Will removing TTC streetcar stops speed up service?
The TTC will discuss a report calling for the removal of a significant number of streetcar stops at its next meeting on May 28th. Rather than as a service cut, the Commission frames the proposed changes as a way to increase both rider safety and speed. The idea here is that the streetcar stop network is very old in certain parts of the city (dating back almost a century), and there are thus unnecessary stops that are 1) less than 200 metres from another stop or 2) could be better located at an intersection with a traffic signal for rider safety.
All in all, the TTC is looking at eliminating 39 tightly bunched stops, as well as all remaining Sunday stops (an under-utilized stop-option designed to deliver customers closer to churches around town). On top of that, another 20 stops will be moved from their current locations to signalled intersections.
So will this actually make for better service? One suspects that the TTC claim that riders tend to jaywalk the most when exiting surface vehicles at stops without traffic lights is absolutely correct, so there's certainly some sense in repositioning stops. As for the elimination of closely spaced stops, I suspect that the passengers who use these stops on a daily basis won't share the sentiment that these changes represent a service improvement. Steve Munro has an interesting take on the way the TTC is selling these changes over on his blog, which is worth a read for the way in which it calls into question the Commission's self-touted commitment to customer service.
What do you think? Will you miss these streetcar stops?
Photo by Jared Krause in the blogTO Flickr pool.