing better than ever?

I'm not unconvinced that Uber is stealing from transit more than taxi - perhaps cornering the market on those who are unable to figure out how to hail a cab, or use a telephone.

Believe me, a lot of young people in their mid-20s and below haven’t ever called or hailed a cab in their life. Not because they’re too dumb to figure it out, but because it’s never been necessary for them. Beck might be fine now, but if they don’t adapt an Uber or Lyft style of convinient ordering, I suspect they’ll find their market share dwindling, as the proportions of millennial increases.
 
I'm not unconvinced that Uber is stealing from transit more than taxi - perhaps cornering the market on those who are unable to figure out how to hail a cab, or use a telephone.

The real question is are the taxi companies growing revenue and usage? Downtown population has grown so much that all are benefiting (rising tide lifts all boats). But if taxi companies are not growing then the net effect is they are losing. I suspect they are losing.
 
Believe me, a lot of young people in their mid-20s and below haven’t ever called or hailed a cab in their life. Not because they’re too dumb to figure it out, but because it’s never been necessary for them. Beck might be fine now, but if they don’t adapt an Uber or Lyft style of convinient ordering, I suspect they’ll find their market share dwindling, as the proportions of millennial increases.
I haven't tried it, as it's so much easier and faster to just to hail a cab or pick up the phone. But there is a Beck app already for Android and and iApple devices.

Presumably it will improve over time - I'm surprised some enterprising start-up hasn't tried to create a global taxi app yet, but it will come. Meanwhile Uber and Lyft will struggle to survive in what is a local/regional business, not international, particularly given their apparent lack of concern for passenger saftey - I'm not sure how many people Uber drivers have killed or injured so far, but we must be into the thousands by now.
 
OK, I was expecting this response.

I was thinking more that we should allow cyclists to proceed straight from the right turn lane.

And I am previously a very frequent cyclists on city streets and I had (at some point) committed the sins that I had mentioned in my posts. However I made my actions fully aware of the danger in which I had placed my self and I would never ask the city to change a piece of infrastructure/policy because I was too impatient to wait behind stopped cars at an intersection.

I just don't think banning bicycles from King St is acceptable to the left leaning city councillors and would derail the bigger picture.
 
The school crossing guards in our neighbourhood do not differentiate by age - if an adult attempts to cross the road, they trot out their sign and stop traffic for adults. I have to admit it infuriates me - am I not able to cross the street on my own? I find I am always reminding myself to be nice, they are just doing their job and it's great that they do it diligently. I suspect that real cops are needed as without that authority there might be 'sidewalk rage' incidents. So yeah, put the cops on the job until people figure things out. Just like after ball games.

- Paul

This is where "traffic wardens" could be used.

See link.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking for the Toronto Police Services Board to approve a move that will allow the city’s new traffic wardens to gain special constable status in order for them to direct traffic on city streets.

In a letter sent to the board on Thursday, Tory said section 134 of the Highway Traffic Act only authorizes police officers to direct traffic and close highways.

Rather than amending provincial legislation, Tory said an alternative would be to have the new wardens appointed special constables instead.

“The Toronto Police Services Board has the ability to appoint special constables, as outlined in the Police Services Act, who will be able to engage in active traffic direction, as long as they are approved by the Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services,” Tory wrote.

Earlier this week, Tory announced new measures to tackle the city’s gridlock problem, which included the addition of full-time traffic wardens.

The initiative comes after the city conducted a pilot project in 2016 with paid-duty police officers.

“We hired paid duty officers to go to key intersections where there have been bottlenecks, both for pedestrians and drivers, and we asked them to be there and take an active role,” Tory said on Monday.

“When officers were actively engaged managing vehicles and pedestrians we found a minimum of 90 per cent reduction of intersection blockage by vehicles and a 70 per cent reduction in intersection blockage by pedestrians.”

Tory said the full-time traffic wardens will not be police officers but hired staff employed by the municipality. The city plans to have the traffic wardens in place by early next year.

Should have been implemented months ago. Better sooner than later.
 
I was thinking more that we should allow cyclists to proceed straight from the right turn lane.

This sounds tricky.

The idea with traffic turning right is that they'll be able to clear out quickly enough that the streetcar doesn't get blocked. A cyclist sitting in the right-turn lane prevents vehicles from turning right on a red. That may, at certain times, back up a bit causing the next green have this ordering: cyclist through, some vehicles turn right, streetcar through.

A more thorough rebuild of King might feature a cyclist waiting box between the right-turning vehicles and streetcar track. For the period of the trial, the best option for cyclists is probably to dismount and cross with pedestrians then resume on-street after crossing the intersection.
 
This is where "traffic wardens" could be used.

See link.

Should have been implemented months ago. Better sooner than later.

Yep. Traffic wardens need much of the police authority, but they would never need to use all elements of training a fully trained police officer receives. Traffic wardens can be paid somewhat less because they don't need as much training to get the job.
 
Believe me, a lot of young people in their mid-20s and below haven’t ever called or hailed a cab in their life. Not because they’re too dumb to figure it out, but because it’s never been necessary for them. Beck might be fine now, but if they don’t adapt an Uber or Lyft style of convinient ordering, I suspect they’ll find their market share dwindling, as the proportions of millennial increases.
The Beck app is great -- it allows direct ordering and in-app payment, and shows where your cab is and how long it will take to get to you. I'm not clear what advantage Uber has over it (although I am not an Uber user).
 
The Beck app is great -- it allows direct ordering and in-app payment, and shows where your cab is and how long it will take to get to you. I'm not clear what advantage Uber has over it (although I am not an Uber user).

Does it have a driver rating system? Even if so, I don't think the feedback loop is as effective as Uber's (for whatever reasons). I routinely fear for my life in basically all name brand Toronto cabs which, along with general levels of vehicle cleanliness and comfort, are the reasons I rarely take anything but Uber in the city (as well as in others).
 
Does it have a driver rating system? Even if so, I don't think the feedback loop is as effective as Uber's (for whatever reasons). I routinely fear for my life in basically all name brand Toronto cabs which, along with general levels of vehicle cleanliness and comfort, are the reasons I rarely take anything but Uber in the city (as well as in others).
That's interesting -- I have avoided Uber because I'm not sure what randos they have driving (and they seem to have far less control over their drivers), and because the company itself seems like a toxic bro cesspool. But part of my suspicion is likely just my age.
 

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