The Toronto Transit Commission is testing a new method to improve boarding times at Bloor-Yonge Station. As of Thursday, they have added large, bright floor decals on the southbound platform to indicate where the subway doors will open.
The project, which will last six months, is meant to ease congestion on the platform and speed up passenger traffic during rush hour.
“TTC subway operators will have additional markings on the platform and in the cab of the train in order to help them line up the train’s doors and decals,” the transit website reads.
However, the doors might not always be accurately lined up since the Automatic Train Control signalling system has not yet been installed on this part of Line 1. Once implemented, the ATC system will allow all trains to stop in the same position, the TTC noted.
The floor decals are beneficial for a few reasons. The first is that it will provide better accessibility for those with mobility devices, strollers, luggage, and so on. The north end doors, which are situated closest to the elevators at this station, will be blue rather than grey to indicate this “preferred accessible boarding zone.”
During busy times, the southbound platform entrance will be temporarily closed off to further accommodate those in the accessible zone.
Secondly, by indicating where doors will open, people waiting to get on the subway will know where to leave space for passengers exiting the trains. This has long been an issue (as evidenced by public tweets) and is known to cause major subway slow downs.
However, it’s important to note that platforms fill up quickly during rush hour and when there are subway delays. In these cases, the floor decals might not be all that useful.
Explain that to this wall of people who had to get off a train and be met with another wall of people waiting for a train. pic.twitter.com/t2MiP9MlTk
— msdarth (@msdarth) February 27, 2019
And one Twitter user argued that there would be no need for these floor decals if Torontonians just used “courtesy and common sense.”
I hate that we have to tell people how to behave when it’s both courtesy and common sense. #TTC unveils floor decals telling commuters how to board trains at Bloor-Yonge station https://t.co/n0AYsxnFI0 via @torontostar
— James Ip (@JamesIp) April 18, 2019
Will these new floor decals actually improve boarding times? Only time will tell. However, the TTC noted that a similar project was tested at York University Station last fall and was successful.