atc ttc

The TTC just did something that will make commuting faster

Tired of “signal problems” slowing down your commute on the TTC? Soon those problems may disappear. Well, not completely, but they will happen a lot less.

A new system that has been slowly installed over the last few months will help subway trains to run much more efficiently. Automatic Train Control (ATC) is an advanced signal system that's controlled by computers, rather than humans.

The ATC system has now been fully installed on the stretch of Line 1 between Dupont and Yorkdale. The TTC hopes to have the entirety of Line 1 completely finished by 2019.

This new system of computerized control manages the speed and space between trains, allowing more vehicles to run on the tracks at once. The computerized system just does a better job at calculating the distance between trains than a human can.

Due to this, the line may eventually see 32 trains on each track, rather than the current 25. If you’ve ever dashed down the stairs just to see “next train: 12 minutes,” then this is surely good news for you.

If you’re terrified of the inevitable robot-takeover of society (and we all probably should be), don’t worry completely yet. The trains will still have an operator on board in case of emergency. Manual override is just a click away.

The system is now live from Dupont to Yorkdale, but the full range of benefits will not manifest until the entire line is finished. The next segment to run with ATC is expected to be the new stops on the Spadina Extension this December.

Lead photo by

Nicoli OZ Mathews


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