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2 hours ago, Orion V said:

Looking at youtube videos of transit fans riding the Ion, I can't help but think this should've been the way TTC's 509, 510 and 512 should've operated; with transit priority and making all cars stop when the train approaches the intersection! Stupid City of Toronto!

I hope Line 5 on the surface portion will be operated like the Ion instead of the current 509/510/512.

To me ION felt like the 512, being faster and smoother. It just depends on like you said, signal priority (which ION had full control of crossings and intersections) and increasing speed. I think GRT also provides some form of supplementary bus service along the LRT as well. (It also lists the bus connections on the next stop announcements as well on board maps)

The trains on ION were spaced out throughly, compared to Toronto's bunching of cars, even on the ROW. Another factor to note is passenger volume, since as you know, TTC streetcars carry a lot of people, and that it takes time for people to board and alight.

On opening day, they were going slower as well, so it should be even faster now. Other than that it's your typical old Flexity.

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2 hours ago, Orion V said:

Looking at youtube videos of transit fans riding the Ion, I can't help but think this should've been the way TTC's 509, 510 and 512 should've operated; with transit priority and making all cars stop when the train approaches the intersection! Stupid City of Toronto!

I hope Line 5 on the surface portion will be operated like the Ion instead of the current 509/510/512.

Transit priority is definitely needed but need to be implemented smartly. They should allow streetcars to go first but there is a fear that it'll cause more traffic backup on intersecting streets. Prioritizing the 510 will cause more delays on the 506, 505, 501 and 504 as they need to cycle through another phase.

Maybe they just need to outright ban left turns and replace it with a transit phase.

36 minutes ago, Kelvin3157 said:

The trains on ION were spaced out throughly, compared to Toronto's bunching of cars, even on the ROW. Another factor to note is passenger volume, since as you know, TTC streetcars carry a lot of people, and that it takes time for people to board and alight.

The ION runs every 10-15 minutes which is a lot wider than the any streetcar routes. We can all agree route management sucks on the TTC but it's a lot harder to manage something that runs every 3 minutes. People arrive unevenly at every stop, especially at the subway stations. A delay on the subway will have a large impact on surface routes. Cars will leave empty during the delay while the one that gets the load after the delay will be packed.

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44 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

Maybe they just need to outright ban left turns and replace it with a transit phase.

Not necessarily. Perhaps what they could do could be similar to how Waterloo Region (or maybe other municipalities) does their priority.

03JUN19BusSignalA0039

Although not pictured, how it works is that the light for normal vehicular traffic is red. The bus stop is usually on the right turn lane. It detects if there's a bus at the stop, the transit priority cycle begins. After the cross traffic gets a red, the transit bar lights up, along with a green right turn arrow. All the right turning traffic immediately go,  and the bus proceeds, without the hassle of merging.

This could be done in Toronto too, (non-ROW) should the street have two lanes (usually), with left turn arrows implemented along with the bar. The right hand lane should only be through or right turning traffic only, while the left lane should be for left turning traffic and the streetcars. 

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When a streetcar is detected at the intersection, the bar should light up along with the left turn arrow. After the streetcar or transit vehicle clears or a certain period of time passes, the bar should turn off, while the opposing side also should get a left turn arrow following that, then the full green sequence after that.

For ROW priority, maybe actually have the streetcars GO FIRST, then left turns, then green for through traffic.

Maybe we should get rid of on-street parking?

44 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

 The ION runs every 10-15 minutes which is a lot wider than the any streetcar routes. We can all agree route management sucks on the TTC but it's a lot harder to manage something that runs every 3 minutes. People arrive unevenly at every stop, especially at the subway stations. A delay on the subway will have a large impact on surface routes. Cars will leave empty during the delay while the one that gets the load after the delay will be packed.

True, it does run more infrequently than the TTC schedules. Maybe the TTC should slow down on their schedules. 3-5 minute headways isn't really helping the whole bunching situation. Maybe they should time how long they are able to stay for boarding. After the time limit, they should leave. If people don't make that car. they can always wait for the next one, even though that might piss some people off. You can't please everyone.

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17 minutes ago, Kelvin3157 said:

This could be done in Toronto too, (non-ROW) should the street have two lanes (usually), with left turn arrows implemented along with the bar. The right hand lane should only be through or right turning traffic only, while the left lane should be for left turning traffic and the streetcars. 

This won't work for cars in the left lane traveling straight and it introduces two additional phases as both directions can't have a turning phase at the same time. Most non-ROW streetcar routes simply disallow left turns already at major intersections and is not the question to begin with.

38 minutes ago, Kelvin3157 said:

For ROW priority, maybe actually have the streetcars GO FIRST, then left turns, then green for through traffic.

As I said, this will add a transit phase which is about 10 seconds to every cycle whenever a streetcar needs to pass. 10 seconds might not seem a lot but 10 seconds every 2 minutes is a lot. That's 5 minutes every hour resulting in 8.33% reduction of traffic though every intersection. Now if this is implemented on every intersection on Spadina, it will result in 20-30% reduced capacity for traffic heading down Spadina. This won't affect the 510 but the reduce capacity will result in cars backing up on east-west streets. This will slow down streetcar service along those streets.

Transit priority also doesn't work well if all 4 directions needs priority. Prioritizing east-west means north-south direction waits longer. A better strategy is to reduce cars downtown and placing streetcar stops further from intersections. This will allow streetcars to reach the stops without having cars blocking them on red.

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2 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

This won't work for cars in the left lane traveling straight and it introduces two additional phases as both directions can't have a turning phase at the same time. Most non-ROW streetcar routes simply disallow left turns already at major intersections and is not the question to begin with.

They can have turning phases at the same time. It's called a Simultaneous left turn.

a red light with a left-turn green arrow

As for you saying "This won't work for cars in the left lane traveling straight", I don't think you saw this:

2 hours ago, Kelvin3157 said:

The right hand lane should only be through or right turning traffic only, while the left lane should be for left turning traffic and the streetcars. 

I also mentioned that once the streetcar has cleared, the bar would turn off, and it would have the protected left turn arrow on for the opposing side traffic. Through traffic for both sides should still have a red light. I also forgot in the case of both sides having a streetcar waiting to clear the intersection.

For example, in a E-W street, if there was a streetcar on the opposing side, the side with the least amount of cars in front of the streetcar (we'll call it EB) turning left should have the arrow+bar combo first. After the first streetcar clears, the left arrow for the most amount of cars (WB) begin (while the arrow for the EB turning left can still be on, white bar is off, light remains red), until the streetcar reaches to the front of the intersection, then the green for both sides begin, while still allowing the streetcar to proceed ahead. They should not place stops immediately before or after the intersection, as that would stop traffic. Like you said, they should place streetcar stops further from intersections. Stops should be spaced far out before or after the intersection, preferably mid-block. Not all intersections should have this, for cross-streets that either has a lot of volume or those that have intersecting TTC surface routes. Maybe prohibiting turning right on certain times can also help in case of pedestrian volumes.

 

6 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

As I said, this will add a transit phase which is about 10 seconds to every cycle whenever a streetcar needs to pass. 10 seconds might not seem a lot but 10 seconds every 2 minutes is a lot. That's 5 minutes every hour resulting in 8.33% reduction of traffic though every intersection. Now if this is implemented on every intersection on Spadina, it will result in 20-30% reduced capacity for traffic heading down Spadina. This won't affect the 510 but the reduce capacity will result in cars backing up on east-west streets. This will slow down streetcar service along those streets.

It doesn't have to be implemented on every intersection, maybe just the side streets (U-turn signals) or streets that don't have streetcars or buses running on it. They can just leave it as is right now for major intersections. Maybe streetcars shouldn't go first, they could have an extended green, if the car ahead of them is just finished loading/unloading. (I think that's exactly what's happening now?) 

22 minutes ago, Xtrazsteve said:

A better strategy is to reduce cars downtown and placing streetcar stops further from intersections. This will allow streetcars to reach the stops without having cars blocking them on red.

Alternatively, just do pilots for every streetcar non-ROW route heading into the downtown core, and have two ways back on Adelaide and Richmond.

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1 hour ago, Kelvin3157 said:

They can have turning phases at the same time. It's called a Simultaneous left turn.

a red light with a left-turn green arrow

As for you saying "This won't work for cars in the left lane traveling straight", I don't think you saw this:

I also mentioned that once the streetcar has cleared, the bar would turn off, and it would have the protected left turn arrow on for the opposing side traffic. Through traffic for both sides should still have a red light. I also forgot in the case of both sides having a streetcar waiting to clear the intersection.

That would work in a perfect world and only one side gets priority as you said. I am having doubts it will work in TO. On King Street daily, you'll find cars on the left lane waiting to go straight while the should only be on the right lane making a right. 

1 hour ago, Kelvin3157 said:

It doesn't have to be implemented on every intersection, maybe just the side streets (U-turn signals) or streets that don't have streetcars or buses running on it. They can just leave it as is right now for major intersections. Maybe streetcars shouldn't go first, they could have an extended green, if the car ahead of them is just finished loading/unloading. (I think that's exactly what's happening now?) 

I'm not sure if Spadina or QQ have any form of transit priority. St Clair is suppose to have both extended green and truncated red. The old QQ actually have transit only phase with the while bar. Any time there is a streetcar waiting, they will get priority once any side turns red. They didn't implement that in the redesign thus it's slower for streetcars to travel on QQ today.

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5 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

That would work in a perfect world and only one side gets priority as you said. I am having doubts it will work in TO. On King Street daily, you'll find cars on the left lane waiting to go straight while the should only be on the right lane making a right. 

I'm not sure if Spadina or QQ have any form of transit priority. St Clair is suppose to have both extended green and truncated red. The old QQ actually have transit only phase with the while bar. Any time there is a streetcar waiting, they will get priority once any side turns red. They didn't implement that in the redesign thus it's slower for streetcars to travel on QQ today.

It does work. Sit at Spadina and Queen’s Quay, and watch when a southbound car arrives. Compare it to when there is no car. Then evaluate off of that observation 

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11 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

Transit priority is definitely needed but need to be implemented smartly. They should allow streetcars to go first but there is a fear that it'll cause more traffic backup on intersecting streets. Prioritizing the 510 will cause more delays on the 506, 505, 501 and 504 as they need to cycle through another phase.

Wouldn't it make sense then to leave the light cycle as is at College, Dundas, Queen, and King, and implement transit priority phases at all the rest? Surely the car doesn't need to idle at every other traffic light along the route for ages?

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12 hours ago, Kelvin3157 said:

True, it does run more infrequently than the TTC schedules. Maybe the TTC should slow down on their schedules. 3-5 minute headways isn't really helping the whole bunching situation. 

You mean run streetcars less frequently. TTC is trying to do that with the longer streetcars - for example with today's conversion of 501 (from Humber to Neville) to Flexity, frequency drops from every 4.25 minutes to every 6.5 minutes in AM peak. However 510 and 512 are running every 4 minutes at peak with the longer cars already. And on the central section of the King they run every 2.6 minutes.

How would TTC slowing down the schedule help - that would result in more people in each car. And if you do that it increases the dwell time at each stop, with people struggling to get in and out, with many being left behind.

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8 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

That would work in a perfect world and only one side gets priority as you said. I am having doubts it will work in TO. On King Street daily, you'll find cars on the left lane waiting to go straight while the should only be on the right lane making a right. 

I wrote a scenario in which if there were two streetcars on both sides.

26 minutes ago, nfitz said:

You mean run streetcars less frequently. TTC is trying to do that with the longer streetcars - for example with today's conversion of 501 (from Humber to Neville) to Flexity, frequency drops from every 4.25 minutes to every 6.5 minutes in AM peak. However 510 and 512 are running every 4 minutes at peak with the longer cars already. And on the central section of the King they run every 2.6 minutes.

How would TTC slowing down the schedule help - that would result in more people in each car. And if you do that it increases the dwell time at each stop, with people struggling to get in and out, with many being left behind.

Yeah, that's what I meant. Less frequency of service.

 

Also not related, but I think the transit signal for EB Fleet to turn onto Bathurst should be programmed in case if there's a 511 trying to turn left while a 509 is stuck behind it. Maybe if there wasn't a WB 509 car that also needs to clear the intersection then both arrows can light up

Screenshot_2019-06-23-12-06-07-1.png

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34 minutes ago, Kelvin3157 said:

Yeah, that's what I meant. Less frequency of service.

How would TTC streetcar service would improve if it was less frequent?

Sure, it's easy to avoid bunching if you don't run a frequent service - like the Ion streetcar. But that's achieved by having low demand.

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1 hour ago, nfitz said:

How would TTC streetcar service would improve if it was less frequent?

At the same time, how could TTC service improve if it was more frequent. In a heavy crowd, most people would still pile up on the first car and the second car would usually be right behind and most likely empty.

I'm not saying that by with less frequency it would improve service overall, I just mentioned how bunching could be avoided, and maybe route management might be easier. Then again, passenger volume is a factor.

1 hour ago, nfitz said:

Sure, it's easy to avoid bunching if you don't run a frequent service - like the Ion streetcar. But that's achieved by having low demand.

ION started operations 3 days ago. We can't really assume that it has low demand since it opened the day before the weekend. I would say it may run more frequently during rush hour if it does generate more demand.

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El Paso runs their PCC's every 30 minute. There is no priority system.

Tucson Runs their 66' streetcars every 15 minutes with some priority system.

Phoenix runs 2 100' LRV every 15 minutes, with 3 on some trains at peak time and special events. It has priority system with traffic lights signs turning red with no turn.

This is what we saw and rode in May

TTC needs to have priority system that the city refused to turn on as well going to Bar Signals

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

One can only hope to see bar signals for any streetcar line in Toronto since its the better way to go with. 4 out of 6 USA lines plus KW we have ridden this year had bar signals.

The first block of tracks almost in place starting at O'Conner Dr going east. From what I could see yesterday, tracks in place from Mount Dennis Station to the portal.

48610420592_f1c810c913_b.jpg48610267456_37e4013f2d_b.jpg48610266591_aba7686787_b.jpg

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1 hour ago, drum118 said:

From what I could see yesterday, tracks in place from Mount Dennis Station to the portal.

I can confirm inside and up onto the bridge  from what I could see, I cannot confirm if the tracks go into the Portal or not

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2 minutes ago, Ed T. said:

Do these really belong under TTC?

Good question. Though TTC will operate and they have (small) TTC logos on the cars.

Whether that be true by 2021 with proposed uploads ... who knows. Probably a good place-holder.

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On 8/28/2019 at 6:21 PM, Ed T. said:

Do these really belong under TTC?

All the cars for Toronto Finch & Crosstown, Hurontario and Hamilton lines are own by Metrolinx. TTC will operating Toronto cars,  Transdev For Hurontario and X for Hamilton.

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