Sizing Up The TTC - The Intrepid

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sizing Up The TTC

North American Subway Systems

Although the TTC is the third most heavily used transit system in North America, its design has more in common with the continent's low traffic systems than its high ones. To illustrate this point, let's compare the TTC's subway and streetcar system to several of Bill Rankin's to scale transit maps.

Toronto's TTC
Type: Subway
Size: 4 Lines, 69 Stations, 700 subway cars, 68.3 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 1.2 million (third most heavily-used urban mass transit system in North America).
Fare: Current cash fare: $2.75 (set to increase to $3.00 on January 3, 2010).
Toronto Subway System

Vancouver's TransLink System
Type: Elevated Train
Size: 3 Lines, 47 Stations, 298 subway cars, 68.7 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 354,000
Fare: Zoned system. One zone: $2.50 Two zones: $3.75 Three zones: $5.00
Vancouver Transit System

New York City's MTA
Type: Subway
Size: 26 Lines, 468 Stations, 6,332 subway cars, 1,056 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 5.2 million (largest system in North America).
Fare: $2.25 US ($2.37 CND).
New York Subway System

Montreal's STM
Type: Subway
Size: 4 Lines, 68 Stations, 759 subway cars, 65.33 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 1 million.
Fare: $2.75.
Montreal Metro

Chicago's CTA
Type: Elevated Train, Surface, and Subway
Size: 8 Lines, 144 Stations, 1190 subway cars, 170.8 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 640,000
Fare: $2.25 US ($2.37 CND).
Chicago Subway System


Mexico City's STC Metro

Type: Elevated Train, Surface, and Subway
Size: 11 Lines, 144 Stations, 451 km of track.
Customers Per Day: 3.8 million (the second largest metro system in North America).
Fare: $0.15 US ($0.15 CND) (Not a typo).
Mexico City Subway System

Compared to New York or Chicago, the TTC's rail network is relatively sparse with few overlaps. And like most North American transit systems, the TTC is designed around a hub (the "U" of the Spadina-Yonge line), with spokes extending into suburbs. The only systems that buck this convention are New York's and Mexico City's, which are both more like transit nets.

For its size, the TTC's rail network covers a relatively small area with few stations. In terms of population, Chicago is about the same size as Toronto, but the CTA's rail network is almost three times the size of the TTC's, and it only has half the daily ridership.

To see how the TTC compares to other North American transit systems check out Bill Rankin's full map collection. [PDF]

Images by Bill Rankin.

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