Thoughts on Züm IIThis morning myself and @mfac19 were the third and fourth passengers on the first ever Züm departure from Brampton Terminal to York University at 4:45am. There was much fanfare and we all got swag. I am now near Islington heading back home, and here are a few thoughts:
Until non-TTC buses start using the busway, there is no point in running to Downsview. The 196 on the busway is so much faster than VIVA Orange in mixed traffic that it more than makes up for the transfer. Coincidentally, this was my first time using the busway.
Züm buses don't show up on the next-bus displays on VIVA stations, but I suppose this will offer a pleasant surprise for anyone waiting for VIVA Orange since the actual wait will be less than half what is displayed. Likely this won't change unless the systems are fully amalgamated because of the back-end technology at play.
Buses running before 5:00 am in Brampton get crush loaded with actual people going to actual places. Who knew?
The vehicles have stop strips instead of cords and yet another style of door opening mechanism, so this might confuse some riders.
A lady wanted to alight at a non-Züm stop, and the driver was nice enough to comply. He did remind her that it wasn't a regular stop, and he told the same to the lady who asked to board at that same location. This is an issue for the first few weeks of any new express service, but I'm glad to see that good customer service is prevailing.
The new terminal at Bramalea City Centre is spacious and it appears that each route will get its own platform. It's much brighter at 5:00 than the old one was at any time of day.
Keeping in mind that I've only experienced pre-dawn and counter-peak service, the route feels faster than the old 1 + 77 combo. Granted, it is faster, but it also *feels* faster.
Time will tell how successful the service will become, but I think they've succeeded in putting in a fast, frequent and comfortable service. There's plenty of finishing touches left, but the product they've delivered is great.