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Easing the bottleneck at Bloor subway station

To increase subway capacity on the heavily used Yonge subway line, TTCpersonnel last week began diverting riders along the southboundplatform of Bloor station during the morning rush.

To increase subway capacity on the heavily used Yonge subway line, TTC personnel last week began diverting riders along the southbound platform of Bloor station during the morning rush.

If the experiment succeeds in moving more people and trains through the system’s busiest station, it could be extended past Friday and maybe tried at other passenger bottlenecks.

Launched during a fare hike process that has exposed many key flaws at TTC, riders have been skeptical about this test —- but it might actually work.

By blocking access to the last few subway cars at Bloor, transit officials hope passengers can board trains faster from the less-crowded southern end of the platform.

The TTC wants to shorten the amount of time trains “dwell” in the station and send more of them through per hour. Yonge line superintendent Collie Greenwood says that so far an average of 28 trains have been stopping hourly — more than normal.

The TTC must decide this week if this change justifies the extra personnel. I visited Thursday and there were far too many supervisors, special constables, as well as police.

The numbers will drop this week, but assigning the right number of people to crowd control requires a deftness the TTC may not possess.

That said, increased subway capacity is worth a try — as is having platform staff ask riders not to block train doors.

Readers, do you think this experiment will result in faster, more efficient boarding?

Toronto-based transport writer Ed Drass covers transit issues every Monday; transit@eddrass.com.

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