10 disappointing things we now know about the TTC’s new streetcars
Munro's counter points here:
1. Speed. A lot depends on the operator. I have been on cars where ops have flown down the street, and on others where I suspect a newbie is in charge and isn't confident yet of the car. 1a. Also there's a TTC focus on safety that can get a bit carried away with itself, and does not appear to apply to bus operators who are much more aggressive with their vehicles;
2. Doors. The TTC does not appear to have settled on a standard way to operate the doors, and often ops leave them all open rather than letting passengers activate them as needed. Partly this is due to running in mixed traffic where a would-be rider ... 2a. ... stuck in the curb lane unable to board could be in trouble if they can't board the streetcar. Some ops have figured out that activating but not opening the doors works better, especially to keep cool air inside in the summer (and out in the winter);
3. King and Sumach. The problem here is less with the doors than with the traffic signal design which does not give transit priority to the degree it needs. With a three-way signal and nearside stops, it is likely that a signal will turn red while a car handles passengers 3a. Then it's in a long wait for the next cycle;
4. 100 foot cars and turns. Yes. This is a challenge. Again, a big problem with signal priority which is not present at many locations.
5. Fare evasion. It is a problem on all vehicles and is caused by the combination of all-door loading together with a relatively small enforcement staff whose locations are fairly predictable.
6. On board ticket machines. These machines are inherently slow and unreliable. Originally, the idea was to have these at major stops along the routes, but that was only implemented in a few locations. Even if the machine works, it cannot handle the transaction volume 6a. ... and if it's broken, a crowded car makes it impossible to get to the alternative machine. Andy Byford's opinion of Presto off the record was scathing, but he couldn't do anything about it publicly due to political pressure;
7. Seating for 70 but not standing for 181. That 250 total is a Bombardier fiction that simply cannot be achieved. For the purposes of service design the TTC aims for an average peak load of 130 (meaning some cars will have more, some less) but they do not assume 250 per car;
8. Operators in their cabins. This can be argued either way. With such a large car and with all-door boarding, most passengers won't be adjacent to the operator, and in any event they should not be distracted with questions from riders. Fare collection is already eliminated;
9. The seats. The podia with the 2x2 facing seats are a side effect of the low car design. I wish Bombardier had figured out a way to cantilever the seats out a bit to provide more leg room.
10. Windows, arm rests etc, not to mention AC, are really nice. Strollers? They can use the vestibules. Ditto for wheelchairs. There's only so much room to go around. (End of thread)