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TTC Absence Data, Absent TTC Content

A recent article in Chicago’s RedEye examined a possible link between chronic absenteeism and longer than usual wait times for rider during peak times. In particular,

The odds of experiencing a bad commute on the CTA are greater on Mondays and Fridays and during the run-up to rush periods, all because of canceled buses and trains, a Tribune examination of performance data has found.

A break down of the data found that the majority of cancellations occurred between 6 and 9 a.m. in the morning and 4 to 7 p.m. in the evening, coinciding nicely with peak rush.

CTA management and unions both recognize absenteeism is a significant issue, but each side is (not surprisingly) blaming the other for high absence rates.

So how does the TTC stack up? Well, the answer is not terribly clear based on what I have been able to track down in terms of TTC absence rates.

After reaching out to the TTC’s Chief Customer Service Officer, Chris Upfold, over Twitter, he emailed me the chart below.

Click to enlarge

Now, I’ve never claimed to be a statistician. In fact, I barely squeaked through by research statistics course in grad school. Given that, I felt like there wasn’t much I could wring from this chart. But, between the brains of my wife and the brains of my stats nerd work friend, I figured I could do some rough approximations.

With an almost 8 per cent absence rate in 2011, assuming a 365 day work day, I figured that this roughly equals almost 33 absences (365 x 9% = 32.85). Compare that to CTA’s 39.5 and…what?

There’s a fair number of assumptions in the TTC figure (all TTC employees compared to CTAs drivers only figure, for example). And even knowing this number and that the TTC figure is lower, where does that leave us?

That’s where I’m stuck. Without cancellations figures for the TTC (that I could find through internet digging) I don’t really have much to go on.  That, fair readers, is where I’m hoping you’ll come in.

If anyone out there can take this and build on it, please do! And let me know what you come up with, I’ll be interested to learn more.


Toronto’s Brief Affair With The Dirigible

In mid-September some of you might recall the nice piece Derek Flack did for BlogTO  on Toronto’s skyline throughout history. Now, those of you who know me will understand why one image in particular grabbed my attention: Dirigibles – who doesn’t love ’em. Based on the handwritten note at the top of the photograph, this […]

Top 10 Things I Liked About Edmonton


That’s right, folks, we are pulling up stakes, loading of the Red River cart and heading back to the bright lights of Toronto.

Yessir, we’ve had enough of this oil loving, profit at all costs province and decided to make our fortunes in a less heady economic environment.

“But Ben,” you say, “surely there must be something you liked during your stay in the Wild Rose province?”  And you’re right…so here’s my top 10 things I liked about my time in Edmonton and Alberta.  While these are kind of in order of preference, they’re not really.

Top 10 Things I Liked About Edmonton

1. William Eddins

The conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is a transplant from Minneapolis, so he gets bonus points right there.  He had a terrific way of connecting with the audience and creating a relaxed atmosphere.  Plus, the exuberance with which he conducted was contagious and you couldn’t help but be engaged – and he gets major bonus points for the “bum wiggling” incident.

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