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TTC herders to ease bottleneck at Bloor station

Dozens of transit staff began ushering commuters to the south end of the platform today; they’ll be back from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays


Toronto —
Published on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 1:07PM EST
Last updated on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 3:31AM EST

The Toronto Transit Commission is staffing one of its worst subway bottlenecks with herders to speed up rush-hour circulation.

Monday-morning commuters at Bloor station’s southbound platform were the program’s guinea pigs as dozens of TTC employees escorted them to the other end of the platform to await the next train. It’s part of a new policy to combat what TTC spokesman Brad Ross says has become an entrenched problem: As commuters get off the Bloor-Danforth line and change trains heading south, they tend to congregate at the north end of the platform, causing a mad rush for the doors as the south end stands relatively empty.

The new TTC attendants are there to escort passengers and evenly distribute them along the platform. This should make boarding smoother, Mr. Ross says, and would ideally cut down the trains’ “dwell time” - the amount of time they stop at the station to wait for passengers to board - to 45 seconds from over a minute.

“It’s only at this station because this is where we have the most the most difficulties with dwell time and bottlenecking,” Mr. Ross said. “It’s just the way the station was designed: When you come off the Bloor-Danforth line, the north end of the platform is right there.”

Mr. Ross said these employees will merely be guiding passengers along with the aid of cordoned-off sections of platform. He added that having numerous staff members stationed there from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. every day won’t have any negative financial impact on the TTC. In fact, he said, if it does succeed in speeding up trains and getting more passengers through the system, it could end up saving money.