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?