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TTC: Streetcar Network

, it could be freed from the whims of operators more concerned with coffee and pee breaks than customer service.
So you want us to invest in some dubious technology reinventing something which already exists because you don't like that operators are humans and not robots?

I'd be curious to know what you do for a living and how often you take bathroom breaks.
 
So you want us to invest in some dubious technology reinventing something which already exists because you don't like that operators are humans and not robots?

I'd be curious to know what you do for a living and how often you take bathroom breaks.

Nope, didn't say that, and would not suggest at this point that these technologies are ready to jump on board with. I suggested we not write them off. Labour shortage problems are only going to get worse due to demographic factors, and the well documented inability of transit companies in Ontario to manage line operations so that satisfactory vehicle on-time and headway standards are maintained suggests we should at least remain open to new technological solutions developed elsewhere, should they prove successful.
 
Nope, didn't say that, and would not suggest at this point that these technologies are ready to jump on board with. I suggested we not write them off. Labour shortage problems are only going to get worse due to demographic factors, and the well documented inability of transit companies in Ontario to manage line operations so that satisfactory vehicle on-time and headway standards are maintained suggests we should at least remain open to new technological solutions developed elsewhere, should they prove successful.
Usually, it is the lack of implementing the solutions correctly that would help the problems with vehicle on-time and headways.

For example, we could have REAL transit priority on many of our bus and streetcar (and so to be light-rail) routes. Instead, the almighty motor vehicle is given the priority instead. Why should three or four single-occupant automobile turning left go ahead of the 40+ on board buses, the 70+ on board streetcars, or the 200+ on board light-rail vehicles?

Why don't we upgrade the streetcar track switches so that they don't have to stop at each and every switch for "safety", when other jurisdictions operate their trams at speed?

The technology is there, but we don't use them, or implement them, properly because of budget cuts to public transit OPERATIONS.
 
Usually, it is the lack of implementing the solutions correctly that would help the problems with vehicle on-time and headways.

For example, we could have REAL transit priority on many of our bus and streetcar (and so to be light-rail) routes. Instead, the almighty motor vehicle is given the priority instead. Why should three or four single-occupant automobile turning left go ahead of the 40+ on board buses, the 70+ on board streetcars, or the 200+ on board light-rail vehicles?

Why don't we upgrade the streetcar track switches so that they don't have to stop at each and every switch for "safety", when other jurisdictions operate their trams at speed?

The technology is there, but we don't use them, or implement them, properly because of budget cuts to public transit OPERATIONS.
That's a huge endeavor. Start with priority intersections.

What we need is bus lanes on the highway, and bus stops at the side of the road with a staircase leading to the road. Similar to Bayview and Highway 7 station for VIVA.

OC Transpo does this and it works well. In theory it's faster than express buses that run on local streets.
 
That's a huge endeavor. Start with priority intersections.

What we need is bus lanes on the highway, and bus stops at the side of the road with a staircase leading to the road. Similar to Bayview and Highway 7 station for VIVA.

OC Transpo does this and it works well. In theory it's faster than express buses that run on local streets.
If possible, ramps. Or move the bus lane up or down to be level with the bus stop before returning to the highway level. With priority traffic lights to continue the bus on its run.
 
If possible, ramps. Or move the bus lane up or down to be level with the bus stop before returning to the highway level. With priority traffic lights to continue the bus on its run.
Doing that requires a stop light and cross traffic. Use the most outside lane and build a station over the overpass. Stations like Yorkdale, Scarborough town should use the actual station. As well York Mills or Sheppard should be a connection point somehow or build a 401 station?
 
That's a huge endeavor. Start with priority intersections.

What we need is bus lanes on the highway, and bus stops at the side of the road with a staircase leading to the road. Similar to Bayview and Highway 7 station for VIVA.

OC Transpo does this and it works well. In theory it's faster than express buses that run on local streets.
Yes, getting rid of our ridiculous slow orders is such a "huge endeavor" that every other city with a tram has done it. It's still worth it for the 200,000 people who use the streetcar network everyday.

Signal priority is coded into the system we use - all that's needed is to turn it on. And ban left turns. Enforcement of the King St Transitway could actually make money for the city.

I'm unsure that OC Transpo's highway-side buses (a model that is harmful to urban transit IMO) is something we can emulate. You could do it in the 905, but in the TTC operating area, where would you put it?
 
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Nothing about removing slow orders should seem remotely difficult if anyone takes the time to study basically any other tram system in the world. There is such a thing as being too cautious (if in fact this is just the TTC being too cautious, and not in fact sabotaging the streetcar system as a viable means of travel).
 
I would not write developments like this off too quickly. It can essentially be driverless and significantly longer than a bus, so more efficient in terms of labour. By interacting with traffic signals and running under control of a system that looks at load demand and headways, it could be freed from the whims of operators more concerned with coffee and pee breaks than customer service. It sounds like a promising option for arterial roads such as Eglinton or Finch East, where LRT would have high startup cots.
There are strategies which can be employed such as step back crewing to get around dwell time of that sort. You should make a deputation to a commission meeting to ask why it is better to have Flexities and buses lingering at loops rather than put back in motion. The answer of course is that low property tax increases and fare freezes and obsession with lowest possible headcount trump rolling time:standing time ratio.

After High Park, I imagine passenger enthusiasm for riding vehicles with only other passengers on board has dipped a little; even if you drink the driverless-in-mixed traffic koolaid and remove the driver as a full time operator, there will still be an expectation of a customer service presence.
 
Stepback crewing comes with its own drawbacks though. Not every terminus has facilities (or anything at all) and it might not be welcome to strand a driver in the middle of nowhere without his vehicle, especially if the next one doesn't come for a while.

One might counter that by saying, if there's no facilities, the bus should just turn around and drive on, but if you've been driving for 40-60 minutes without pause, having even a few minutes to pause, decompress, stretch your legs would be beneficial. Stepback crewing would work at subway stations but not anywhere else.

If we are in a financial state where we balk at vehicles taking breaks with their operators, that seems symptomatic of a much larger issue. Obviously lunch breaks should not be taken together with the vehicle but I don't find layovers to be concerning in the slightest.
 
Stepback crewing comes with its own drawbacks though. Not every terminus has facilities (or anything at all) and it might not be welcome to strand a driver in the middle of nowhere without his vehicle, especially if the next one doesn't come for a while.

One might counter that by saying, if there's no facilities, the bus should just turn around and drive on, but if you've been driving for 40-60 minutes without pause, having even a few minutes to pause, decompress, stretch your legs would be beneficial. Stepback crewing would work at subway stations but not anywhere else.

If we are in a financial state where we balk at vehicles taking breaks with their operators, that seems symptomatic of a much larger issue. Obviously lunch breaks should not be taken together with the vehicle but I don't find layovers to be concerning in the slightest.

Must allow time for smoking breaks for computers, as well.

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From link.
 
Stepback crewing comes with its own drawbacks though. Not every terminus has facilities (or anything at all) and it might not be welcome to strand a driver in the middle of nowhere without his vehicle, especially if the next one doesn't come for a while.

One might counter that by saying, if there's no facilities, the bus should just turn around and drive on, but if you've been driving for 40-60 minutes without pause, having even a few minutes to pause, decompress, stretch your legs would be beneficial. Stepback crewing would work at subway stations but not anywhere else.

If we are in a financial state where we balk at vehicles taking breaks with their operators, that seems symptomatic of a much larger issue. Obviously lunch breaks should not be taken together with the vehicle but I don't find layovers to be concerning in the slightest.
I would think you'd use step back crewing on routes with frequent service streetcar routes and only at locations with the necessary infrastructure. If it isn't there then that's something that needs to be addressed before you would do it. These vehicles are pretty expensive assets and keeping them in motion and providing a consistent and short headway should be a customer service priority.

I certainly recognize operators have their own needs for and a right to breaks, but that should be accommodated in a way that complements the service provided rather than be another way that we slow it down.
 
I would think you'd use step back crewing on routes with frequent service streetcar routes and only at locations with the necessary infrastructure. If it isn't there then that's something that needs to be addressed before you would do it. These vehicles are pretty expensive assets and keeping them in motion and providing a consistent and short headway should be a customer service priority.

I certainly recognize operators have their own needs for and a right to breaks, but that should be accommodated in a way that complements the service provided rather than be another way that we slow it down.
You can start with using portable trailers with washrooms if you can't build permanent ones.

All streetcars eventually will pass a subway station so you could do stepback crews there.
 
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You can start with using portable trailers with washrooms if you can't build permanent ones.
This would be a good solution to the issue of bathroom coverage (provided it's not the cheapest low cost solution and provides hygiene solutions too, unlike portapotties which are a low grade crime against humanity), but it only solves half the issue. Where does the driver wait for a step back at remote loops like Steeles and Kipling, Islington and Steeles, Meadowvale and Sheppard, or Starspray? These are all an appreciable distance away from any structure in which they could take shelter - Kipling and Sheppard both have gas stations, but gas stations are notorious for being of dubious safety levels, especially at night - and again the problem of having driven 40-60 minutes to get there and the driver needing time to themselves to decompress comes into play. Of course, a stepback at Kipling, Islington, Kennedy, or Eglinton stations would be doable.

This problem will exist on almost every route the TTC has, except for station-to-station routes or shorter ones, most of which are typically in the inner city (i.e. 8 Broadview). Perhaps we can ask ourselves why buses take breaks with their operators at subway terminuses, but in the outer boroughs, this feels like a necessary solution, "waste of money" or no.
 
These construction trailers are about 20ft long and could be used for drivers to sit on a couch or chair and use a table to eat their food or whatever. It is heated and can be air conditioned as well. They can hire a mobile cleaning service to go around and mop them a few times a day. Don't take up as much space and is faster than building a permanent building. See there are solutions, just a matter of wanting to implement them. Places like Neville Park or Long Branch have space for these and are used at Exhibition to house crews during breaks.

 

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