The TTC says that subway service on Line 1 has begun to improve during peak periods, thanks to the use of empty trains that are brought into service as necessary to alleviate overcrowding.

The so-called “gap trains” were first deployed on Line 1 as part of a 10-point plan to reduce overcrowding following a rash of significant service delays last winter.

At first there were just two addition trains deployed to Line 1 during the morning rush hour but now the TTC has three additional trains with plans to add a fourth as of Nov. 19.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, the additional trains mean that the TTC is now able to run 28 vehicles through Bloor-Yonge and St. George stations per hour on certain days. The previous average was 25.5.

“A gap train is basically a train we have off to the side either in a centre track or pocket track and then we can insert them into the flow of trains southbound through Bloor-Yonge Station when we have a gap in service or just want to increase the throughput through that station,” the TTC’s acting chief operating officer Jim Ross told CP24 on Thursday afternoon. “We have absolutely seen an improvement in morning service as a result.”

Ross said that about 28,000 people travel through Bloor-Yonge Station between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. every weekday.

He said that while crowding situations often arise as a result of service delays and other things outside of the TTC’s control, the gap trains can help to quickly clear a platform when service resumes.