The TTC has cut down the duration of subway delays by almost 40% since 2014

Apr 21 2017, 8:54 am

We know you don’t know this, but the TTC is actually improving its service.

When it comes to punctuality, at least.

According to a report by Toronto’s transit agency, the subway system is seeing 17.6 per cent fewer delays in the first three months of this year compared to the same time period in 2014. Overall, the duration of delays is 37.7 per cent shorter than in 2014.

According to the TTC, the first quarter of this year saw 4,176 incidents on its three subway lines and Scarborough LRT, resulting in 136 total hours of delay. The average length of each delay was 1.88 minutes, down from 2.49 minutes in 2014.

TTC CEO Andy Byford referred to the news as “stellar,” and hopes to cut delays in half by 2019.

How did the TTC achieve this tiny miracle? Quite a few ways, actually.

Byford says a switch in maintenance strategy – from a reactive to a proactive approach – has made a considerable difference. TTC staff are also removing litter from trains when they reach the end of the line, reducing the occurrence of fires. Indeed, as much as we like to blame the TTC for all of life’s letdowns, there’s only so much you can do about teens lighting Metro newspapers on fire.

The agency has also increased the number of paramedics in stations to respond to people who are feeling sick. In 2014, the TTC determined more than two-thirds of alarms were activated for non-emergency reasons.

Newer vehicles are also contributing to fewer delays. Bombardier’s new trains travel a mean distance of 744,000 kilometres without a delay-causing failure, which is above the 600,000-kilometre target.

While the TTC has done everything it can to cut back on delays, there’s a harder to solve human element. Passenger-caused delays are on the rise, with more than half of all stoppages attributed to rider behaviour. This includes people fainting, fighting, trespassing on the track, and suicides. And fires – don’t forget that people are lighting fires.

So while the TTC may be unjustifiably expensive, plagued by low ridership, and very bad at installing new technology, it’s at least getting you places a little less late than before.

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