Weekend Subway Construction

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So I have just experienced weekend subway construction firsthand. For those who don’t know, the TTC has closed several stations on the Bloor-Danforth Subway from Jane to Kipling for the entire weekend.

Epic Fail, TTC.

Jane is normally a “line” station with side platforms. It was not built to accommodate large crowds that occur at ends of lines and significant transfer points when the entire train, or a good portion of passengers, need to de-train.

As a side platform station, only one platform was being used. Naturally large queues formed at stairs and escalators to get upstairs…

Once upstairs, the hoarde was forced into replacement buses, which were sorely inadequate to handle the crowd.

Once I crammed aboard the bus, it travelled fairly quickly, for a bus. Thankfully, the bus did not service local stops on Bloor, but the automate system continued to read out the stop names. The driver DID NOT announce the equivalent subway stops, so if someone were not paying attention it would have been easier to miss, particularly since this sort of closure is outside if everyone’s usual routine.

I happened to be heading to Islington on this occasion. The TTC had a few supervisors present, buy they were really only there to answer questions. There were no announcements or signs at the bus stop to point disoriented travellers in the right direction.

I had to ask how to get to the Mississauga Transit buses (now branded as miway). Since the subway and bus platforms were closed, all of the miway routes were being serviced by a single bus stop on the street corner. As you can imagine, one bus stop is insufficient for a large number of riders all looking to take different routes.

This concludes the story of failure.

What I don’t understand is why the TTC feels it is necessary to close to entire subway during regularly scheduled service. They close every night for maintenance already…. Other cities somehow manage to operate 24 hour metro service. Why can’t the TTC do their maintenance using the existing closure period?

This habit of closing the subway during service for regular maintenance is leading to an impression of unreliable, degraded service.

So I ask again… Why? Hmm?

Hawker trip down memory lane

Monday, January 17, 2011

I just enjoyed a (somewhat) rare trip on an old Hawker-Siddeley H5 subway car. Plushy seats are a nice change, but the heat was out and it smelled like something was burning!

I also wanted an excuse to try out WordPress for iPhone… WP for BlackBerry was a big disappointment.

Update: January 19, 2011 – Added link to Transit Toronto H5/H6 page.

Odd Queue of TTC buses

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I have never before seen six TTC buses (five pictured) queued at an intersection, not in service. I wonder if they’re preparing for blue night service, or subway replacement service on the Yonge subway line? Any ideas?

Five TTC buses sighted waiting at Yonge and Bloor at ~12:30 am on Tues Dec 14.

Five TTC buses sighted waiting at Yonge and Bloor at ~12:30 am on Tues Dec 14.

UpdateSubway Replacement bus service between Bloor and Finch is in effect until Dec 19th, starting at 12:30 AM.

You there… Back of the Bus!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What’s the deal with people on public transit who crowd around the entrances of the vehicle? Instead of moving further inside, they clump and prevent people from getting past. It particularly bothers me when this occurs on the newer model “low rider” (aka low floor) buses. Due to the internal configuration, a newer low floor bus has about 1/3 less capacity than an older model. These new buses lend themselves to the clumping, as no one seems particularly interested in climbing the two small steps required to access the seating at the back of the bus.

Come on people! Is it really that hard to get up there? I’ve been particularly annoyed with these lazy bones riders through the winter. We’ve had some bitter cold weather, and the bus driver will leave people standing outside rather than make any attempt to corral them to the back by shouting.

To make matters worse, the automated stop announcement system has also provisioned drivers with a button to push which plays a recorded announcement asking riders to ‘please move back’. Unfortunately there are some problems with this.

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