Editorial Archive

TTC subway disruptions must – and will – come down

4/10/15 6:00 AM

The TTC recently introduced further improvements to the subway timetable to make peak service more reliableā€Ž, to provide more capacity in the off-peak times and on weekends, as well as to cut wait times between trains.

The first few days of this revised schedule proved extremely successful as measured by an increase in service punctuality and in the smooth running of the subway.

However, this good work was undone when, on Tuesday morning (April 7), a track fire near Summerhill Station caused subway riders  huge disruption and inconvenience while we worked with Toronto Fire crews to allow safe resumption of service. Overnight rail grinding, something we do to make your ride quieter and to maintain rails in good condition, caused a small piece of wood within the tunnel to smoulder then gradually ignite, even though the area was checked and flushed with water after grinding had finished, per our procedures.

I have said before that I know that in addition to safe service, reliable service is what you also rightly expect. I accept that we have failed to provide this in recent weeks for a variety of reasons.

Be assured that all of our efforts are focused on reversing this adverse trend. The revised subway timetable, plus the additional bus and streetcar services that we are beginning to introduce as a result of the increase in our budget, will see things materially improve.

This focus includes a review of how we handle disruption. Shuttle buses can never replicate the capacity of the subway and a shuttle takes time to mobilize, especially during the rush hour. But after events such as Tuesday, a lot of effort goes into reviewing customer feedback and the effectiveness (or not) of our contingency plans so that we can learn for the future.

We will use this incident to steel our resolve to get exponentially better.

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