TTC says it has cut down on subway delays

The subway system grinding to a halt — seemingly at the exact moment you’re in a rush to get somewhere else — is a familiar frustration for regular transit users. But according to the TTC, it’s happening a lot less often than it used to. The transit agency says that in the first three months of this year, the number of delays on the subway system was down 17.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2014, while the total duration of the stoppages was cut by 37.7 per cent. In the first quarter of this year there were 4,176 delay incidents on the TTC’s three subway lines and the Scarborough RT, totalling 7,863 minutes, or almost exactly 131 hours. The average length of each delay fell from 2.49 minutes to 1.88 minutes, according to the TTC.After a meeting of the TTC board on Thursday, TTC CEO Andy Byford said the numbers are “stellar” and show that the agency is well on its way to meeting its goal of cutting delays in half by 2019. “We’re on the glide path. We’re absolutely on target to do that,” he said. Article Continued Below“This is reflective of the work we’ve been doing over the last five years to just relentlessly identify and mitigate and drive down the root causes of delay.” According to Byford, the TTC has improved subway reliability by taking a proactive rather than reactive approach to maintenance. It’s also reduced the risk of debris blowing on to the tracks and starting fires by litter-picking trains when they get to the end of the line. In late 2014 the agency launched a public awareness campaign to deter the unwarranted use of trains’ alarms, after it found that more than two-thirds of alarms were activated for non-emergency reasons, such as someone feeling ill. The agency now employs a small team of paramedics at key stations to respond quickly to anyone who is sick in order to get trains running again as fast as possible.