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TTC: Other Items (catch all)

@Northern Light do you have a sense of why, institutionally, none of the above approaches was considered? Is it too hard to force procedure changes within the TTC? Will politicians balk at remove stops? Will transportation balk at removing lights and removing uncontrolled lefts?

It’s surprising that none of the above were even listed.

@smallspy is almost certainly better placed to speak on the internal workings of the TTC than I.

In respect of the City and TTC, I can certainly say some of the following.

1) Removing TTC stops often meets w/objections from Councillors, some of whom sit on the Commission itself.

2) There are people within Transportation who make removing traffic lights for which there is no objective case next to impossible, even when others in Transportation advocate for it; it never even gets to Council. There is a partial excuse (though I don't care for it) that the MTO Traffic Manual is written in such a way as to strongly discourage any uncontrolled crossing of roads by pedestrians. That's true, it should be fixed, but shrug, moving on.....

@reaperexpress may have thoughts on that.

3) I am aware of a City Councillor to whom it was suggested to block just one uncontrolled left turn that is very close to a traffic light, and said Councillor vetoed that. I would argue that is a policy fail, a policy for blocking such turns is needed, then there would no councillor consultation, only notification.
 
The consultation here has been bloated to say the least.

That said, part of the problem is too many suspect solutions (queue jump lanes);
Queue jump lanes are the single most effective way of improving bus service in the suburbs. Most of the delays occur at the intersection between two arterial roads (e.g. Bathurst & Finch, Keele & Finch, etc) where intersections are limited by capacity. No amount of signal priority or operational changes will get buses through those intersections quickly. The only solution is a reserved or prioritied space where buses can bypass the traffic queues approaching those intersections. Existing Queue Jump Lane examples include westbound on Finch at Finch Station, and eastbound on Finch at Markham, and eastbound on Steeles at Don Mills.

Bus & Right Turn lane on Steeles eastbound approaching Don Mills.
Screenshot 2024-02-01 at 10.07.00.png


Between those intersections the minor signals may be congested, but that congestion is merely spilling back from major intersections. The intersections themselves actually have capacity to spare, so the delays there can fairly effectively be managed using signal priority.
Hopefully it won't take 2-3 years to give priority signals to transit. Such a study to change the road configuration seems a bit more reasonable.

(Edit to remove doubled word)
Toronto has had transit signal priority (TSP) since the 1990's. Most streetcar corridors have TSP and some major bus corridors (Dufferin, Keele) do as well. I have already explained numerous times why the system does't work effectively so I won't repeat myself.
instead of focusing on basics such as managing service, better bus design, all-door loading, no cash fares on buses, fare validation in bus interiors, so people don't block doors fumbling for cards,
These are up to TTC Bus Operations, and often face conflict from ATU 113 (e.g. managing service and disciplining the tiny minority of operators who single-handedly cause the vast majority of avoidable service delays). They are not comfortable following up with the particular operators who operate incredibly slowly (drive very slow, stop at green lights, don't close the doors promptly) because they fear that encouraging anyone to do anything faster constitutes a safety risk.
tighter route times,
TTC Service Planning is constantly fighting TTC Bus Operations for shorter times to reduce congestion at terminals and shorten passenger journeys, Bus operations wants as much time as possible to maximize operator breaks and reduce the amount of active managemment required.
less crowded vehicles by employing better and more precise loading standards, (number of seats expected to be occupied expressed as a percentage of capacity),
TTC loading standards are already precise, as defined per vehicle type. The level of crowding permitted by the standards is regularly revised by the TTC Board based on available budget. More budget = fewer passengers per vehicle in the standard.
along with fewer stops, and fewer traffic lights.
TTC Operations Planning has been fighting for both of these items for years, and has managed to remove dozens of superfluous stops over the past decade. However, that would have been hundreds if not for the removals commonly being vetoed by the local City Councillor. Same with traffic signals. TTC Operations and City Transportation Services both object to the installation of unnecessary and/or counterproductive traffic signals, but Council typically overrules them and installs them to placate one or more vocal citizens who (incorrectly) believe that the signals will solve the road network's fundamental safety flaws.
That, and obstructing left turns that are at uncontrolled intersections (no lights etc.) so that buses/streetcars don't generally get caught behind a left-turning vehicle, particularly on high volume routes and/or at locations that become a frequent issue.
Additionally when streetcar tracks get reconstructed, TTC and the City should jointly determine if they want them in the same location or if they should be spread out in key locations to provide a left turn lane (e.g. southbound Bathurst at Adelaide). But the TTC just goes around doing like-for-like replacement, and just copies the same track layout and equipment that they've been using for the past hundred years.
 
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This will give everyone a view of what we see in the way of disruptions for the streetcar and subway network for the remainer of the year, starting at page 13/14 and then page 24 on dealing with the OS and streetcar service.
<https://cdn.ttc.ca/-/media/Project/TTC/DevProto/Documents/Home/Public-Meetings/Board/2024/January-25/3_Subway_Closures_and_Streetcar_Diversions_2023_Review_and_2024_2025_Forecast.pdf?rev=69c3916485c64039b2be53321506bef9&hash=5FBEFF161D2C2229112F525A3A6277A5>

In November it shows "Demolition of existing box structure" for the SSE between Warden and Kennedy?

I presume this means they are obliterating the tail tracks as I cannot seem them tearing down the tunnels or Kennedy Station. Anyone know what this is?
 
@smallspy is almost certainly better placed to speak on the internal workings of the TTC than I.

In respect of the City and TTC, I can certainly say some of the following.

1) Removing TTC stops often meets w/objections from Councillors, some of whom sit on the Commission itself.

2) There are people within Transportation who make removing traffic lights for which there is no objective case next to impossible, even when others in Transportation advocate for it; it never even gets to Council. There is a partial excuse (though I don't care for it) that the MTO Traffic Manual is written in such a way as to strongly discourage any uncontrolled crossing of roads by pedestrians. That's true, it should be fixed, but shrug, moving on.....

@reaperexpress may have thoughts on that.

3) I am aware of a City Councillor to whom it was suggested to block just one uncontrolled left turn that is very close to a traffic light, and said Councillor vetoed that. I would argue that is a policy fail, a policy for blocking such turns is needed, then there would no councillor consultation, only notification.
Yes, apparently Councillor Fletcher blocked the installation of lights at Broadview and Erindale (where streetcars leave Broadview Station) and also nixed removing/reducing the Green P parking lot to its east so that the Broadview streetcar loop could be extended.
 
Queue jump lanes are the single most effective way of improving bus service in the suburbs. Most of the delays occur at the intersection between two arterial roads (e.g. Bathurst & Finch, Keele & Finch, etc) where intersections are limited by the capacity. Between those intersections the minor signals may be congested, but that congestion is merely spilling back from major intersections. Those minor intersection delays can fairly effectively be

I knew you'd have something to say! :)

I think you failed to finish the thought above though.

As to queue jump lanes, I think I'd like to debate those further, but not in this post.

These are up to TTC Bus Operations, and often face conflict from ATU 113 (e.g. managing service and disciplining the tiny minority of operators who single-handedly cause the vast majority of avoidable service delays). They are not comfortable following up with the particular operators who operate incredibly slowly (drive very slow, stop at green lights, don't close the doors promptly) because they fear that encouraging anyone to do anything faster constitutes a safety risk.

Agreed, this is a big problem.

TTC Service Planning is constantly fighting TTC Bus Operations for shorter times to reduce congestion at terminals and shorten passenger journeys, Bus operations wants as much time as possible to maximize operator breaks and reduce the amount of active managemment required.

I know some of the people in Service Planning.........

I do think operator breaks are a reasonable thing, but I'd prefer to see that addressed with partial step-back crewing, such that an operator needed a break mid-shift can step off, and another operator replaces them so the vehicle isn't idled.

TTC loading standards are already precise, as defined per vehicle type. The level of crowding permitted by the standards is regularly revised by the TTC Board based on available budget. More budget = fewer passengers per vehicle in the standard.

Perhaps precise was the wrong choice of words, let me clarify.

The loading standards do not explicitly account for the impact on capacity, and operations, including dwell time, when persons with mobility aids or strollers are on board; particularly multiples of same.

A fully seated load, if the 2 sets of flip up seats on most buses are in use, is the number of seats minus 4, which is not the way the service standards read.

I will also add here, that the time involved in ramp deployment is excessive on many vehicles, which further contributes to challenges. I also recently witnesses someone in a scooter unable to board as they could not navigate the bus entry way, I'm not sure there is a design solution there, for the bus, but perhaps the Commission needs to make explicit statements to retailers/distributors of such devices what maximum dimensions are for boarding.

TTC Operations Planning has been fighting for both of these items for years, and has managed to remove dozens of superfluous stops over the past decade. However, that would have been hundreds if not for the removals commonly being vetoed by the local City Councillor. Same with traffic signals. TTC Operations and City Transportation Services both object to the installation of unnecessary and/or counterproductive traffic signals, but Council typically overrules them and installs them to placate one or more vocal citizens who (incorrectly) believe that the signals will solve the road network's fundamental safety flaws.

We're in complete agreement here. I would simply note that that there are internal issues on the traffic lights as well (among staff) not merely Councillors; though the latter are a very large problem.

Additionally when streetcar tracks get reconstructed, TTC and the City should jointly determine if they want them in the same location or if they should be spread out in key locations to provide a left turn lane (e.g. southbound Bathurst at Adelaide). But the TTC just goes around doing like-for-like replacement, and just copies the same track layout and equipment that they've been using for the past hundred years.

Also agreed.
 
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The most infuriating decision that the City has made to prioritize driving over public transit recently has been to build another pair of traffic lanes on Steeles Avenue East between Kennedy and Midland, and not designate those new lanes as bus lanes even though Steeles East is designated as a transit priority corridor in the official plan, and the 53/953 is very frequent and busy (easily meeting warrants for reserved bus lanes).

Steeles Ave in 2019, east of Agincourt Station
Screenshot 2024-02-01 at 10.14.43.png


Steeles Ave in 2022, east of Agincourt Station
Screenshot 2024-02-01 at 10.15.00.png


These lanes provide relatively little benefit to through motor traffic since they're usually occupied by stopping buses, and cars turning right, yet if they were designated as bus + right turn lanes they would significantly improve transit speed and reliability by allowing buses to consistently bypass queues at intersections. Note that a single car going straight in the curb lane will prevent any cars from turning right during the red light (e.g. you can't show an eastbound right turn green arrow during the northbound left turn phase).
 
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I do think operator breaks are a reasonable thing, but I'd prefer to see that addressed with partial step-back crewing, such that an operator needed a break mid-shift can step off, and another operator replaces them so the vehicle isn't idled.

This is not a discussion about scheduled operator breaks. An operator's daily schedule includes designated periods where they are given breaks throughout the day and another operator takes over their bus (one example of which is step-back crewing). There is of course their lunch break, but also shorter breaks at other times throughout the day. Nobody is suggesting that we reduce or eliminate those breaks.

The "breaks" in question are the artificial breaks that an operator can create for themself by arriving at a terminal early. If they happen to arrive early then they are pefectly welcome to get out and have a wander around, but that is not a break that they are required to receive. If they arrive at a terminal after they are scheduled to leave, they are expected to depart immediately (unless they need briefly go to the bathroom).

This is partly why TTC Ops argues for more running time and terminal time: it allows the operators to more often receive unplanned breaks in addition to the breaks that they are already entitled to receive.

Generally increasing terminal time is a good way of improving reliability, as long as operators treat it as the schedule buffer that it is, rather than a break to which they are entitled even if they are running late. However, the time buses can spend at most bus terminals is limited by the physical space available in those terminals to store buses. And this is even more severe for streetcar routes. If the streetcar terminus can only store a single streetcar, and the service is scheduled every 5 minutes, it is not possible to schedule more than 4.5 minutes of terminal time because it will block the next streetcar. But if the streetcar arrives early (e.g. if the scheduled running time is excessive) it will often get stuck on-street anyway. Hence the importance of using accurate running times and not encouraging buses/streetcars to arrive at their terminals early.

The loading standards do not explicitly account for the impact on capacity, and operations, including dwell time, when persons with mobility aids or strollers are on board; particularly multiples of same.

A fully seated load, if the 2 sets of flip up seats on most buses are in use, is the number of seats minus 4, which is not the way the service standards read.

It doesn't really matter whether or not you get into that level of detail when establishing the loading standard because mobility aids and strollers exist across the bus network. The loading standard is not intended to accurately describe the capacity of a vehicle, it's just a point of reference used to increase and decrease the level of crowding across the network in general. The loading standards get increased and decreased by the Board periodically based on budget pressure or availability.

I will also add here, that the time involved in ramp deployment is excessive on many vehicles, which further contributes to challenges. I also recently witnesses someone in a scooter unable to board as they could not navigate the bus entry way, I'm not sure there is a design solution there, for the bus, but perhaps the Commission needs to make explicit statements to retailers/distributors of such devices what maximum dimensions are for boarding.

Yes and the ramp deployment on streetcars is even more time-consuming at street-level stops, with operators technically required to get out of the cab and walk back to the the ramp since the long ramp is too steep for some passengers to comfortably navigate unassisted. This process adds more than a minute to the dwell time, so each time a passenger needs to board and alight using the long ramp it creates a 2-minute delay to service, which will always create unrecoverable bunching on a busy and frequent route (<5 minute headways).

Expanding the number of raised platforms would go a long way to reducing delays on the streetcar network by allowing the short ramp to be used, which shouldn't require operators to get out of the cab (though TTC Ops has gone back and forth over the years regarding whether operators are allowed to stay in the cab while the short ramp is used).[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 
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However, the time buses can spend at most bus terminals is limited by the physical space available in those terminals to store buses.

Davisville station is a great example of this (or at least the part when the 11 and 28 busses dwell). There is barely enough space for one bus to pass another, and if one bus isn't parked against the curb, none can pass. Or a bus will park near the entrance, the driver will break, and other busses can't easily enter the station to unload.

I'm sure at least part of this is due to larger bus width now vs when the station opened.
 
In November it shows "Demolition of existing box structure" for the SSE between Warden and Kennedy?

I presume this means they are obliterating the tail tracks as I cannot seem them tearing down the tunnels or Kennedy Station. Anyone know what this is?
The new running tracks are significantly deeper than the trail tracks. And then instead of putting a centre track between the two running tracks, they are instead putting it on top.

So yes, everything east of the current station box will be pulled out.

I'm not sure if Toronto had ever completely demolished existing subway tunnel before.
 
I'm not sure if Toronto had ever completely demolished existing subway tunnel before.

I don't believe so.

The closest they may have came would likely be the decking over of the open cut or perhaps the work at Yonge and Bloor in the late 80s.
 
I wonder if the star should redo their king street race. I just took the streetcar from Sherbourne to Bathurst in 14 minutes, which is about the same as a leisurely bike ride would take.
 
I wonder if the star should redo their king street race. I just took the streetcar from Sherbourne to Bathurst in 14 minutes, which is about the same as a leisurely bike ride would take.

Fridays are the light day, and a if you just did this, you were also post-rush, if there is such a thing on Fridays.
 
The City's decision to empl
Yes, it was one of the lightest times of the week. But I do usually ride it part of that way at rush hour (at least when it’s raining etc) and it has generally been working better recently overall.
The City's decision to employ lots more Traffic Officers and no longer rely on the police (who, despite their huge budget seemed to give up on traffic enforcement some time ago) is undoubtedly responsible (plus the fact that Adelaide is more open now than for several months).
 

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