Transit Spin

Apparently the Toronto Transit System is getting flak from commuters. Seems that whenever someone is late for work, they blame it on a TTC delay. The TTC wants to reassure us that the transit system is running just fine…

Today I hear on the radio that (paraphrased): using data up to the end of August, the Bloor Danforth line is running on schedule 95% of the time, and the Yonge University Spadina line is running on time 90% of the time.

What is wrong with this statement, I wonder?

  • This means that the Yonge line is running off schedule 10% of the time. That’s about 15 minutes per *day*. Problems are more likely during the two rush hours, when the system is already at capacity and all of the older, more troublesome trains are operating. 90% uptime sucks, in my experience.
  • The data used in the commentary aren’t relevant. The data runs up to the end of August. Since then, a significant number of working commuters have returned from vacation, and the school year has started, adding a large number of students to the transit system.
  • This simple statistic also doesn’t measure other information. The Yonge line is over capacity during morning rush hour. If standing at Yonge & Bloor, for example, one must often wait for several trains to pass until one with space for passengers arrives. At a minute between trains, this can add up to a personal delay even when the system is “on time”.

PR people make me laugh, or cry. I’m never quite sure which.

posted at 10:58 am on Friday, September 27, 2002 in General | Comments Off on Transit Spin

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