Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alberta Projection


I finally ran the numbers though the wringer. According to the most recent poll, I have the following results:

PC - 52
WAP - 19
Lib - 9
NDP - 3

Why would the PC Party retain a majority? Because the PC votes and the Alliance vote are very similar. There are dozens of ridings the PC Party is winning here by 5%-10% over the Alliance, meaning much of that vote is being wasted. More to come.

Sorry, no extra data today!

More on Transit

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This post contains information about the changes due to the busway, and information on accessibility within the TTCs various routes.

With the new accessible routes, more and more of the TTC network is becoming accessible. It is become so widespread that it is easier to list the non-accessible routes than it is to do the opposite. So which routes are non-accessible? Other than the three seeing changes on November 22nd, we have...

All the streetcar routes.

Express routes 142 and 141. Night routes 312 St. Clair, and 352 Lawrence West. As well as the following daytime routes:

6 Bay
52 Lawrence West
59 Maple Leaf
171 Mount Dennis
77 Sweansea
90 Vaughan
71 Runnymeade
117 Alness
160 Bathurst North
33 Forrest Hill
196 York University Rocket

Of these...
171 is a public bus route, but it's primary purpose is to be an 'employee shuttle' getting TTC workers to and from the Mount Dennis bus garage.
160 Bathurst North mirrors two bus routes that are accessible. 196 Rocket is a short cut of a route that is accessible. 77 and 71 bus routes interline with one another, so if one is to be made accessible, the other would have to be as well. 117 goes deep into an industrial area, but the 105 bus, which is accessible, mirrors it on the main drag.

This leaves us with the following.

6 Bay.
This route runs downtown, and is one of the few buses to do so. Most other downtown routes are rail based, either streetcar, subway, or GO Train. 6 Bay is the weak link in the system. Streetcars are not accessible, and many downtown stations are not either. Bay is not far from Yonge, and there is no Yonge bus for most of the day. Making this route accessible would be a very important step towards making the city accessible. The problem is that the bus garage that this bus route operates out of is the newest of the garages, and hence, had last pick of equipment at the time of the move. Hopefully some of the newly ordered accessible buses will go to that garage, and then to this route.

52 Lawrence West.
This is one of the more 'main' routes of the TTC network. While it's sister route, 58 Malton, may be accessible, the fact that this route is not does leave gaps in the network. This route certainly should be a priority.

77/71 Runnymeade. 33 Forrest Hill. 90 Vaughan. 59 Maple Leaf.
All these routes are physically close to accessible routes, but are not themselves. All of them run through residential areas, and connect those areas to areas for shopping or working. They may find that they are the last to be converted.

Also in this recent set of service changes are changes due to the busway to York University opening. The 196 Rocket and VIVA Orange will change, of course, to use this new busway. What may be of interest is that other routes will be changing as well. In order to get the most out of the new busway, a new exit/entrance to Downsview station has been built that empties right on to Allen Road. Due to this there are a few changes. The 105 Dufferin North will use this new entrance, and therefore, not run along Wilson Heights Blvd at all. 117 Alness will also use this new entrance and not Wilson Heights. The biggest change is going to occur to the 104 Faywood route. This route will now head from Wilson to Finch, then down Dufferin to Wilson Heights, and finally down to Downsview. It will connect the two stations but go out of it's way to do so. This requires the removal of service on Overbrook (at least it will once the gaping hole in Finch is fixed) It also means reduced service levels on Wilson Heights. The fact that it connects two subway stations, however, can be a bonus. I personally recommend using it to transit between the two in the event of subway disruptions (as the replacement shuttles would likely be full to the brim of people who do not read this blog!)

Blog Announcement: Public Transit

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I've decided to make a change to this blog.

One blog I read often is Steve Munro .ca Over there Steve talks about Transit, but every once in a while does a review of plays and movies. I am not interested in either of those two, but rather read his blog due to this focus on Transit. He is free to post about what he wants, as it's his blog.

Well, this is my blog, and I've decided to put the new "Read More" option to good use. I will, from time to time, make posts regarding Public Transit in Toronto and elsewhere. I will, however, hide them 'below the fold' so that those who do not wish to read them will not have to. To begin, our first story, below the fold.

The TTC in what has become an unusual move, has put out it's service changes early. Also early is the Official Service Summary, a technical document explaining the workings of each route in numbers. This document is useful for anyone who wants to know how "frequent" that "frequent service" bus really is. For the record, a "headway" is the time between when the front bumper of one vehicle passes a point, and the front bumper of the next vehicle passes the same point. Due to red lights and traffic it's idealized, of course, but it is a good guidepost to go by.

There are not many changes to look at. In November we get some bike racks, and a few diversions ending. The Bathurst streetcar gets two new trips, southbound, on sunday, in the morning. The only route with a 'true' improvement is my home bus route, 106 York University, which goes back to its last-winter headway of 8 minutes and 15 seconds in the morning peak. The afternoon peak also will see an improvement. In December, the St. Clair streetcar will run from Yonge St to Lansdowne, leaving a much smaller Lansdowne to Keele area for shuttle buses to cover.

Beyond this, we gain some new accessible routes. 107 Keele North, 10 Van Horne, and 89 Weston will now all run accessible low floor buses (or high floor buses with lifts) at all times of the day. Remember, this starts November 22nd.

The last change is due to the busway to York University. A closer examination of the busway and accessible services is in the next post.