Editorial Archive

Making TTC bus and streetcar service more reliable

10/11/13 6:00 AM

Last week, I wrote about subway performance improvements. I thought it fitting, then, to use this space to describe the steps the TTC is taking to make surface transit more reliable.

Unlike the subway, our buses and streetcars share the road with other vehicles along the full length of most routes. As such, both are affected by increasing road congestion and construction.

Last week, the TTC unveiled its prototype articulated bus, the first of 153 high-capacity vehicles. These buses will be progressively introduced onto our busiest routes from December and throughout 2014. One of many benefits of this new bus is the fact that they have three doors, making exiting along a route, and boarding at stations, much more efficient.

Next year will also see the introduction of the first of 204 state-of-the-art streetcars. Like our new articulated bus, these new streetcars have a much higher carrying capacity than the vehicles they will replace. They’re also accessible, which is an important step in making the TTC barrier-free.

Ridership is growing, and action is being taken to accommodate this growth.

As such, TTC and City of Toronto staff are working together to identify ways to keep our buses and streetcars moving more effectively, especially during peak periods. By looking at root causes of delay, by strengthening on-street supervision and by using measures such as transit priority signals, we can smooth the flow of our service and prevent vehicles from bunching up, or creating large gaps of service.

Finally, we are seeking funding to replace the archaic, 1970s communications system our vehicles. It is a major impediment in our ability to give you system-wide, real-time information about service status on the wider TTC network.

The good news is that punctuality of bus and streetcar service has improved over the last year. I acknowledge there is much more to do to meet the service standard you, the customer, expect from your TTC.

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