Monday, October 17, 2016

Transit in a big city

TTC Closure map - Sept 24th and 25th, 2016
For all of us that live in a big city we know that public transit can be good and then it can be really bad at times.

For us that have subways within our transit we know that there are going to be the challenges due to medical emergencies on the trains from time to time. We also understand that there will be mechanical issues on the trains from time to time. These are situations that cannot be helped and normally we just try and plan for a situation like this to happen when we are trying to get somewhere by a specific time.

Now what we don’t like with our transit system is when a major section of the subway is closed on a weekend when the transit system is really needed. Of course, there are only over night and some weekends when the subway system can be upgraded and that I understand. What I don’t understand if why the transit system would close off a major section of a subway line on a weekend that there are major events in the downtown core.

The closure that I am writing about is one that happened the weekend of September 24th and 25th. The TTC decided that it would be a good weekend to close down a section of the Yonge line between Bloor-Yonge and Osgoode Station. This basically is the main section of the Yonge line that gives people easy access to certain major locations. The locations that I am talking about are:
  • Eaton Centre
  • Union Station
  • Air Canada Centre
  • Rogers Centre
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • CN Tower

Yes there are the locations that during this weekend that are going to be a bit more of a challenge to get to. Now the explain why this isn’t a good weekend is simple as there are a number of events that are happening in the downtown core and these are:
  • Blue Jay games versus New York Yankees – both Saturday and Sunday
  • World Cup of Hockey – both Saturday and Sunday
  • Word on the Street – Sunday
  • Eaton Centre – open all weekend
  • Ripley’s Aquarium – open all weekend
  • CN Tower – open all weekends
  • other tourist areas.

Now this isn’t a complete list of what will be impacted by the closure but you can see that even with the first two events going on that means that there are going to be ten’s of thousands of people trying to get into the downtown core each day over the weekend without one of the main subway lines available to them.

The TTC has stated that there will be shuttle buses running between all the stops on the subway line but a bus carries a lot less people than a subway train so it is going to be another crazy weekend in the downtown core. I understand that the TTC needs to do work on the subway tracks but this section of the line could have been booked for a different weekend. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is part of the city so they should be checking for major events in an area before they schedule the closures. Now the TTC has the closure is to make the service better in the future which I hope is true but really did it have to happen this weekend.

For everyone that is going to be traveling into the downtown core this weekend of the closure all I can say is make sure you give yourself lots of time to get where you are going. Pack your patience and understand that you aren’t the only one trying to get somewhere.

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