Meeting Date: February 25, 2004

Subject: Post-Implementation Reviews: 9 Bellamy, 80 Queensway, 112 West Mall, And 194 Zoo Rocket

Recommendations

It is recommended that the Commission:

1. Approve the elimination of the following services, effective June 20, 2004, because of low ridership and unacceptable financial performance:

• Saturday early evening service on the 9 Bellamy route;

• Summer Sunday and holiday daytime service between Keele Station and the western beaches on the 80 Queensway route;

• Sunday daytime service on the 112C West Mall route north of Eglinton Avenue; and

• Summer express service to the Toronto Zoo on the 194 Zoo Rocket route.

1. Forward this report to City of Toronto Councillors Altobello, Ashton, Cho, Cowbourne, De Baeremaeker, Ford, Holyday, Saundercook, and Watson.

Funding

The elimination of these trial services with poor financial performance will result in annual savings of approximately $120,000 in net direct costs.

Background

This report is the post-implementation review of four new services, which were introduced in 2001 and 2003. Two of the services were the result of recommendations in the report, Service Improvements for 2000-2001, and two services were the result of a Commission direction at its meeting of May 14, 2003.

Discussion

The TTC uses a formal process for planning and evaluating service changes based on a set of Commission-approved service standards. Every new service that the TTC introduces is initially operated on a trial basis. After the trial period, when ridership on the service has approached a mature state, passenger counts are taken, the performance of the route is reviewed, and a recommendation is made regarding its future. All service changes are reviewed to ensure that the original objective of better service for customers has been met. New routes and extensions, which have been introduced at an additional cost, undergo a ridership and financial review to check that the service has met established standards of acceptable financial performance. The overall review also considers comments that have been received from customers and the community, and the experience that has been gained in operating the service.

A service change, which has met its performance objectives, is recommended to be made a regular part of the TTC system. If a service change has been unsuccessful in some way, then a recommendation is made to either make further changes for another trial period or to remove the service.
The compulsory post-implementation review of every trial of a service change ensures that the success or failure of every service change is assessed consistently and fairly, and that there is full accountability to the Commission on matters which affect the service that is provided to customers.
Most service changes are successful, in that they attract as many or more people than projected, and have a financial performance that meets the TTC’s minimum requirement. Of the 45 trial service changes made since 1998, 37 of the changes have been successful in their post-implementation review, and are now a regular part of the TTC system. The post-implementation reviews of the successful trial service changes are usually included in the annual report on Service Improvements. The small number of unsuccessful trial services are reported to the Commission separately, as in this report.
9 Bellamy – Saturday early evening service

New Saturday early evening service on the 9 Bellamy route was introduced in January 2001. The service operates once every hour until approximately 10:00 p.m., Exhibit 1 attached, is a map of the route. The new service was introduced as one of the service changes recommended in the report on Service Improvements for 2000-2001. Before this service change was made, Saturday service on the 9 Bellamy route operated only until approximately 7:00 p.m.
It was projected in the report on Service Improvements for 2000-2001 that the new Saturday early evening service, between approximately 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., would be used by approximately 160 customer-trips each Saturday night, and that approximately 40 of these would be new to the TTC. Counts of passengers on the new service show that approximately 70 customer-trips are made each Saturday night on the service. This ridership is lower than the projected ridership.
The operation of the new service has increased net direct operating costs by approximately $6,400 each year, as one bus was added to operate the service. The new service attracts 0.13 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost, which does not meet the TTC’s minimum standard of financial performance of 0.23 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost.

No changes have been found which would improve the financial performance of the service enough to allow it to meet the minimum financial standard. The service cannot be made less frequent, because only one bus is used on this service. Increasing service, so that buses would run every 30 minutes instead of every 60 minutes, would increase ridership. However, the increase in ridership would be less than the increase in operating costs, which would double. As a result, the financial performance would be made worse if service were increased.

Because the service has an unacceptable financial performance, and no service changes have been identified which would bring the service to an acceptable level of financial performance, Saturday early evening service on the 9 Bellamy route should be eliminated. The last day of service would be Saturday, June 13, 2004.
With the elimination of Saturday early evening service on the 9 Bellamy route, customers who use the service would travel instead on the nearby 102 Markham Rd, 16 McCowan, 116 Morningside, 86 Scarborough, 54 Lawrence East, 95 York Mills, 133 Neilson, 38 Highland Creek, 131 Nugget, or 129 McCowan North routes.
80 Queensway – Summer Sunday and Holiday Service to Western Beaches
New Sunday and holiday daytime service on the 80 Queensway (Keele Station-Sherway) route, to provide direct service from Keele Station to the western beaches in the summer, was introduced in June 2003, as directed by the Commission at its May 14, 2003 meeting. Service was operated on Sundays and holidays from June 22 to September 1, 2003. Before this service change was made, service on Sundays and holidays operated only west of Humber Loop, on the 80B Queensway (Humber Loop-Sherway) branch.

Summer Sunday and holiday daytime service to the western beaches was operated in the summers of 1999 and 2000 as a result of recommendations in the 1999 Service Plan. After these trial periods of operation, service was eliminated because of low ridership and unacceptable financial performance.
In 2003, the new Sunday and holiday service operated every 30 minutes, between approximately 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Exhibit 2, attached, is a map of the route. Counts of passengers show that approximately 130 customer-trips were made each Sunday to travel to or from Parkside Drive and the western beaches. The operation of the new service has increased net direct operating costs by approximately $7,000 for the season, as one bus was added to operate the service. The service attracted 0.06 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost, which does not meet the TTC’s minimum standard of financial performance of 0.23 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost.

No changes have been found which would improve the financial performance of the service enough to allow it to meet the minimum financial standard. If the service were made less frequent, so that buses operated once per hour instead of once every 30 minutes, customers on the busier part of the route, west of Humber Loop, would have a significant inconvenience, and overall ridership on the route would be reduced. Reducing the hours of operation, so that service starts later in the morning and ends early in the evening, was tried in 2000, after the poor financial performance of the service in the summer of 1999. Even with reduced hours of operation in 2000, the service continued to have a poor financial performance.

Because the service has an unacceptable financial performance, and no service changes have been identified which would bring the service to an acceptable level of financial performance, summer Sunday and holiday service on the 80 Queensway route should be discontinued, and should not be operated in the summer of 2004.
With the elimination of summer Sunday and holiday service between Keele Station and the western beaches, customers who use the service would travel instead on the nearby 501 Queen, 77 Swansea, and 504 King routes.

112C West Mall – Limited Sunday and holiday service north of Eglinton Avenue

New Sunday daytime service north of Eglinton Avenue on the 112C West Mall (Kipling Station-Disco Road) route was introduced in January 2001. One bus was added, and the service operates every 24 minutes, between approximately 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Exhibit 3, attached, is a map of the route. The new service was introduced as one of the service changes recommended in the report on Service Improvements for 2000-2001. Before this service change was made, Sunday service operated as far north as Eglinton Avenue only, on the 112A (Kipling Stn-Eglinton) branch.

It was projected in the report on Service Improvements for 2000-2001 that the new Sunday and holiday daytime service north of Eglinton Avenue would be used by approximately 150 customer-trips each day, all of which were projected to be new to the TTC. Counts of passengers in the fall of 2001 showed that approximately 110 customer-trips were made on the new service. Ridership was, therefore, less than projected. The operation of the new service increased net direct operating costs, because one bus was added to operate the service. Results from the fall of 2001 showed that the Sunday service attracted 0.14 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost, which did not meet the TTC’s minimum standard of financial performance of 0.23 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost.
Staff evaluated whether any route or service changes could be made which would improve the financial performance of the new service. Several lightly-used trips in the early morning and late afternoon were eliminated, in January 2003. A new ridership count, taken later in 2003, shows that the service north of Eglinton Avenue is used by approximately 80 customer-trips each day.

The operation of the scaled-back service has increased operating costs by approximately $11,600 each year. The service attracts 0.09 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost, which does not meet the TTC’s minimum standard of financial performance of 0.23 new customer-trips per dollar of added direct cost.
No further changes have been found which would improve the financial performance of the service enough to allow it to meet the minimum financial standard. The service cannot be made less frequent, because it will adversely affect customers currently using the service south of Eglinton Avenue.

Because the service has an unacceptable financial performance, and no service changes have been identified which would bring the service to an acceptable level of financial performance, Sunday daytime service on the 112C West Mall route, north of Eglinton Avenue, should be eliminated. The last day of service would be Sunday, June 13, 2004.

With the elimination of Sunday service north of Eglinton Avenue on the 112C West Mall route, customers who use the service would travel instead on the 112A West Mall, 32 Eglinton West, or the 58 Malton routes. There would be no change to service levels on the 112A West Mall route south of Eglinton Avenue.
194 Zoo Rocket – Summer express service to Toronto Zoo

New express service from Scarborough Centre Station to the Toronto Zoo was introduced in June 2003, as directed by the Commission at its May 14, 2003 meeting. Service was operated every day from June 22 to September 1, 2003 on a new 194 Zoo Rocket route. Exhibit 4 is a map of this route. The new service operated every 20 minutes, every day, between approximately 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Buses stopped only at Scarborough Centre Station, Sheppard Avenue & Meadowvale Road, and the Toronto Zoo. Before this service change was made, summer service to the Toronto Zoo was operated every day on the 86A Scarborough (Kennedy Station-Toronto Zoo) local bus route, and was supplemented on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays by the 85 Sheppard East local bus route. No changes were made to service on the 86A Scarborough or 85 Sheppard East routes when the 194 Zoo Rocket route was introduced.

Counts of passengers (Table 1, below) show that approximately 370 customer-trips each weekday, 430 customer-trips each Saturday, and 470 customer-trips each Sunday were made to or from the Zoo on the new service. Most of these passengers previously used the 86 Scarborough route. While count information for a seasonal service such as this is subject to variation as a result of weather, events at the Zoo, and changes to the transit network, the counts show that there are few new transit customers travelling to the Zoo in 2003 compared to previous years.

Buses on the 194 Zoo Rocket route were relatively lightly used at all times. During the busiest single hour of service on the route, the average number of customers per bus was 26. Approximately 70 per cent of the trips on the 194 Zoo Rocket route ran with fewer than 10 customers on board. This is significantly below the level of usage of most other TTC bus routes, where the average number of customers per bus is planned to be 36 customers per bus at off-peak times, and 57 customers per bus during the peak periods.

The new express service has increased direct operating costs by approximately $96,000 for the season, as two buses were required to operate the service. Few new customers were attracted to the TTC as a result of the new 194 Zoo Rocket service and, because there has been an increase in operating costs and no substantial increase in ridership, the trial service does not meet the TTC’s standard of acceptable financial performance.
No changes have been found which would improve the financial performance of the service enough to allow it to meet the minimum financial standard. If the service were made less frequent, so that buses operated once every 40 minutes instead of once every 20 minutes, ridership would decline further, there would still be no new customers attracted to the TTC by the service, and the financial performance of the route would remain unacceptable.
Because the service has an unacceptable financial performance, and no service changes have been identified which would bring the service to an acceptable level of financial performance, the 194 Zoo Rocket service should be discontinued, and should not be operated in the summer of 2004.
With the elimination of the 194 Zoo Rocket route, customers who used the service would travel instead on the long-established 86A Scarborough or 85 Sheppard East services to the Zoo.

Justification

The post-implementation review of the trial period of operation of new services is an important part of the TTC’s service standards. The four services, which are recommended for elimination because they have unacceptable performance, are:

• 9 Bellamy Saturday early evening service;

• 80 Queensway summer Sunday and holiday service to the western beaches;

• 112 West Mall Sunday service north of Eglinton Avenue; and

• 194 Zoo Rocket summer express service to Toronto Zoo

Further changes to these services have been evaluated, and none have been found which would improve the financial performance of these routes to an acceptable level. Because of the unacceptable financial performance, and because the continued operation of these services would worsen the TTC’s financial situation, these services should be eliminated.

February 19, 2004

11-55-51/43/57

Attachment: Exhibit 1 – 9 Bellamy route map

Exhibit 2 – 80 Queensway route map

Exhibit 3 – 112 West Mall route map

Exhibit 4 – 194 Zoo Rocket route map