If you’ve ever had the misfortune of trying to get home on the 35 Jane, you know the service sucks: buses are crowded, short turns turf you out, and it can take an eternity until the next bus arrives.
Transit blogger and pundit Steve Munro took the Jane to task this week. It’s a long, gory article, with a lot of charts and a story of buses bunched so close you’d think they made a tuktuk.
I think it comes down to this: the TTC simply cannot keep a regular interval between buses.
It’s a disaster. Packs of buses sniffing each other’s exhausts prowl the road, leaving half-hour gaps between. People wait, saviour buses get crowded, and everybody gets angry.
By early afternoon, a platoon of six buses has assembled at Jane Station and it travels to Pioneer Village Station more or less intact. On the return trip, one of them short turns at Lawrence at about 3 pm, only to join a smaller group of three buses headed north. Other buses are accumulating into packs during this period.
By 4 pm, all of the service has clustered into groups of four to six vehicles with gaps of over half an hour between them. Only a few short turns are visible. These may get the buses back “on time” but they do little to improve spacing in the service.
Even while the service on Jane is a disaster, the TTC is planning to remove two automobile lanes from Jane so they can be bus-only lanes, starting in 2021. To your correspondent, this seems bonkers. Jane Street will turn into a snarled mess.
Giving the TTC entire lanes would—good lord, I hope—solve the service problems. But given how bad things are now, I find it hard to believe that cutting the number of car lanes in half is the easiest, cheapest, or best option.