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TTC officially unveils its new Bombardier streetcars

Posted by Chris Bateman / November 15, 2012

Bombardier streetcarsThe TTC officially peeled most of the wrapping off one of its new streetcars this morning, giving members of the press a chance to poke around and coo over a working version of the cars that are due in working service on Toronto's streets in roughly a year.

Maybe it's the LED lights, clean seats, and shiny, unscuffed bodywork, but sitting along side an example of each of its predecessors - a Peter Witt car, PCC, and CLRV, the vehicles currently making the rounds in Toronto - the Bombardier machines look remarkably futuristic.

Bombardier streetcarsPerhaps the most noticeable difference is the sheer size of these new streetcars. Standing next to one at street level really gives a sense of just how much more space there is inside. In terms of riding experience, multiple Presto readers will finally give transit users a chance to board via any door and pay without cash across system in earnest.

The next step is the first road test scheduled for early next year. TTC CEO Andy Byford says Torontonians will be able to see the new vehicles tentatively making their way along existing streetcar routes in January. You won't be able to board just yet; the testing phase will be used solely to identify any potential issues with reliability and handling.

"We think we've got the design right but there's bound to be some minor points we'll need to change," says Byford. "I'm confident that at the end of 2013 we'll be able to say to Bombardier 'go ahead, start manufacturing' and we'll start the roll out of vehicles in 2014. We'll completely replace the existing fleet within four years."

"It's once in a generation really ... it's a key piece in the jigsaw of our modernization at the TTC and it's demonstrable proof that we're serious about improving customer satisfaction."20121115-streetcar-int-length.jpgGive us your thoughts on the new streetcars below. Are you excited to finally see Toronto's aging surface transit fleet get replaced? Will you miss the CLRVs and ALRVs?


  • Carbody width: 2.54 metres
  • Vehicle length: 30.2 m
  • Number of seats: 70
  • Standing room: 62 (average)/181 (maximum)
  • Maximum speed: 70 km/h
  • Horizontal curve radius: 11.5 m
  • Number of motors: 6 (one per axle)
  • Bonus features: AC, wheelchair access, bike-friendly area, CCTV, and emergency alarms


Bombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarstoronto new streetcarBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsBombardier streetcarsPhotos: Derek Flack and Chris Bateman/blogTO



Bobo / November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm
These look great aside from the seating arrangement. Never understood why the TTC doesn't just go for benches down the sides with no upholstery. Easier to build, fit more people on board, and easier to maintain.
Andrew / November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm
Not looking forward to the face to face seating...otherwise I love the new look.
Jordan / November 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Get rid of the face to face seating and use the traditional red fabric on the seats.
js / November 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm
oh no, forward facing 4some seating.... we're going to have to awkwardly sit and try not to look at strangers in the eye! How will Torontonians manage? I predict an uproar :P

AH replying to a comment from Andrew / November 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Totally agree...the face to face seating is a bad idea.
qqwe / November 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm
I still don't understand how the payment works. It looks like anyone can get on for free because the driver is in his little cabin.
n / November 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm
looks like not enough room for my knees in those seats facing each other. those don't work not because you have to avoid looking at strangers, but because there is just not enough room to stretch your legs.
Brandon / November 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Are you sure Mayor Ford can fit through a carbody width of only 2.54 metres? Oh wait, nevermind... he'll never be riding a streetcar anyways.
jer replying to a comment from qqwe / November 15, 2012 at 01:01 pm
From my understanding they are going to a "proof of payment" type system. If you pay with cash/token you will get a transfer. Inspectors will come on the car and check for POP (either pass/ticket or presto ). I think it works like this on some lines already (you can get in through the rear doors).
Bartek replying to a comment from qqwe / November 15, 2012 at 01:04 pm
It's called Proof of Payment (POP). You can find more information about how the TTC uses it already: http://www.ttc.ca/Fares_and_passes/Fare_information/Proof_of_payment.jsp

Most places around the world use this. They'll have officers on board random trains/streetcars and do a check. In most cases, they use a hand-sized machine to scan your card to validate it's a valid fare for the journey.
Rich replying to a comment from jer / November 15, 2012 at 01:05 pm
Nice, now the inspectors will have something to do rather then standing on street corners or drinking coffee in the breakrooms with their thumbs up their arses.
Brock / November 15, 2012 at 01:05 pm
Not looking forward to the seating plan. I don't mind facing people but looks like a tight squeeze for long-legged people. Lots of bumping knees and not in a good way.
W. K. Lis / November 15, 2012 at 01:11 pm
Increase the width of the fabric on the single seats. Other than that, they look great. The bogie skirts will be a great addition, should reduce some noise from the wheels. Too bad they didn't put bogie skirts on the old vehicles.
cathy / November 15, 2012 at 01:15 pm
Those facing seats are an invitation to jerks to put their dirty feet up. They're going to be filthy.

And that aisle looks way too narrow. Is it bigger in person? Because if not the jerks with the backpacks are going to be jamming things up even more than they already do.

I have very little faith in the courtesy of TTC riders, obviously.
Kool-aid man / November 15, 2012 at 01:15 pm
That aisle up the middle looks way too narrow. It is bad enough now trying to get past people...this looks even worse. Blech.
Joe / November 15, 2012 at 01:19 pm
Will Presto be implemented system wide by that time?
crealc / November 15, 2012 at 01:20 pm
I'm still concerned about the open door signals, they are still seriously weak as hell. Little LEDs light up as the doors slide open almost flush with the body. Worse than the current versions.
T Ronto / November 15, 2012 at 01:25 pm
I can't wait to pee on these!
Chris / November 15, 2012 at 01:29 pm
I would love to hear the explanations for the various design elements.

Seats facing each other don't have space under the seats so you can tuck your feet back and under if somebody sits in front. If you've been on one of the few seats on the GO train like this then you would know it doesn't make for a comfortable ride. The inconsiderate will now take 4 seats as opposed to the 2 now.

The aisles, based on the the 9th photo, look like they are 2 to 2.5 feet wide. A single person will block the aisle.

Fare evasion cost the TTC $22 million in 2010. It will only rise because of this new design. The driver is in no position to check fares as people enter any door. Honest people will start to question why they are subsidizing the others. Perhaps they haven't told us yet that they are going to implement a Sao Paulo bus type turnstyle and employee a second person on each streetcar.
Gooooo / November 15, 2012 at 01:29 pm
Did GO Train assist in the design?

If so, when these are 15 mintues late, will i get a refund?
Bureaucrat / November 15, 2012 at 01:29 pm
wow. took only 30 years to modernize from the p.o.s. currently on the road.

TTC is quebec-like in its waste and backwardness, until AB showed up.

i wish him the best of luck modernizing this monolithic organization
qqwe replying to a comment from Bartek / November 15, 2012 at 01:31 pm
I've been using the streetcars like the 501 that use POP for 20 years and not once have I ever seen anyone check anyones ticket. We're on there like sardines and there's barely any room to get off the streetcar let alone check everyones fare.
Jason / November 15, 2012 at 01:40 pm
Several comments:

1. Aisles look too narrow.
2. Face to face seats are an invitation for uncharitable riders (of which there are a surprising number) to take up two or more seats.
3. The lights on the top of the streetcar appear bright blue in one photo (this would be good) and red in another. If red, they will not be distinguishable at a distance at night from other vehicles. Not a deal breaker, but it's handy to be able to see if a street car is coming down the pike so you can determine to jump in a cab, walk to the next stop, etc.
4. The new doors open flush to the car, which means that unaware drivers will have that much less notice that passengers are debarking. I'm not aware of anyone dying in Toronto while debarking a street car, but I would not be surprised if it had happened nor will I be surprised when it inevitably does. Bombardier and the TTC should make better notice to car drivers a major priority.
David / November 15, 2012 at 01:48 pm
I'm curious to know if these new cars will be able to make the turn from Gerrard to Parliament and again from Parliament to Carlton. The 506 doesn't currently use the two car streetcars because of these two turns (or so I've been told).
Chris replying to a comment from Bartek / November 15, 2012 at 01:49 pm
Has anybody seen enforcement of POP on the TTC? Have there been any studies or reports of how POP is working with the TTC? Once they take away the monthly pass and replace it with Presto the evasion is going to go up because its that much easier just not to pay.

POP works easily on GO Transit because the stops are far apart, enforcement is regular, and it can and is done during rush hour.

Kyle / November 15, 2012 at 01:49 pm
The decision to use the face to face seating was made by an idiot.
Deric / November 15, 2012 at 01:53 pm
Just watched this: http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/toronto/citynews/news/video/236283--ttc-s-brad-ross-explains-payment-system-for-new-streetcars

It's Brad Ross from the TTC explaining that as we all suspected, all 11 streetcar lines will go to a POP system. There will be a machine on board to insert cash and get a ticket/transfer as a proof of payment.

This is a TERRIBLE idea. Aside from the fact there as someone mentioned above, there is no way inspectors will be able to inspect a full car, think of the wasted time when tons of people are boarding, and there's a line up out the door from people trying to get the machine to work. What about when the machine is broken?

One step forward, two steps back.
mezimeen / November 15, 2012 at 01:53 pm
Two problems:
1. seats that face each other (like the go-train) are awful.
2. White surfaces? uh...good luck with that.
Botch / November 15, 2012 at 01:57 pm
Love the look of these from the outside, and having them so low to the ground will be nice. I bet it will be better for the drivers too, sometimes when I'm biking I wonder how well they can see me from all the way up there.

Face to face seating would be alright if it wasn't all the way through the car, just one or two sets of four...
Chris on Bay St replying to a comment from Chris / November 15, 2012 at 02:02 pm
Good questions! In 8 years riding public transit in Toronto I have NEVER been asked to show POP. The only instance I can remember was when I was riding Ottawa transpo in the late 1990s.
Tommy replying to a comment from Bureaucrat / November 15, 2012 at 02:20 pm
What the heck are you talking about?! These new streetcars have been on the agenda LONG before Byford showed up!

The seats have to face each other because of the low-floor design - there needs to be space for the engines/bogies/etc... It's not so bad though. York region's Viva has the same thing, and people are generally fine with letting people squeeze in (this is a big deal, cause I usually find 905 riders to be more selfish than TTC riders). Feet on the seats is going to be bad though. I hope the fare-checkers keep their eye out for this, as well as backpackers blocking the aisle.

I really hope the doors open faster than on the new generation of TTC buses and the new subway. Orion and Bombardier really screwed the pooch on those crappy doors, and loading/unloading times have been getting progressively worse.
lowerz / November 15, 2012 at 02:28 pm
Face-to-face seating has been used on GO trains for decades. Get over it, you idiots.
alanmichaels replying to a comment from lowerz / November 15, 2012 at 02:34 pm
Calling us all idiots, that's very intelligent of you. The reason face-to-face seating is used on GO trains is because trains can go in EITHER DIRECTION. A streetcar on the other hand only moves FORWARD. It is a ridiculous decision to make half the seats face backwards. I encourage everyone to contact the TTC and let them know how you feel. (I've already submitted my complaint.)
Bright Side / November 15, 2012 at 02:35 pm
No advertising boards on the inside!
AV replying to a comment from lowerz / November 15, 2012 at 02:38 pm
GO Train riders and TTC riders are two completely different beasts sport.
McRib replying to a comment from alanmichaels / November 15, 2012 at 02:47 pm
yeah and I'm sure they will give your complaint the amount of attention it deserves. zero.

Sean / November 15, 2012 at 02:48 pm
No fan of the face-to-face seating.

Of course TTC never asked for OUR opinion! Nooo. I'll stick with my pickup truck for the time being.
Ugh / November 15, 2012 at 02:51 pm
YIKES! Those rear-facing seats are disaster. They're bad enough with reasonably sociable GO riders but try sharing squishy leg room with the grumpy smelly person on the TTC.

Also.. where are my single seats?? Boo. And where do they expect to squeeze the standing-room only cattle in there? Looks like half the aisle is given to wider-girth seating.
DA / November 15, 2012 at 02:52 pm
Face to face seating! Awesome. I can't wait to meet new people. After all, a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet.
skbue replying to a comment from Sean / November 15, 2012 at 02:53 pm
Not true. They did solicit opinions over a year ago.
p / November 15, 2012 at 02:54 pm
Who cares.
SA / November 15, 2012 at 02:57 pm
i cant wait to trip and fall trying to climb out of those face to face (a.k.a.knee to knee, tangle of feet) seats that have a step up. EPIC FAIL.
the lemur replying to a comment from alanmichaels / November 15, 2012 at 03:16 pm
'A streetcar on the other hand only moves FORWARD'

At the moment, yes. But these new streetcars will be double-ended and eventually be converted to pantograph instead of poles, enabling them to reverse and eliminating the need for loops.
EW / November 15, 2012 at 03:18 pm
Before the Bed Bugs.
Elvis / November 15, 2012 at 03:19 pm
Also regarding the face-to-face seats. People are going to put their feet up on the seat in front of them making those seat unusable because they will be shit all over it.
the lemur replying to a comment from the lemur / November 15, 2012 at 03:20 pm
Hmm, it seems they aren't double-ended in terms of controls. However, there is no real problem with rear-facing seats.
Mike I replying to a comment from qqwe / November 15, 2012 at 03:23 pm
When the new streetcars are put on the lines, the line will also convert to a Proof of Payment system, same as is already on Queen Street during the day. That is - you can enter without displaying fare media such as a transfer or pass, as long as you have it with you. There will be a token machine on board for those whom wish to pay with cash.
Za-Moon-Da / November 15, 2012 at 03:25 pm
For those of you complaining about the seating plan, you have another option; standing.
SousedBergin / November 15, 2012 at 03:25 pm
No advertisements + increased fair evasion = more fare hikes.

Good job, good effort.
Kelly / November 15, 2012 at 03:28 pm
It's great that these are wheelchair accessible, and baby stroller-friendly, but where are the seats that flip up to accomodate these items? Everything looks solid state (and for people with skinny behinds!)
Sophia / November 15, 2012 at 03:35 pm
Once I was at the library sitting facing a stranger and he let his penis hang out of his shorts and touched it while staring at me.
skube / November 15, 2012 at 03:37 pm
For what's it's worth, I have NEVER seen anyone ask to see POP.

The Good:
- 4(!) low-floor doors - instead of 2 - for fast (un)loading
- ramp enabled
- payment by debit or credit
- on board bicycle storage racks (inside)
- auto fold-up seats gives more standing room
- twice the capacity of existing (non-articulated) cars
- air conditioned

The Bad:
- doors don't open outward and don't have stop signs which help to stop traffic (why doesn't the "Do Not Pass" signage light up or something?)
- longer cars means longer wait times bewteen cars
- inefficient face-to-face and knee-to-knee seating
the lemur replying to a comment from SousedBergin / November 15, 2012 at 03:40 pm
Ads on the outside = more ad revenue.
the lemur replying to a comment from Kelly / November 15, 2012 at 03:40 pm
There's enough space that nothing needs to be flipped up.
mike / November 15, 2012 at 03:43 pm
to all the face-to-face seating complainers, please grow up... or grow a pair.
graavy replying to a comment from Ugh / November 15, 2012 at 03:44 pm
"wider-girth seating"

I'd recommend we call it Rob-Ford-friendly seating, but who are we kidding... he's never riding a streetcar.
Rob / November 15, 2012 at 04:02 pm
Fuck it, give me the old maroon ones back
SousedBergin replying to a comment from the lemur / November 15, 2012 at 04:03 pm
Covered in ads like Ryan Air. Squeeze the pennies out of it. Should automatically deduct tolls from the cars around it.
lowrez replying to a comment from alanmichaels / November 15, 2012 at 04:07 pm
You are an antisocial loser. Good luck driving to avoid the poors that you would otherwise have to look at / acknowledge by sitting across from them.
Shannon replying to a comment from qqwe / November 15, 2012 at 04:09 pm
I have also rode the 501 for 10 years and never once been ticket checked. On the GO train yes, on the streetcar no. Hard to check people when you can barely squeeze a leg in during rush hour!

It will probably be mostly the same. If you pay by cash it will be a counted box that issues a PoP, Presto's will be scanned. Honour system as always. But more room for ticket checkers on the new boats!
lizzy / November 15, 2012 at 04:10 pm
I can't believe people are complaining about face to face seating. Are we really that scared of interacting? I take the GO train all the time and no one seems to have an issue with face to face seating. To make an argument saying GO train riders and TTC riders are totally different people? Who cares?!?
Get used to having to make awkward eye contact with people. And if you don't like it - STAND!

The ticket machine on the streetcar does concern me though. What if someone doesn't know how to use the machine? Or the machine goes down? Wouldn't that hold up the line to get on the streetcar and distract the operator from keeping it moving?
I think the TTC should keep that issue in mind - but Metrolinx needs to smarten up and make more self-serve Presto machines as well as upgrade the system to allow an instant credit to your Presto card when you fill the e-purse online.
vampchick21 / November 15, 2012 at 04:15 pm
Wow, lots of people just like to do nothing but complain, complain, complain. Kinda, well, depressing really.
Phil / November 15, 2012 at 04:30 pm
I also think that the "do not pass" lights on the back are too weak. Why don't they have a "STOP" sign on the back that would light up when drivers are required to stop? Why not just make it clear.
Face2Face / November 15, 2012 at 04:33 pm
If anyone taller than a 5 feet is sitting face to face in those seats, their knees will be touching. I am over 6 feet tall. My knees will be in the opposite rider's crotch. On the plus side, maybe this will encourage some hot random scissoring action.
W. K. Lis / November 15, 2012 at 04:34 pm
Those face to face seats seem to be located over the wheel-wells. On the old streetcars, the floors were level over the wheels. Since they are low-floor, the wheels have to go somewhere hence the face to face seats over the wheels. You know "wheels", invented by some distance ancestor.
the lemur replying to a comment from Kelly / November 15, 2012 at 04:39 pm
Actually, I'm wrong about that too. Turns out they do have flip-up seats:

Khristopher / November 15, 2012 at 05:15 pm
That face to face seating is awful. Not because I'll have to look at someone, but how the hell will 4 people fit their feet there?
Please TTC, keep these things running in good condition, and CLEAN THEM. Your current streetcars are always dirty, and look like they haven't been cleaned in years. No wonder people get sick!
Ace McNugget / November 15, 2012 at 05:24 pm
I'm still shaking my head in disbelief at the morons in the TTC who are not only persisting in the outdated streetcars that plague our streets but are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into this system. What's the point of this when the city will be well over-capacity for this in the next 5-10 years and crying out for subways. But instead of looking to the future it's typical of Toronto that they stay stuck to outdated notions and a sense of safety in a percieved "status quo".
alanmichaels replying to a comment from lowrez / November 15, 2012 at 06:01 pm
@lowrez: Oh what a good comeback. You disagree with people and call them "idiots" and "losers". Wow, you sound so intelligent and well spoken. You must be right, you're the only smart one here and everyone else is stupid and anti-social. Yep, that's it.
Eve / November 15, 2012 at 06:23 pm
Who cares about the seating? Everybody stares at their phones anyway. The same design has been in Europe years ago.
Bojan Landekić replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / November 15, 2012 at 06:40 pm
The poorest people in Toronto take the streetcars, that's no secret. If they could afford to drive, they would. The few environmentalists amongst us are a small minority who chose to ride public transport rather than a car. So the rich aren't too concerned with this. Those who are well off aren't concerned either. Their lives and comfort levels won't be affected whatsoever.

It says that the maximum capacity is 181 passengers, and the average is 61. This is a total lie. Filling up a street car with 181 people will not leave any room for maneuvering so that they can get off at the right stop. Buffer space (empty space) is needed for proper movement. Packing the poor like sardines who cannot exit at the right stops, and where elderly cannot properly move about, is not responsible behaviour by the government officials and they should be taken to court on that fact alone.

The pictures look awesome, there's no doubt about that. It's meant to look flashy and impressive. Why didn't the city dirty up one new streetcar to portray what it will look like after one week on the road? That would have been an honest and an accurate presentation. Instead they are trying to impress us Hollywood style and hope that the flaws will not be as visible as the shiny new paint job. That is criminal of the city and for this, too, they should be taken to court as it's misrepresentation.

The facing seats will not allow enough leg space. It will be uncomfortable to sit in them, even unsocial. We all know that the poor have to put up with these sorts of things if they wish to be part of the working world in this city. I myself am almost blind, and I have trouble when it comes to being in close proximity to things as I don't have 3D vision. There are many people in Toronto like me, and this new layout will make things more difficult than they already are.

I think it is a mistake to invest in streetcars instead of the subway system. When comparing to cities such as Paris, Tokyo, and NYC, our subway is non-existant and doesn't serve the city's needs well. Already by 4pm it's almost filled to capacity, however there is no end in sight to the immigration into the city and new borns being added every day. It is irresponsible and even criminal to let overcrowding be such a serious concern.

We need people on the city council who represent the population of this city. We don't need rich people who want to be our masters to serve their own financial independence needs. The disabled community is not well represented in the city at all. We need to elect people to power who take the TTC, who live in standard apartments. Not people who live in huge houses, have luxury vehicles, and are out of touch with the everyday person.

The TTC is a shame of this city. You can dress it up as "the rocket" all you want, but that's kinda like ScotiaBank advertising "You are Richer Than You Think", all the while charging really high fees on every single thing! It's insulting!

I am thankful I live by the St. Lawrence market and never have to take the streetcars. What's worse is the TTC is building stops with glass walls and enough space under the roof for maybe 4-5 people in total. Most street car stops in the downtown core have huge lines of 20+ people waiting. Many stops don't even have the shitty shelters with a two seat bench!

The city takes care of it's hockey players, baseball players, basketball players, football players, movie stars, and other celebrities. But the most vulnerable, they're left in poverty. The new streetcars are simply a symptom of a long outstanding problem that this city has suffered with for decades it seems. It's like a disease that we still haven't killed.

It's too bad I'm disabled, otherwise I'd work a 6 figure job and pass a driver's test and drive an SUV, too! But instead I'm forced to live off of ODSP's $1,000 a month income, and praying I'll have enough money to buy a few tokens a month.

Thanks city!
you make me sick replying to a comment from alanmichaels / November 15, 2012 at 06:40 pm
Alan Michaels. You need to step out of your little bubble. There are so many other streetcars around the world like this. What's the issue? It is so hard for you to say hello to the person sitting across from you? Are you afraid of moving backwards? Do you think the people facing the wrong way on the Go Train are thinking what the heck! I'm sitting the wrong way? You need to find something else in you dismal little world to complain about. First world problem if it is a problem at all. What kind of name is Alan Michaels anyway. Two first names? Your parents must have been drinking when they had you.
Bob But Not Doug / November 15, 2012 at 07:03 pm
They look nice. I look forward to being stuck in gridlock on one.
Amsterdam / November 15, 2012 at 07:34 pm
The POP system is in place in Amsterdam (with the OV Chipkaart, which costs €7.50 FYI.) and it works. Boarding is fast an easy. Tap in when you get on, tap out when you exit. In fact, the Chipkaart can be used on any public transport system in the Netherlands! It's enforced by a second employee who sits in a booth near the rear doors as well as people randomly checking throughout the system. During rush hour, there are enforcement officers waiting for you at major stops checking your card as you get off.

It's not perfect, but POP works. Can't wait to see it here.
Colin / November 15, 2012 at 08:52 pm
PRESTO!? Finally! The TTC has been dragging it's heels on that system for far too long.
Lowrez replying to a comment from alanmichaels / November 15, 2012 at 09:42 pm
Yup, rather than defending your hopeless antisocial position, try to feign the high road by framing the argument around petty insults. Sure. Will your next reply contain an "ummm" maybe? Face it. You'd be more comfortable living in the 905.
Brandon / November 15, 2012 at 09:51 pm
My question is why are they still using street cars? What benefit do they hold over buses?

Slightly better on the environment annnnnnd?
Chris replying to a comment from Amsterdam / November 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm
> The POP system is in place in Amsterdam (with the OV Chipkaart, which costs €7.50 FYI.) and it works. Boarding is fast an easy. Tap in when you get on, tap out when you exit.

Can you "tap on" when you see the enforcement officers boarding?
Antony / November 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm
Brandon: They hold 3x the people for the same drivers' salary.

Also, the face-to-face seating WILL NOT FIT two average-sized peoples knees and feet. One check in an ergonomics textbook would show them that only kids and small women will fit in those seats.
the lemur replying to a comment from Antony / November 16, 2012 at 12:40 am
Also lower maintenance costs.

There was a mockup on display at Hillcrest about a year ago. The face-to-face seating definitely has enough room for average-sized people to sit facing each other.
Amsterdam replying to a comment from Chris / November 16, 2012 at 01:06 am
Hypothetically, yes. But then you would have to walk up to the card reader and tap in undetected (it makes a fairly audible beep). During rush hour, enforcement officers wait outside at major stops as opposed to piling into the crowded streetcar. It's not clear if a 2nd employee will be on the new TTC streetcars either.

Again, it's not perfect, but it is better and quicker than what we currently have.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Bojan Landekić / November 16, 2012 at 01:52 am
Bojan, we don't have a lot of reason to build a ton of subways more than the subways we have or are about to build (the extension to Vaughn and the proposed DRL excepted.) To be frank, the subway's an overrated construct anyway, and it only serves to reinforce the car, as well as cut off people from being in their own city by being having to be confined to a train that travels in a cave underground. Streetcars and LRT let us be connected to our city and see what's going on, as well as making it easier to get off and experience our city. If you can't see that because of your envy for New York, Tokyo and Paris, maybe you should get out of Toronto and stay out.

As for the facing seats 'problem'-there isn't one, it's all in your head and the heads of the people that object to it because just like them, you weren't paying attention to the little detail about how the chairs have to be facing you because of the placement of the wheel that they're under. The not being able to get out of the streetcar bit? As it is, you can barely do that in subways or buses, too-yet you love those to death! What's the difference here? It looks like you need Wheel-Trans, from what you say about yourself.

As for your last bit about being on ODSP-guess what, I'm on it too, and also disabled, and usually in the same boat as you with regards to tokens. But, I'm not being such a hater of the TTC and a big drama queen about the new streetcars like you-I take in stride, walk up to the streetcar when I have to, get on, and bash on regardless. To end this, and to paraphrase Kent Brockman, 'I for one welcome our new TTC streetcars, with all of the benefits and problems that they'll bring.'
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Colin / November 16, 2012 at 01:59 am
It could stand to drag its feet on this a little more, I think, until it comes up with a better solution that works FOR Toronto, and not just for the parties concerned who want to get PRESTO implemented.

Why should it do so? Steve Munro will tell you:


Bojan Landekić replying to a comment from you make me sick / November 16, 2012 at 03:49 am
It's one thing to disagree with someone. But it's another to make fun of their name and insult their parents because of a difference of opinion. You sir are a bully and should not be posting on this forum.
Bojan Landekić replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 16, 2012 at 04:08 am
Simon, I urge you to read my reply one more time, and this time pay attention to what I'm writing. In your reply you have made several statements that indicate you have made up things I never even said. For example, I never even said the word "bus"! Yet you claim I am in love with busses and subways. As if I'm some kinda weirdo who is picking on streetcars! As if my point somehow isn't valid. Furthermore, you tried to belittle me by stating that the problem is in my head and that I did not understand about the wheel placements near the seats (you said below the seats, but that is not possible in the design!). Your tone in your response is very insulting and lacks respect. Please change that should you choose to respond again. And don't be so egotistical as to suggest that I should leave this city in case I am unhappy about some aspect of life here. If all the good people leave, this city won't get any better. Your attitude seems very bitter. That's not a good thing.

I understand that the wheels have to go somewhere. However, the current solution isn't the appropriate one. It's a rushed solution. The pictures clearly show that there won't be enough space for four people to sit comfortably, and get up and get down without bumping into each other. I personally don't like facing backwards when I'm in a moving vehicle, and many people don't like that sensation. It's a valid point. You stating we need to change is not the correct approach. Some people can become physically ill from such an effect, it's a psychological thing, it cannot be simply undone with words! Please have a bit more understanding of other's needs before you open your mouth again and tell me to shut up.

Furthermore there is the concern with the doors, they won't present a visual barrier when they are open, so drivers won't have that bit of extra nudge to stop or slow down. That's a big issue as usually one exits out of the back doors so as not to be in conflict with those entering the street car.

My issue with space for maneuvering on the street car is valid. The subway cars have more space in the "hallway" between the seats. There's plenty of space to stand and to move. In the new pictures posted, it doesn't seem like that would be possible. I remind you again of what I said about the TTC using bad math. They state something like 181 maximum passengers per streetcar. There is no way to fit that many people, in such a narrow space, and still have ample space for maneuvering. Plus there'll be parents with strollers, and a perspon in a wheelchair. All that requires that those standing in between seats move somewhere else, to be displaced, like water in a tub, it has to go somewhere!

Since you brought up buses, I'll bite. Buses are better than streetcars. They can change routes with ease, when one is stuck or broken down the whole route isn't blocked. So if I really think about it, buses make way more sense. I would go as far as to say that the city should scrap the old archaic streetcars all together. In some European countries they have buses that work like streetcars, they are connected to the electric grid above the road, so they maintain the maneuverability of a typical vehicle and retain the cleanliness of a pollution-free streetcar. Except for using electricty, whcih pollutes in it's own right. Perhaps that is a better solution than using streetcars? I am for that. It makes way more sense, than forcing people into a cramped steel enclosure.

You say that travel underground is not good because it's not above ground where the sun is, or something to that effect. However, subways move much more quickly than buses or streetcars, and usually quicker than cars in the city, as they don't have to stop for stop lights or slow traffic, or for turning. This makes them highly efficient people movers. With the latest advances in electricy and technology new subway lines could be super energy efficient!

As for your rudeness of trying to deport me from this city because I think that the subway systems of New York, Paris, and Tokyo are better, I'll respond to that as well. I don't like Tokyo. It is overcrowded, dangerously so. I believe the government didn't take measures in time to prevent that from happening, and that's very irresponsible of them. So I wouldn't want to live there. I don't want to live in Paris, there's way too many curvy narrow roads, sidewalks are tiny and most people walk on the streets, there's hardly any space for trees and grass in the city, too many old buildings, and I don't speak French! So no Paris for me either. And New York city is much too violent for my tastes.

I absolutely love Toronto. That's something you didn't pick up on in your rude reply to me. But what I don't like, is the people who are in charge of running this city. I haven't liked them since I got into this country, in 1990! So long ago. I didn't like the people who ran the city I escaped from either. Those people were far worse than the ones running Toronto!!!

So it's not that I have a problem in my head - that's pretty rude of you to say I think! It's that we have lived very different lives and have different opinions.

I am not for streetcars. I see them as outdated modes of transportation that need to be phased out. I just looked up on Google the proper term for those buses in Europe that use the streetcar-like electrical system. Trolley buses. I think TTC would be wise to switch over to them! It would be wise environment-wise, and transportation-wise.

And one more thing... Why did they choose to make the new streetcars look so similar to the old streetcars? Why didn't they paint them bright blue? And give them edging and detailing so it looks cool, so it's a tourist attraction and not just a red steel sardine cage?

Yeah.... I want a better city than this. Don't you?
Bojan Landekić replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / November 16, 2012 at 05:36 am
That Steve Munro guy knows a ton about the TTC. I like his views. Thanks for sharing this site, I just lost myself in it for a whole hour. Yikes!!!
Dizzy / November 16, 2012 at 08:08 am
If there are questions about the payment machines and receipts and "why my debit card didn't go through" and so on, at launch but also ongoing from tourists or sporadic transit users, is the driver expected to answer them? Or are they going to regularly put a second staffer on these things? And, knowing TTC's usual helpfulness and humanity, will they be trained to answer with the minimum of politeness or can we expect the usual condescension, bitterness and sarcasm?
alanmichaels replying to a comment from you make me sick / November 16, 2012 at 08:29 am
I always find the less intelligent the person, the more likely they are to resort to name calling. It's reflected quite well in some of these comments.
alanmichaels / November 16, 2012 at 08:41 am
Getting back on topic... A lot of people simply don't like to sit backwards if they don't have to. I'm OK with it if there's a good technical reason why the seats have to be arranged like that. (Which it sounds like there may well be.) My issue was simply from a design point of view. With all other things being equal, it's silly to have the seats arranged that way on a vehicle that only moves in one direction. If you disagree, that's fine, but you'll find you're in a minority. (Next time you get on a half-full VIVA bus, check how many people are voluntarily sitting backwards. I ride the VIVA bus every day, and those backward-facing quad seats are always the last to be filled.)
jc / November 16, 2012 at 08:43 am
Not a fan of the seating arrangement. Like the presto option for payment. Cars look long, the "Stop" on the exit doors really don't cut it for safety. I've experienced near misses with cars on several occasions.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Bojan Landekić / November 16, 2012 at 11:03 am
The poorest people in Toronto take streetcars? Are you out of your head? I take the 501 daily, have for almost 20 years now, during morning and evening rush, plus weekends, evenings, whenever getting from point A to point B involves taking Queen West. I'm not poor. Not by a long shot. Nor are all the people riding with me during rush. My car owning neighbour takes the 501 to work and back M-F. That little statement of yours reducing regular riders of the streetcars in this city just invalidated everything else you said.
lowrez / November 16, 2012 at 11:39 am
Bojan's post was thoughtful, but much of what he said is pretty obviously incorrect at best and misguided at worst.
Horace Greeley replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 11:49 am
Agree. I'm a lawyer earning six figures. My wife is a professional who also earns six figures. We live in Little Portugal in a seven figure house and work downtown. We could Benz it, but why? We'd rather take the street car or bike 15 minutes to work. I don't think we're unique amongst 501 commuters.

I love the 501, because you see a cross-section of the city by time of day, by stop. It's a unique and rarely boring experience.
Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 01:06 pm
So we are getting a few more seats...less than 10, have to sit facing strangers and deal with the fact that these monsters are 100 ft long. Going to be fun watching them in downtown intersections! Another stupid move on the part of the TTC. Subways are what we need not another bandaid solution using outdated equipment. Time to move out of this mess!!!!
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 01:54 pm
1. How to pay? 2. How to deal with motorists who will be inconveniced to an even greater degree than they would be with evil, evil streetcars and LRTs when entire streets are torn up to create the subways. 3. Seriously. How we gonna pay for it? Subways don't happen with good will and a sprinkling of fairy dust.
Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 02:06 pm
So let's just squander the money we have on this congestion creator?? Oh, and by the way my neighborhood will be torn up and inconvenienced for 18 months...that's if it is on time...lest we forget St. Clair. The intersection of Queen and Leslie is slated to be closed for at least 2 months probably more. 3 of the major east-west corridors will be shut down in succession to allow for the new LRV facility. We are wasting the money we had access to in order to appease an angry ridership. Even the new head of the TTC agrees that we need more subways!!!
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 02:20 pm
You either haven't been following the Transit debate over the last two years or you can't comprehend what was said in it. All that you are bitching about was answered. Try going back through it all. Look up the words you don't understand.
Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 02:29 pm
Actually I was a very active participant in the discussion. I actually went to the TTC meetings as well as meetings taking place at City Hall. I wonder if I ever saw you there??
No need to be as rude as you are. I am entitled to my opinion which is obviously very different than yours. I wish you all the best as you sit in traffic. I will be on my electric bike and have total access to anywhere I want to go without the bother.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 02:44 pm
Good for you, who are so much better than the rest of us that you and you alone have the right to bitch about things. I don't drive by the way. And if I get impatient with the CARS that are the ones chokeing up the streets, then I get out and walk. Works for me.
whatamess / November 16, 2012 at 03:00 pm
I don't know where you come off with the attitude. All the best.
Pedro / November 16, 2012 at 03:49 pm
I don't know where you guys who've never seen a POP officer have been. I live downtown and mostly walk and don't even ride that frequently and still I see the officers every now and then. All the times that I've seen them, people have been caught and were taken out of the streetcar where I assume they were fined. TTC officers have similar powers to the Toronto Police and can hold you and get information from you to positively identify you for follow up if you don't pay the fine.

With the entire streetcar network becoming POP, you can bet that enforcement will be a lot more common, just like GO. For those who don't know how it works, the POP officers board the streetcar at random stops; often there are two or three of them and they enter through all the doors so nobody can leave without showing their proof of payment. If you see them when you're arriving at the stop, it's already too late because you have to pass through them to leave.

This photo essay didn't particularly do a great job of showing the spaciousness of the new streetcars. The more crowded sections are at either end of the car but most people will choose to board through the middle where there are single seats and a lot of standing room. This Torontoist photo shows that more clearly: http://torontoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ttc-new-streetcar-interior-folding.jpg

As for the facing seats, I'm not a fan but there is a logical reason for this, and it's not that the TTC has some conspiracy to make Torontonians more friendly. The low floor means that the wheels and and electric motors of the streetcar jut into the aisle. You can either leave the hump there being useless or you could put seats on top. That's what they've done.

Perhaps the TTC **should** have a conspiracy to make Torontonians friendlier because I've never seen such a bunch of whiny negative complainers as I do on the comments sections of Toronto's news sites. We're getting a brand new entire fleet of streetcars that will make everybody's life easier -- including drivers because larger streetcars means less of them on the road and 4 doors instead of 2 or 3, all door boarding means and no lineups to pay mean very quick loading times. Celebrate Toronto for once!
the lemur replying to a comment from Pedro / November 16, 2012 at 05:11 pm
I think having a real POP system and proper enforcement with loading at all doors will make a real difference. There's no advantage to having POP on the current streetcars if you still need to pay at the front and the car is totally jammed from the driver on back.
mike / November 16, 2012 at 06:12 pm
the windows. oh the farts, the faaaaarts. other than that, looks good!
mike / November 16, 2012 at 06:19 pm
the streetcar is actually quite a luxury, it is a great way to travel and makes the neighbourhood so much safer and nicer to live in. the only thing is the left turning cars that ruin everything. left hand turns should not be allowed on any street with a streetcar, its just not fair to make 100 people wait for your lazy ass to turn left.
Me / November 16, 2012 at 08:06 pm
Mike. That IS sarcasm, isn't it?
Bojan Landekić replying to a comment from vampchick21 / November 16, 2012 at 08:46 pm
OMG! You are one of THOSE people! Do you also believe in God? Who knows what other illogical and stupid assumptions you've concluded in all these years...

If I make 5 points and one of them is wrong, you say that all my points are therefore wrong! That's an easy way of dismissing things you don't want to think about, and are probably too scared to accept. One wrong idea doesn't invalidate everything else I've said. That's pretty stupid to think that way.

And as far as me being wrong on that one point goes, you're proof is one or two people. So you're neighbour has a car and takes the streetcar, that doesn't mean the vast majority who take the streetcar can't afford a car, can't afford parking in the city, and can't afford the gas for an SUV. Your logic is again extremely flawed. I bet you aren't in the scientific field, you'd fail miserably at scientific thinking.

Please, think more logically from now on. Most people who take the streetcars, cannot afford to drive. Why would ANYONE go through the rush hour madness of packing themselves into sardine cans if they could have the luxury of their own vehicle? It makes no sense.
Vince Z / November 16, 2012 at 09:41 pm
Whatever side of the transit debate you're on, lets not forget that there is a positive in all this in that we have invested in a great Canadian company (Bombardier) maintaining jobs and spin-off jobs in Canada for Canadians.
WHO DO YOU THINK replying to a comment from Bobo / November 16, 2012 at 09:42 pm
the lemur replying to a comment from Bojan Landekić / November 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm
Because even in the luxury of one's own vehicle, congestion is still congestion. The seat might be more comfortable, you get to listen to your own choice of audio without using headphones, you control the temperature ... but once the traffic grinds to a standstill, you're still stuck like everyone else, no matter what they drive.

Has it occurred to you that many, many people choose transit instead of driving mainly because they don't want to sit there idling and burning up fuel and don't want to spend money on extortionate parking fees while they're at work? Because they don't want the stress of trying to be on time when traffic is heavy? Being able to afford to do something is not necessarily a reason in itself to do that thing.
tylerbeaulawrence / November 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm
I'll be missing the "living room" setup that's in the back of the current streetcars.
gricer1326 replying to a comment from Bojan Landekić / November 17, 2012 at 01:46 am
"Since you brought up buses, I'll bite. Buses are better than streetcars. They can change routes with ease, when one is stuck or broken down the whole route isn't blocked. So if I really think about it, buses make way more sense." Except there are reasons for using streetcars rather than buses that go far beyond this, the main reason being that streetcars can carry several times as many people as buses can and are thus better-suited to routes that carry very large numbers of passengers. For instance, the King streetcar is the third-busiest route on the entire TTC network, the Spadina streetcar the fourth and the Sheppard subway trails both of those at 5th place. If the buses on Sheppard were packed enough to justify a subway, using buses on routes that are similarly and far better-patronized such as the downtown streetcars would surely be madness! Add to that the considerably longer lifespan of streetcars, the lower costs to operate them, the lower costs to maintain them, their reduced effect on the environment and their ability (shared with rail in general) to stimulate economic growth and there's not much of a case to be made for scrapping them.

"In some European countries they have buses that work like streetcars, they are connected to the electric grid above the road, so they maintain the maneuverability of a typical vehicle and retain the cleanliness of a pollution-free streetcar." Like streetcars, they pollute less and are cheaper to maintain but they still can't carry as many people as the streetcars can, so the plan falls on its face. Trolleys themselves are not a bad idea at all, in fact the city once had a network of such routes until it was scrapped due to excessive decay of the infrastructure and vehicles. As a replacement for the current diesel buses on certain routes, they are an excellent idea and should be considered.

"However, subways move much more quickly than buses or streetcars, and usually quicker than cars in the city, as they don't have to stop for stop lights or slow traffic, or for turning. This makes them highly efficient people movers. With the latest advances in electricy and technology new subway lines could be super energy efficient!" We all agree that subways are awesome, but they only work where there are very large numbers of people that need to be served. This is why the Sheppard subway has never been cost-effective. Even downtown they would not necessarily work even with the increased ridership, not only because it still is not sufficient to require constructing a subway, but because the downtown core is more suited to high-capacity local routes with closer stop spacing, closer than a subway can reasonably provide. In other words, streetcars.

"I am not for streetcars. I see them as outdated modes of transportation that need to be phased out. I just looked up on Google the proper term for those buses in Europe that use the streetcar-like electrical system. Trolley buses. I think TTC would be wise to switch over to them! It would be wise environment-wise, and transportation-wise." As I previously stated, trolleys are a perfectly acceptable vehicle type to be used on certain routes of the TTC, but they cannot replace the streetcar routes because there are certain qualities of streetcars, such as greater capacity, that trolley buses simply do not possess. And they are not and cannot be obsolete because they provide a capacity middle-ground between buses and subways. The only way they can be considered obsolete is if the need for this intermediate capacity vanishes (which will never happen) or unless an alternative solution is found (which has been tried before and most recently gave us the much-hated Scarborough RT, one of the biggest failures in Toronto transit history). The streetcars are here to stay.
Um replying to a comment from WHO DO YOU THINK / November 18, 2012 at 11:17 am
Sorry, but just because your mother works there, it does not mean everyone else is like her.
Christy / November 18, 2012 at 06:48 pm
They look like high speed trains. The seating is pretty similar to Go trains - which Bombardier also designed, I believe.

Nice... But I don't think they're going to help traffic congestion any. They have more capacity, but they're also far bigger.
I'm going to be momentarily happy about riding in a futuristic train/streetcar.. Momentarily.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from gricer1326 / November 19, 2012 at 04:39 am

Couldn't have said it better, GRICER1326.
the lemur replying to a comment from Christy / November 19, 2012 at 11:54 am
They're only about a car length longer than the current articulated streetcars. The added capacity means that they will probably run less often on some routes and maybe we can finally get some signal priority for these things. Even so, one big streetcar running at lower frequency than a couple of smaller ones will add less to congestion and may even relieve it.
iSkyscraper / November 19, 2012 at 08:57 pm
The grand opportunity to educate the unwashed as to the benefits of streetcars will be blown if the TTC does not fix several operating issues at the time these are introduced.

Payment is one of the biggest issues, but stops need to be eliminated on many downtown routes (the new streetcars practically stretch from Yonge to Victoria, why is there a stop there?), many more no-turn restrictions need to be put in place (cars with one person turning left should not hold up giant streetcars with hundreds of riders), maps need to show streetcar routes (they are rail, not buses, but appear only as buses on the maps!), and so on.

This is a once in a generation chance to fix public perception AND THE TTC IS GOING TO SCREW IT UP.

One photo of a bunch of new streetcars stuck one behind the other in gridlock will doom the future of this amazing and underutilized system in this city. Your kids will have to go to the States to ride streetcars and you will say "Toronto used to have these, but then ...."

Ace McNugget / November 20, 2012 at 04:59 pm
...but then Toronto moved into the 21st century and started to invest in the infrastrucure of the city, thinking of the people who live there instead of some outdated dogmatic concepts.

iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / November 20, 2012 at 06:26 pm
Ace, no one is more pro-streetcar than me. The problem is that the TTC is talking the talk but not walking the walk. The city can't keep sitting on its laurels -- look at the new streetcars in Portland, Seattle, DC. New vehicles and Presto are nice, but the TTC needs to change the way people in the city think about streetcars. Stop treating them like buses, and treat them like 21st century urban surface rail. I don't see any evidence of such thinking. Do you? People take one of the largest streetcar systems in the world for granted, or worse.

You can't live in a bubble. Toronto Sun readers are real. Ford voters are real. Scarborough is real. It's unbelievable that these people are now vehemently anti-streetcar, arguing for their removal. They hate something that is not only cost-effective and pro-city but also a Toronto icon. WTF? How did that happen? Too many sloppy mistakes have been made in how streetcars are operated. It can be fixed, but it needs to be addressed now before the opportunity is lost.
Mark / November 21, 2012 at 10:19 am
Forward facing seats again? If we are rethinking the TTC, lets at least learn from the mistakes of GO Transit...
Alex / November 21, 2012 at 10:38 am
Ugh, face-to-face seating. It's been failing on Viva for years, why would you stick with a failed design? Though they did remove the dumb handrests that block you from turning sideways, so kudos to Bombardier for fixing one mistake.
For people who get motion sick you literally can't sit in a backwards facing seat, and for everyone taller than 4 feet it's an incredibly uncomfortable ride. Not to mention how difficult it is to get out of one of the window seats if there are two people sitting in the aisle seats. If there were space issues then they should have done the one raised hump seat that they do on every other bus we currently have. Bombardier should have sent at least one person to look at the Viva implementation and seen how no one sits on the backwards facing seats until they absolutely have to, and how difficult it is to get in or out of them when it's busy, before going with the same crappy design again.
LS / November 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Where are the strollers going to fit? People in wheelchairs? That appears totally overlooked judging from the photos.
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s / December 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm
Initial reaction:

-Too many double seated arrangements on both sides. This makes the aisles too small and narrow and limits standing room. Have more seats lined up against the way like in the subways and busses. It'll also make it easier for accessibility accommodations.

-Face-to-face seating -- not a fan in the city of people who love being anonymous. Also, like one other person said, it's an invitation for inconsiderate riders to hog more than one seat for their bag, stuff, etc.

-Need more lights to signify when doors are open. Since these are sliding doors, it's even easier for drivers to miss passengers that are getting off the streetcar and can cause accidents. The folding/opening doors of the old streetcars (although cumbersome) already have enough drivers passing on by when they're open.
rob / March 5, 2013 at 11:09 am
how will the stroller mafia manage? now somebody seating on the window side will have to climb over 2 inconsiderate slobs who want stand up to let them out....
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