TTC tunnel work progressing well
This is likely the last weekend subway riders on the Bloor-Danforth (or Green) line must deal with diverting trains.
TTC tunnel reconstruction is progressing well enough that after this Saturday and Sunday, service should return to normal.
It’s the final opportunity to glimpse the “ghost station” known as Bay Lower — at least until an open house takes place later this year. Trains have been travelling on rarely used track between Yonge station on the Green line and Museum station on the Yellow line.
For those with no wish to see the phantom stop, I have a tip that may smooth your journey. If you’re coming from the west, and you want to go downtown, don’t aim for the Yonge-Bloor interchange. Instead, “use the U” — the loop at the bottom of the Yellow line.
To reach stations along University Avenue and Yonge Street, transfer at Museum to a southbound train destined for Finch.
This will take you through Union Station and then north.
This could save time as most weekend trains have been running slower and less frequently.
Although regulars have got the hang of this unique detour, occasional TTC users may still become confused.
Transit staff positioned along the platform at Museum will have to continue their patient answering of questions, although perhaps too few employees are similarly available at St. George station.
The tunnel project is an opportunity to see how well the TTC communicates with patrons in an unusual situation. There was inevitably a good number of Green line riders who did not grasp what was happening until they were shooed off the trains at Museum — but I feel the communication effort has been reasonably well executed.
Those most likely to disagree are people who needed help in other languages — as well as riders caught in the chaos on the first Saturday of the diversion.
When signal problems temporarily stopped Bloor subway service on February 24, many riders did not get the message soon enough to make alternate plans.
Speakers in some stations weren’t loud or clear enough, making it hard to tell what was happening.
Whenever a section of subway is closed, a shuttle service is created by taking buses from regular routes.
And yet riders on those routes are rarely warned — even while waiting in station terminals.
Learning from this subway exercise, it’s time for the TTC to craft a communication strategy that also helps streetcar and bus riders cope with unexpected disruptions to service.