Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanks a Bunch

Riders of mass transit systems know about "bunching". No bus for many minutes; then two or more buses all at once; then another multi-minute wait. Fine. It's the big city, after all. Traffic jams are worse; which, of course, can contribute to transit bus bunching.

There's another kind of bunching, which is avoidable: buses that speed and tailgate a lead bus so they don't have to pick up riders. Same goes for streetcars. A few years ago I found myself standing beside a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) inspector while I stirred my coffee in a King Street coffee shop. While chatting with the gentleman I mentioned this curious transit malady. He said: "(The drivers) are supposed to be self-governing." I asked if they all do. He just shook his head gently from side to side.

We think we might have bad bunching at times here in Toronto. As I read this morning in the Boston Globe, it's a big problem in that town.


Jon said...

Drivers call that "soaking" because you get up close behind the vehicle ahead of you, then sit back and relax while they soak up the riders. A driver who leaves ahead of schedule to catch up for that is called a "jumper".

Simon St. Laurent said...


This posting has gotten a lot of hits (by my standards). It's struck a nerve.