Sunday, November 23, 2014Light Rain Shower 6°C
City

TTC conducts first public test of new streetcar

Posted by Chris Bateman / March 14, 2013

ttc new streetcarThe first of the TTC's new longer, low-floor streetcars recived its inaugural road test under the cover of darkness this morning, giving early-risers the chance to glimpse the vehicle outside of a TTC car barn for the first time.

Following a basic route that included a cornering test at Bathurst station, the first in a fleet of 204 new cars costing a total of $1.2 billion was guided by a team of engineers south on Bathurst Street from the Commission's Hillcrest facility to Bloor Street. The group were testing acceleration, braking, security cameras, doors, and clearance between buildings and other static objects.

ttc new streetcarBack in the lab, the car has undergone static tests of its air conditioning, heating, lights, stop announcements, and ergonomics.

The Bombardier vehicle was unveiled at a press event on November 15 last year. It will feature all-door boarding, full Presto integration, and increased seating capacity. When the new fleet is fully operational the city will actually see a net loss in the number of streetcars; currently there are currently 247 CLRV and ALRV light rail vehicles plying Toronto's streets.

Tweeting this morning, the TTC's Brad Ross called the maiden test run a success. He says the streetcar will continue to receive night tests but will slowly begin appearing during the day over the next few months. The new vehicles are due to enter full service in 2014.

MORE PICTURES:

ttc new streetcarttc new streetcarttc new streetcarttc new streetcarttc new streetcarttc new streetcar

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: TTC

Discussion

139 Comments

Emily / March 14, 2013 at 10:08 am
user-pic
The TTC should do a test during rush hour! These above ground subway trains will become road hogs (they are way too long) and they will cause major delays for cars, bikes and pedestrians (when they make a turn or run an orange light) I often see the current longer cars running red lights and cars constantly in a rush to overtake them. And longer street cars means less operating costs for the TTC, but a longer wait time for you in the freezing cold. Apart from rush hour, I doubt these new streetcars will be more than half full.
Marc replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 10:10 am
user-pic
I love all the citations and references you provided to prove your points.
doug replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 10:15 am
user-pic
i fully agree with emily...
W. K. Lis / March 14, 2013 at 10:17 am
user-pic
They're not initial tests during the rush hour. Would you take your new car out for a test drive during rush hour? I wouldn't.

As for them being too long. The MU (multi-unit) PCC streetcar trains that ran on Bloor and later Queen, were two coupled PCC streetcars together. Which is about the length of the new streetcars by themselves. Same with the older Peter Witt streetcar and trailer trains that ran on Yonge Street, Bay Street and other routes.
Dan P replying to a comment from Marc / March 14, 2013 at 10:19 am
user-pic
i fully agree with Marc...
vader / March 14, 2013 at 10:21 am
user-pic
Gridlock only happens on streetcar routes. LOL!
Lyn / March 14, 2013 at 10:25 am
user-pic
Maybe if more people got rid of their cars and actually used public transport then the grid lock problem that everyone is so concerned about wouldn't exist or at least be improved. Not to mention the good it would be doing for the air quality.
Mr Kanyo replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 10:30 am
user-pic
If there exists the possibility that something might go wrong on your initial test, you conduct that test when a malfunction wouldn't cause a big traffic mess - like in rush hour.
Donovan / March 14, 2013 at 10:34 am
user-pic
Is anyone ever happy with the TTC? I think that these new streetcars are amazing and I'm super happy to have them roll out! Of course they are tested at night haha...why on earth would they be tested in rush hour the first time? Some troll above claimed that they would interfere with cars and pedestrians, so that made me laugh. Yes, mass transit is all about how it affects YOU and not the masses.
the lemur replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 10:36 am
user-pic
They're only slightly longer than the current articulated streetcars, but more manoeuvrable.

They will be able to make lights and turns faster than the current streetcars.

Cars SHOULD be overtaking them. 'Stuck behind streetcar' = 'I'm a crappy driver who thinks staying behind a streetcar is a good idea'.

Longer vehicles = more capacity = less frequent service.

Less frequent service = CHECK THE DAMN SCHEDULE BEFORE YOU GO TO THE STOP.
Eduardo / March 14, 2013 at 10:38 am
user-pic
Good point of view, Lyn ... I totally agree.
Dylan replying to a comment from vader / March 14, 2013 at 10:39 am
user-pic
Unfortunately streets like Dufferin, Eglinton, Bayview around the 401, and the highways aren't streetcar routes. Last I checked, streetcars can't take up a lane backing up traffic on the DVP like it usually does during rush hour.
NoCo / March 14, 2013 at 10:39 am
user-pic
Needs a middle headlight!
Timon Rand / March 14, 2013 at 10:40 am
user-pic
It's a beautiful thing. Now if only there was a magic way to stop Torontonians whining, that would be even more wonderful.
Peav Mn'Bununi / March 14, 2013 at 10:41 am
user-pic
Emily: What makes someone in a car's time more important that an individual who needs to ride the streetcar? If you make the choice to drive you need to also recognize there are plenty of people who aren't able to have that luxury and need to travel as well.

Steve / March 14, 2013 at 10:46 am
user-pic
Love the big windows, the beauty of streetcars you can see the street, be part of it. Great for bushiness, one can get off or return to what something that interested you. We need more surface routes and not less.
soup / March 14, 2013 at 10:50 am
user-pic
I agree with Emily.

I overheard a TTC employee say patrons will experience longer waiting times... nice! and when we're lucky enough we will be paraded around the city in a rolling aquarium
... replying to a comment from NoCo / March 14, 2013 at 10:52 am
user-pic
Yeah, it would be nice if they resembled the current ones with a centre headlight and maybe turn those two blue lights to green at the top. But really, these should be great. Looking forward to riding them.
ToBoy / March 14, 2013 at 11:07 am
user-pic
Wow, now it's going to cause more congestion when cars behind are stuck due to that (being a streetcar) and the parked cars on the right lane.
mintcoffee / March 14, 2013 at 11:09 am
user-pic
It looks like a moving diner!
Karen / March 14, 2013 at 11:09 am
user-pic
They look great. Now let's hope these NEW streetcars will come with NEW drivers who are more polite to the passengers that pay their salaries. I realize not all TTC drivers are rude, but I rarely come across one that doesn't have an attitude even when I am polite to them. I also understand that passengers can be rude, but drivers should take the high road. A big part of increasing ridership is the total experience. The TTC has a really bad reputation. Improving employee attitude is a key part of the advancement of our transit system and should also be addressed if the TTC wants to get more people on board.
Kelly / March 14, 2013 at 11:12 am
user-pic
I agree with wanting the middle light as a nod to the current ones, but otherwise I cant wait for these to be rolled out, especially on King.
Dale replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 11:16 am
user-pic
It seems like the traffic impact should be a bit of a wash if the street cars are bigger but come slightly less often. But I think if you are travelling in a car down a streetcar line that, yes, you should expect to be impacted by the streetcar. You'd be impacted by the fleet of buses weaving in and out of traffic it would take to replace that street car as well.

As for the wait times, it seems half the issue with streetcars downtown is that you can have a run of overloaded cars before you get one that actually has space. So, it doesn't matter if there are more cars coming through if they don't have any space to actually allow people to get on. Hopefully the new bigger cars will help solve that as they increase overall capacity.

This is a good thing for Toronto, a good commitment to transit and a good commitment to quality of life in the downtown.
P / March 14, 2013 at 11:27 am
user-pic
I can never understand people who say that streetcars cause traffic congestion. These new streetcars can carry up to 148 people. Does anyone honestly believe that these machines take up more road space than 148 SUVs, or take longer to turn at a light than 148 minivans? Basic common sense says that street cars and bike infrastructure are the way of the future. Private automobiles were fun for a while, but they're obviously not a transportation solution.
Patrick / March 14, 2013 at 11:41 am
user-pic
If we have to keep the things (and there's a billion plus reasons why, now) then put up a few parking garages and abolish street parking on routes like Queen & King. Instantly the streetcars become less of a problem.

But every time one breaks down or gets in a fender bender or has an incident onboard, it's a potential traffic annoyance that could be avoided. It's not about cars versus streetcars. It sucks to be a car behind one and it sucks to be on another streetcar behind one. And because the lines are so untenably long, short turns and bunching occur constantly. Switch to buses and none of these problems is anywhere near as dramatic.

Note: I would gladly purchase a car and sit in the horrific traffic caused by streetcars if it was an option for me, because I am tired of being exposed to every inconsiderate lowlife Toronto has to offer on a twice daily basis. Mysteriously stained seats, people playing music without headphones, open drinking and drug use. Lovely way to book end your day.
the lemur / March 14, 2013 at 11:47 am
user-pic
I do not understand this habit that Toronto drivers have of being right behind a streetcar. Pull ahead when you can and get in front of it so you are not waiting behind it when it's time to make your turn.
the lemur replying to a comment from soup / March 14, 2013 at 11:49 am
user-pic
It's your own responsibility to check the schedule and be there in time for the streetcar. Same as with buses.

Rolling aquarium? You want smaller windows, less light, less outward visibility?
Wilson / March 14, 2013 at 11:49 am
user-pic
Your car = 1 person.
Streetcar = 100 people.

Who's in the way of who? Can you really have the audacity to say the streetcar is in the way of your car?

Streetcars aren't in the way of cars, cars are in the way of streetcars.
P / March 14, 2013 at 11:50 am
user-pic
I agree with some of your points. When I moved to Toronto from Vancouver, I used to complain about the streetcars, exactly because when one fails the whole system goes down. When a trolley bus breaks, they just pull down the poles and park it. The thing is, trolley buses fail a lot more often than streetcars (the poles to the power lines fall off more if you're not stuck on tracks directly below them), so the system deals with failure better but also has more failure. On top of this, people tend to find streetcars more comfortable. At least until oil is out of the price range of most people, we need to make transit comfortable to help people choose it over their gas-beasts.

But your points are certainly valid, and I can see where you're coming from. I have recently moved away from Toronto, but I was never tempted to buy a car when I lived there, even though I could have afforded it. It just seemed ridiculous.
anthony replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 11:50 am
user-pic
Hopefully as we get more public transportation capacity with these streetcars, more people will grow a conscience and not drive their fossil fuel burning personal transportation devices on city streets. Along with eliminating, street parking,traffic congestion and horrendous air pollution, this will truly alleviate some of the burden to pedestrians and cyclists.
Dp / March 14, 2013 at 11:50 am
user-pic
Streetcars do cause traffic congestion. That is a fact. Those of you who are denying that fact are really making yourselves sound look uneducated. There have been a number of studies that prove this theory.

They should have put these underground. The streetcar was going to be abandoned after the second world war but short sighted thinking saved the slow, cumbersome streetcar. To this day pedestrians continue to get hit by cars and bikes as they get on and off streetcars. And now that they have made streetcars the length of entire city blocks, things will get worse.

Here's a thought... why not just build one massive street car that spans the entire length of the track and put two way treadmills inside them. Then streetcars would never have to move and people could get to where they are going more efficiently, all the while being indoors. And cars wouldn't have to duck and dodge them as they move more swiftly around them.
anthony replying to a comment from P / March 14, 2013 at 11:53 am
user-pic
I know what you mean P. It is ridiculous listening to solo driven car and SUV drivers complain about the impact bikes and streetcars have on traffic.
Donavan replying to a comment from Dp / March 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm
user-pic
im uneducated. thanks for that troll
Bridget / March 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm
user-pic
Srsly?? Ppl still check schedules??
GET the NEXT TTC app! It's 2013!
Chris replying to a comment from Dp / March 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm
user-pic
Geez, Dp, why let logic and common sense get in the way of a good rant, eh?

It's fine to say "those streetcars should be underground" but given that those are existing tracks (not new ones) how exactly do you propose to pay for that?

After all, its the single occupancy drivers like you who routinely whine and complain about traffic but then refuse to consider any options that would help pay for better transit (which, by extension would reduce traffic congestion by taking more CARS off the road). Until folks like you understand that you are in fact, the problem, and get your heads out of the sand about what is needed to actually improve traffic flow in this City, nothing will really improve.

Talk about uneducated.....

nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm
user-pic
please, let's not turn this into another streetcar vs bus vs subway argument. I do agree that subways are far better and that streetcars cause crazy congestion. But the TTC have ordered this new fleet already, and they look a lot better than what we have, so some improvement is better than none.
iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm
user-pic
Yes, they should have had a faux-PCC headlight. That discussion was a while ago, for some reason they didn't do it. I've moved on. And the blue lights are TTC standard for all vehicles now and something other cities are busy copying.

As to the rest of the gripes, look, most cities would kill to have our streetcar network. Portland and Seattle already have new streetcar systems; Washington DC, Atlanta and Cincinnati are busy building new streetcar lines right now. And these are all streetcar systems, not LRT, and they are a fraction of the size of the TTC's 11 lines. Believe me, this is an amazing asset.

That's not to say it has been run properly. Mismanagement of the streetcars has turned half the city against its greatest transit asset (case in point - Emily. Or any Ford voter.). The new vehicles are great but will be meaningless if operations can't improve things like:

- number of stops is too high. Cut some. Relocate others to after the traffic light
- signage sucks. Put streetcar lines on the map.
- off-vehicle payment to speed loading
- countdown clocks at every stop
- more exclusive Right of Way, and enforcement of those rules.

It's 2013, but the system still operates like it is 1943. Andy needs to get on the ball and make sure the above are tackled or he will blow his chance to restore Toronto's relationship with its once-cherished streetcars, regardless of how shiny the new vehicles are.

nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm
user-pic
The issue that so many people are arguing over really confuses a number of seperate issues. Streetcars and subways both have their place. Ideally subways would exist everywhere but it's cheaper in the short term to run streetcars.

Everyone agrees that subways are far better downtown and lines replacing the King, Queen, Dundas and College streetcar lines would be a dream. They would cut congestion through the city as streetcars wouldn't hold up the traffic at every stop, would be able to effortlessly transport all the passengers that the streetcars currently struggle to hold, encourage people to use public transit thus cutting down on car use (and therefore congestion, pollution etc.) in the city and would also build more capacity for more downtown growth (because let's face it the city is at capacity already).

Where streetcars are useful, and where they are most used by all other cities cited by streetcar fanboys, is out in the suburbs, areas with much lower densities. Better than buses as they can carry more people, are more imposing to other traffic and, where effectively planned for by the city, can travel in distint lanes like those on st clair. So those suburban streets like eglinton, shepherd etc. should be able to benefit from these more modern streetcars and the more modern streetcars in turn will help build capacity for those areas to grow, to the point where maybe in 15-20 years the city should start to think about building subways there as well.
Vadim / March 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm
user-pic
If they make King and Queen streets one way - then sure,these streetcars are fine. But in a current traffic situation, I am not so sure.
Donovan replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm
user-pic
Phew! That's one longggg message. Couldn't get through it all...but I'm hoping it wasn't a rant and that you aren't a typical car-driving lunatic who only thinks of themselves driving to work on time :)
Donovan replying to a comment from Peav Mn'Bununi / March 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm
user-pic
Here, here. You tell her! I totally agree. Because she got the first comment (a typical troll) hers gets all the attention!
Gidget / March 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm
user-pic
cant wait to puke my brains out on this beauty
Chris on Bay St / March 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm
user-pic
Riding the 504 EB from Bathurst to Bay this morning in a packed normal sized streetcar directly behind a packed articulated version, both stuck in total gridlock, I was thinking "gee, how will this experience be any different with those shiny new streetcars?" Answer: it won't. Just a total boondoggle and nobody wants to admit it.

Cue the deniers telling me to suck it up it's only 2km...
Matty P / March 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm
user-pic
i for one will be glad when we can ride hover cars like in that movie total recall with colin farell and it was filmed here. the street cars will be able to move freely as i whizz past over head.
Bob replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm
user-pic
You call these streetcar long? You haven't seen longer. Bombardier also makes a 7 segment car up to 43m. These are only 30m while the longer streetcar on Queen is only 23m.

Streetcars of the 21th century are typically around the length of these streetcars. They are fairly common in Europe operating in it's own ROW like the 510 Spadina or in mix traffic. Through I think the TTC is one of the first to operate streetcars is such busy mix traffic environment.

The TTC/City of Toronto could plan more platform island (a platform in the middle) to increase safety, allow better accessible boarding and relief traffic I guess.
Dale replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St / March 14, 2013 at 01:04 pm
user-pic
Bigger streetcars should mean more capacity, but it sounds like you've already dismissed that argument. So, if this is a boondoggle, what's your solution?
Justin Bernard replying to a comment from vader / March 14, 2013 at 01:08 pm
user-pic
I hope you're joking Vader. The most congested roads in Toronto are all located in the suburbs.

Jim replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / March 14, 2013 at 01:09 pm
user-pic
Funny you mention that. These new cars share the same fleet numbers as the A-7 class PCC's that had the MU couples.
kdiddy / March 14, 2013 at 01:10 pm
user-pic
wuh wuh. still not a subway.
Robert / March 14, 2013 at 01:20 pm
user-pic
From a design point of view, I really like it. I think what I can see of their exterior looks pretty great. But whenever the older streetcars get completely phased out, I know I'll miss their old school charm.
Jeff / March 14, 2013 at 01:21 pm
user-pic
This is a big deal for people who use wheelchairs.
Get rid of streetcars! / March 14, 2013 at 01:22 pm
user-pic
Oh yay! Even BIGGER lumbering monstrosities that will break down and block all traffic -- can't wait!
stopitman / March 14, 2013 at 01:28 pm
user-pic
Ah, here come the "why are the streetcars in my way crowd" - if you're going to use that excuse, at least know that streetcars predated automobiles by many decades and by that standard take precedence. If you want to get into efficiency and economic arguments, cars lose those too. Besides, a majority of the traffic is caused by cars themselves - bad drivers, aggressive drivers, parked cars, and the main cause - too many drivers.
Get rid of streetcars! / March 14, 2013 at 01:29 pm
user-pic
From some comments, it is obvious who drives a car, and who doesn't Streetcars in al sizes suck, plain and simple. Before I hear one more "but they carry so many people" argument, has anyone questioned the TTC about what the massive WEIGHT of these things will do to tracks and roads, which need to be constantly repaired due to existing streetcars? How efficient is it for road crews with stinking asphalt trucks to constantly patch roads, or haul-in new sections of track? Before spouting off about how wonderful streetcars are, some oosters need to examine all the facts, not just those they care to address.
Robert replying to a comment from Karen / March 14, 2013 at 01:31 pm
user-pic
The driver will be behind a closed door like they are on the subway. There will be no driver-patron interaction at all, which might actually be a good thing.
st. clair rider / March 14, 2013 at 01:36 pm
user-pic
Anyone know if these streetcars are going to be used on the St. Clair line? I think they may be too big for some of the stops, in addition to St. Clair West and St. Clair stations.
Alex / March 14, 2013 at 01:39 pm
user-pic
It'd be nice if we could replace the King streetcar with a subway, a recent grid article cited Brad Ross saying that they average 60000 people a (week)day on it (the actual quote was "about double 37000" so I'm lowballing here). Money is the only issue. The feds and province have to focus on the serious gridlock in the GTA, which is the highways, so we can't get help from them. Nobody seems to want to pay for subways, so unless we combine the section 37 from practically every single condo in the city and use the increased property taxes from all the new residents to pay the operating costs, I don't see us getting one. I'd be willing to pay an extra $200 for the next ten years or so to build one, but most people probably can't afford to or aren't willing too, and I don't think it would be enough money even if everyone contributed.

In the meantime, the new streetcars look super sweet. They should definitely reduce the number of stops though, it is ridiculous how close together some streetcar and bus stops are.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 01:42 pm
user-pic
See, Nardl Blarn is exactly what I'm talking about. The TTC has so blown streetcar operations and nomenclature that they have confused Mr. Blarn, who clearly likes rail transit, into thinking that streetcars are supposed to be LRT, which they are not. There are subways, there is LRT, and there are streetcars. While LRT is often found in the suburbs as a cost-effective surface route to feed an underground line, streetcars are properly found downtown, where they enhance local development and quality of life. (Yesterday's "streetcar suburb" is today's core neighborhood) This is why various cities are now building streetcar lines, seeking to create the kind of central-city vibrancy that Toronto takes for granted.

And no, you would never, EVER want to remove streetcar lines from King, Queen, Dundas, College, etc. Those streets benefit from the streetcars in ways that those stuck in traffic cannot necessarily see. And this is not fanboy-speak, this is urban planning/real estate developer-speak. Again, other cities are building streetcars (not LRT) specifically to make their streets look like King, Queen, College, etc.

That's not to say we shouldn't have more subways. We should. But a proper modern city is multi-modal and has different services to serve different kinds of riders and different kinds of urban development - commuter rail, subways, suburban LRT, downtown streetcars, buses and express buses, bike lanes, and of course routes for autos and trucks.

My point was that Toronto already has a great streetcar system but it is terribly underutilized and needs to be operated better to take advantage of the new vehicles and play its proper role. At that point we will have a reinvigorated streetcar system downtown, and via Transit Ctiy a few new suburban LRT lines. We should then focus on expanding and improving the trunk subway service inbetween them, not with further extensions to freaking Vaughan but with new lines tying the city together to its core -- i.e. the full DRL.
Dale replying to a comment from Get rid of streetcars! / March 14, 2013 at 01:53 pm
user-pic
The tendency is for companies to build their vehicles out of lighter material than they did 40 years ago. Think about how car construction has changed in 40 years. And they're two or three times longer than a single streetcar, not taller. So the weight per car would be at least no more than it was and likely far less.
the lemur replying to a comment from Get rid of streetcars! / March 14, 2013 at 02:05 pm
user-pic
I drive and I don't have a problem with streetcars being 'in my way' at all. That's because I know to pass them (where it is safe and legal to do so) instead of hanging back and following them.

Streetcar track beds are built to withstand the weight of streetcars and then some. They're also built with concrete, so your dreaded 'asphalt trucks' don't come near them. The tracks don't need replacing as often as you think. The problem is that some sections of track weren't built to the same standard as they are currently built, so the trackbeds need to be redone. That is all.

Heavy trucks damage roads much more, and much more unevenly.
Michelle / March 14, 2013 at 02:06 pm
user-pic
They look fantastic. Can't wait to see what they look like inside in person.
Get rid of streetcars! replying to a comment from Dale / March 14, 2013 at 02:06 pm
user-pic
@Dale, "The tendency is for companies to build their vehicles out of lighter material than they did 40 years ago." And what about the added weight of the passengers?! That is an obvious consideration, and that's they type of "not looking at all the angles" thinking I am talking about.
Chris on Bay St replying to a comment from Dale / March 14, 2013 at 02:15 pm
user-pic
It sounds like you are dazzled by the spec sheets; you must be a city councillor. My point is that the capacity of 1 new streetcar cannot be much greater than 1 articulated plus 1 regular running together (as in my scenario from this morning), and in both scenarios they are stuck in gridlock.

So what exactly is the major improvement to the system?

As other posters have noted, a transformation is needed downtown and below grade transit may be the answer.

Full disclosure: I don't own a car or bicycle and instead split my transportation equally between walking and TTC.
Chris on Bay St / March 14, 2013 at 02:20 pm
user-pic
Looks great in photos btw. Lipstick on a pig.
oneway / March 14, 2013 at 02:40 pm
user-pic
the solution to the city's gridlock is one ways from bloor to the water and church to bathurst. people can pass streetcars on the left. left urns are no longer jamming up all directions. it is an obvious solution to a lot of our gridlock problems. In the mean time its nice to see bigger better streetcars are finally coming close to facing the critical mass that has been reached on queen.
j-rock replying to a comment from Dp / March 14, 2013 at 02:51 pm
user-pic
I drive on the 401 twice a day, most days. I have yet to see a streetcar anywhere on it, but it's congested as fu*k. Does that make me sound "uneducated"? Cars cause congestion. Especially those with only one occupant. Troll.
Andrea / March 14, 2013 at 02:52 pm
user-pic
The negative comments baffle my mind! In Europe where the streets are narrower these types work! Maybe people should think of using the streetcar instead of driving all the time?
oneway replying to a comment from Justin Bernard / March 14, 2013 at 02:56 pm
user-pic
uh he clearly was...
Pete / March 14, 2013 at 03:08 pm
user-pic
OK so I think we can all agree that the optimum solution would be to have a 21st Century subway system. But I don't see too many volunteers wanting to pay for it. So until that happens, here's a solution that would keep public transport users and private vehicle users happy - all while reducing traffic (and hence pollution and general angst).

1) Have streetcars on Spadina only as a nod to the past - these things are in NO way the future of public transport.

2) Replace all other streetcars with buses. Buses will stop on the far side of the intersection (i.e. not before the intersection and hence block right hand turning traffic). Streetcars block two lanes of traffic when they stop - a bus will only block one.

3) On the major routes downtown eliminate street parking.

4) The city invests in parking structures. User pays.

If I have to read one more comment about streetcars being "the way of the future" I will lose my mind. Please show me one advanced, 21st Century city that is investing heavily in streetcars. There has to be a reliable TTC system in place for the public - I could not agree more. But not streetcars.
j-rock replying to a comment from Alex / March 14, 2013 at 03:10 pm
user-pic
The federal government will never step up and fund transit in Toronto, because Toronto doesn't vote Conservative. The Liberals before them didn't bother because Toronto will always vote Liberal regardless. Now the province is broke, and we have a mayor who has flat out refused to consider ANY of the revenue tools that might go towards funding future projects.

Don't kid yourself into believing that "nobody wants to pay". Most rational people realize that we're all going to have to contribute if anything is going to improve. But for the time being, the mayor and his myopic, angry, tax-averse, and extremely vocal minority of supporters are in charge. So we're just going to have to wait a few more years while things get worse, and potential solutions become more expensive, until it's time for us as a city to have the so-called "adult conversation" on how to pay for everything.

A succession of mayors, administrations, provincial and federal governments have dropped the ball on transit over the past few decades. Rob Ford can't be blamed for all of that. But he's continued in that grand tradition of incompetence from the moment he won the election in 2010. I guess "Respect For Taxpayers" doesn't include making sure they can get where they need to go quickly and efficiently.
jimmy / March 14, 2013 at 03:20 pm
user-pic
they look awesome
nardl blarn replying to a comment from Andrea / March 14, 2013 at 03:21 pm
user-pic
Andrea, the only places in europe with streetcars are way out in the suburbs. Absolutely never downtown. They are more like the LRT that iskyscapper correctly pointed out that I have conflated a little with streetcars. In europe they tend to shift between railway based (with railway stations) and street based (with street stops and sharing the road with other traffic) operation. Also the suburban areas in europe traditionally have a much more extensive public transit infrastructure than north america which is much more car based. They seem to care about public transport, so I don't know why we can't.
the lemur replying to a comment from Chris on Bay St / March 14, 2013 at 03:28 pm
user-pic
Current single-car streetcar (CLRV) holds 42 seated, 132 standing.

Current articulated streetcar (ALRV) holds 61 seated, normal peak capacity is 155, 205 at crush load.

New streetcar (4 m longer than ALRV articulated)
70 seats, normal load 132, crush load 251.

So you're right that the capacity is not more than 1 CLRV + 1 ALRV, but the new vehicle actually weighs 10,000 kg less than that combination. The main benefit will come on routes with an ROW (Spadina, Queensway) but elsewhere, gridlock will be reduced because there will actually be fewer streetcars running (and with any luck no one will be stupid enough to get in the way of one).



the lemur replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 03:32 pm
user-pic
1) Streetcars work a lot better than buses on routes like St Clair and Queensway as well.

2) Far-side stops would work with streetcars (and transit signals) as well. Some stops will actually be eliminated because they are close to others. You'd need a huge number of buses to replace streetcar service on most routes = more congestion.

3) Agree.

4) Disagree. The city doesn't need more parking structures.

What 'advanced 21st-century' cities are currently building subways?

What major cities are building streetcar/LRT lines in areas where there is not enough demand to justify subway lines?
nardl blarn replying to a comment from the lemur / March 14, 2013 at 04:17 pm
user-pic
In response to your first question - Shanghai have built their subway from scratch since the 90's and it is pretty amazaing. Hong Kong metro has had massive expansion in the last few years and the London underground has also expanded over the last decade or so. That's just off the top of my head from my own experience with those cities- I'm sure with a little research you could pull up a list of most advanced 21st century cities and see that they already have a far more extensive subway network than Toronto's and/or they are busy expanding their subway network.

As to your second question- I would like you to explain why you are asking this. Certainly some other large cities do have LRT networks that are either completely suburban based or turn into actual rail networks with rail stations etc. in certain areas. But usually in addition to an extensive subway network.
lol replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 04:23 pm
user-pic
"with a little research" you will find that cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Londons system are all mostly funded at the Federal level, while the city just operates them. Here in Toronto and all of Canada, Harper is more concerned putting people in jail for smoking weed, building new prisons and the works to make any serious effort for a national transit strategy... meanwhile cities are left fending for themselves with the onslaught of overuse from not only residents but outsiders as well... pathetic
Pete replying to a comment from the lemur / March 14, 2013 at 04:29 pm
user-pic
Thanks for your response Lemur.

1) Sure maybe there are other routes where the streetcars would work - Spadina was the first that came to mind as that's a road I tangle with frequently. Anywhere where streetcars can have their own lane and not impede bicycle and car traffic then there is no problem. Maybe even if you want to do a loop down Spadina, along King and up Jarvis (I literally never go past Yonge so I'm guessing streetcars go up Jarvis - apologies for my ignorance)for that nice gentrified feel or whatever. But as a mass public transit system, streetcars are not a solution.

2)Far side stops wih streetcars would be an improvement (for turning traffic), but would still block both lanes on the far side of the intersection.

3) Sweet.

4) You can't agree with (3) and then disagree with (4). These displaced parks need to be made up somewhere. I'm sure there's a block of land somewhere that's not a condo yet that we can use.

And please don't bundle LRT and streetcars together. Completely different systems of transport.
vader / March 14, 2013 at 04:36 pm
user-pic
We don't need new streetcars. We need a downtown relief line!!!!
the lemur replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 04:51 pm
user-pic
Shanghai and Hong Kong have funding that we don't, for one thing, plus the density to warrant subways.

The London Underground hasn't added a new line since 1979, although it is currently building a crosstown (partly) underground commuter rail line. The reason I asked the second question is that both London and Paris have largely stopped building subway lines out of cost considerations and are adding LRT to cater to underserved areas instead of subways.
mezimeen / March 14, 2013 at 04:51 pm
user-pic
IT'S SO BIG!!!
*that's what she said
the lemur replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 04:55 pm
user-pic
1) Streetcars work as mass transit in many other places and no, they don't run on Jarvis. In fact aside from an express bus (I think) there is no transit there at all.

2) It would depend on the signals and whether turning traffic is allowed at all.

3) + 4) Parking eliminated on major streets can be shifted to side streets and existing lots AND (here's a thought) maybe car traffic can be discouraged from entering downtown in the first place.

The one way that streetcars and LRT can be discussed at the same time is that they are both forms of on-street surface rail. What we're talking about here is an LRV to be used on a legacy streetcar network, but it's not much different from an entirely new LRT line to be built in a similar environment.
Right / March 14, 2013 at 05:01 pm
user-pic
Idiots. This thread is full of them.

"BAN STREETCARS!"
"THEY ARE TOO BIG!"
"THEY WEIGH TOO MUCH AND DAMAGE THE ROAD!"

Are you kidding me? Give your heads a shake and tell me; What creates more traffic? A single streetcar with 130 passengers or 130 cars with one occupant each? It sure doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out...

It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the only people getting pissed off about these new streetcars are ones who would never ride them in the first place. They are too comfortable sitting in their $60,000 gas sucking SUVs with 6 empty seats.
Right replying to a comment from Right / March 14, 2013 at 05:03 pm
user-pic
And before you say "Tree Hugger" or "Hippie" or some other half-assed retarded attempt at an insult. I drive too. I just don't whinge about IMPROVEMENTS to transit infrastructure.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 05:05 pm
user-pic
"Please show me one advanced, 21st Century city that is investing heavily in streetcars."

Um, ok.

Seattle - http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/
Portland - http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/
Washington DC - http://www.dcstreetcar.com/
Atlanta - http://www.atlantadowntown.com/initiatives/atlanta-streetcar
Philadelphia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEPTA_Route_15
Cincinnati - http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/streetcar/

The above are pure streetcar networks. Some TTC lines (like St. Clair and Spadina) start to blur into LRT. I could name a dozen cities that are investing in LRT lines with some surface running, even parts in mixed-traffic (San Francisco is a good example).

You are right about removing street parking but wrong about replacing streetcars with buses. It's not necessarily something that shows up in the number of seats or labour costs but buses do not replace streetcars very well. Ridership drops and real estate investment disappears. There is something about the comfort of rail and the permanence of streetcar tracks that gives it greater impact than an equivalent number of bus seats. Which is why cities are trying so hard to bring them back. You already have what they want and you are trying to give it away....
Pete replying to a comment from lol / March 14, 2013 at 05:05 pm
user-pic
Your comment is almost as constructive as using an already low level of public funding to upgrade an antiquated transit system. New streetcars? How are people not complaining about this cost?

The point is that cities like New York, London, Shanghai etc are not ripping up the streets to put in streetcar lines. Regardless of where funding is coming from, it's obviously not the way of the future.

A city where they are always crying poor, but then spend millions of dollars upgrading streetcars - it is insanity.
Steven / March 14, 2013 at 05:16 pm
user-pic
SNOWSTORM? Why didn't they test it during the last snowstorm?

The new streetcar will get stuck in the snow more often, since it's not as heavy and the weight distribution is longer.

Wait and see...
the lemur replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 05:24 pm
user-pic
Portland in fact has LRT and streetcar - two different lines.
the lemur replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 05:25 pm
user-pic
Um, London has already in fact put streetcar tracks in. Google 'Tramlink Croydon'.

NYC is looking at LRT for Brooklyn and Montreal is looking to build LRT as well.
the lemur replying to a comment from Steven / March 14, 2013 at 05:26 pm
user-pic
Bombardier streetcars and LRTs are already in use in places that get heavy snowfall. It's not an issue.
jer replying to a comment from Steven / March 14, 2013 at 05:29 pm
user-pic
The streetcars didn't get stuck in the snow before. The issue was that cars were parked away from the curb and too close to the street car tracks.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from the lemur / March 14, 2013 at 05:38 pm
user-pic
erm, london transport added the jubilee extension only about a decade ago, and they also built lots of new track and stations to link together a number of older underground and other rail lines rebranded as "london overground" only a couple of years ago. Now that transport for london has extended their subway network they are focussing on expanding the capacity of the network - by making platforms up to 40% larger, improving signals so there are fewer disruptions and increased accuracy, and almost completely rebuilding some stations improving the traffic flow through them.

If you are referring to crossrail when you talk about the new commuter line this does indeed run underground through the entire "downtown" section of london through which it travels and much in the way of other london underground lines or toronto subway lines runs overground through more suburban areas (zone 3 outwards). But this is for commuters- think of it as a far upgraded GO train.

Transport for London have also invested in the Docklands Light Railway, a real LRT network which is fully integrated with the underground (same stations etc.) and operates above ground and below ground. This was all entirely built from the late 80's through to the 2000's and is still expanding now.

Plus, and most importantly, london doesn't waste time building tram (streetcar) lines anywhere near the city centre- they have built some out in the suburbs but this is where public transport experiences very light use.
TIMS replying to a comment from Bob / March 14, 2013 at 05:38 pm
user-pic
Releif traffic? Like on St Claire? LOL What a joke. haveing to drive 4 blocks up to make a left turn is ridiculous. and with the street parking on the right depends what cars are at the intersection, no one can pass a wider car to make a left. the islands are horrible
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 05:38 pm
user-pic
And just in case you don't consider anything in North America to be "advanced" or "21st Century", there are always these cities that have built new or invested in existing streetcar lines:

Melbourne: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/
Tokyo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toden_Arakawa_Line
Sapporo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapporo_Street_Car
Hiroshima: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_Electric_Railway
Hong Kong: http://www.hktramways.com/en/index.html

and pretty much every single major city in Europe with a tram (which is to say, dozens of them).

As I mentioned earlier, the way of the future is multi-modal transportation, each optimized for its role. For close-in neighbourhoods and a livable downtown, streetcars are part of that future, alongside improved subways, commuter rail, buses and suburban LRT.
Alexia / March 14, 2013 at 05:39 pm
user-pic
B*tch, b*tch, b*tch... Having been born & raised & lived & commuted in Toronto my whole life and only recently moving to Ottawa, you Torontonians don't know how good you have it. I miss the TTC now that there are the new subways & streetcars. Some folks really just need to get out of their cars and appreciate the advancements the city is trying to make.
stopitman replying to a comment from Pete / March 14, 2013 at 05:45 pm
user-pic
@Pete - it is the way of the future. Several places in Europe and the States are installing streetcar lines including Seattle and Portland. Cars will lose no matter what. It may take 100 years or 20 years, but our use of them is entirely against good economics and our roads are even anti-capitalist.

Your ignorance of the topic is obvious when you list these cities:
-New York-Receives 50% subsidy from the NY State and has a $3B deficit. The current cost for the 2nd Ave Subway line they're building is $17B+ for 8.5km of line ($480M/km). Density of Manhattan: 27,000/km2. Density of Toronto: 4,000/km2

-London - Receives subsidies worth $4,625,340,000 (CAD) from the federal government for Transport for London. Cost of riding in one zone on Tube: $6.94 CAD. Has artifically inflated gas prices and congestion charges to discourage driving. Density of Greater London: 5,200/km2

-Shanghai - Almost the same land mass as the GTA, but 4 times the density (and 2/3 the population of Canada). Don't know as much about their transit system, but is no doubt heavily subsidised by the central Chinese government like many of their transit projects.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 05:48 pm
user-pic
Iskyscrapper, thelemur, all of those cities you refer to either

1. use trams (streetcars) only in the suburbs

2. are much much smaller than Toronto

3. use real LRT on an above street level, below street level or completely seperated from the street basis.

Whereas Toronto uses these on major downtown streets to try to transport people who actually live here. And not on a tourist/heritage basis! And are actually sticking with it and onvesting MORE in it! That mistake is where Toronto is a singular peculiarity.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from stopitman / March 14, 2013 at 06:00 pm
user-pic
stopitman, first you compare the density of manhattan with the density of the whole of toronto (a not like for like comparison) then you casually state the density of greater london (only about 25% more than toronto, but again not completely like for like as post-amalgamation toronto has a more substantial suburban area which skews the figures a little).

And the fares on London underground- I don't know what you were doing when you were in london last but a zone one oyster card fare is 2.10 pounds stg which is around $3.30 CAD, so not much more really. Sure a zone 1&2 monthly travelcard would set you back around $175, so about 30% more than the TTC but it's worth it to be able to use an established and substantial integrated transport network.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from stopitman / March 14, 2013 at 06:04 pm
user-pic
and the transport for london subsidies is exactly what i'm talking about- that money isn't an operating subsidy, it's money used for the expansion of the transport system over implemented over half a decade which will serve the city for many decades to come. And it's the sort of bold, innovative action that makes London a real world class city. It's also the sort of bold action that Toronto needs, and I'm genuinely concerned that without the city will start to regress.
Dale replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 06:09 pm
user-pic
It has been a while since I was in Europe, but one of my first recollections after coming over on the ferry to Belgium was almost getting pinged by a streetcar because I was biking on the wrong side of the road. I also remember streetcars in Vienna and Amsterdam. With a little effort I'm sure I could pull up some other examples. Now, did the serve precisely downtown? Depends what you mean by that, I don't think they were in the historic cores of the cities, at least not above ground, but certainly they were a short walk or bike ride away. Certainly, you didn't have to hike to the suburbs as we would think of suburbs, to find them. So if we take the financial core out of the picture, I don't think what Toronto is doing here is completely an alien concept, at least once you get out of North America.

Of course, Toronto is doing more than moving people from point A to point B. These streets aren't just funnels for cars. The areas they're moving through on Queen and King actually matter. So, in that sense the streetcar is also popular in Toronto because it contributes to a viable streetscape in the downtown area. I've lived in cities served by buses. Trust me, they contribute nothing to the streetscape and if anything drag down property values. That's exactly what would happen if Queen and King were loaded up with buses in the volume needed to replace the streetcar.

We have an existing transit system using 40 year old vehicles. They had to be replaced at some point.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 06:10 pm
user-pic
Let's not base all our aspirations on London and New York, two cities that are exponentially bigger than Toronto and have had a half-century more investment in their transit infrastructure. Not that I wouldn't kill to have their subway networks, but they are not the right peer comparison.

Nonethless, it should be noted that each has toyed with the idea of downtown streetcars recently. Had funding not been an issue they would indeed have been "wasting time building tram lines in the city centre" in London right now in fact:

London: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_River_Tram
New York: http://www.vision42.org/

Chicago too: http://www.chicagostreetcar.com/starter-line.html

Back to cities where streetcar investment is actually happening, I left these out of my initial North America list:

LA: http://blogdowntown.com/2013/03/7158-city-council-commits-to-30-years-of-funding
Dallas: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/03/meet_dallas_new_oak_cliff_stre.php
New Orleans: http://www.norta.com/about/Projects/index.html
Kansas City: http://dnakcmo.org/streetcar.html
Tucson: http://www.tucsonstreetcar.com/
Ft. Lauderdale: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-03-13/news/fl-downtown-streetcar-project-20130312_1_streetcar-system-mass-transit-downtown-development-authority
Milwaukee: http://www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com/

And that doesn't even include cities like St. Louis and Charlotte that are trying to get streetcar projects funded.

Need I go on? How many pictures of modern streetcars in modern downtowns do you anti-streetcar people need to see to get the message? I think the evidence is rather clear that pursuing a multi-modal model for public transit is intelligent, cost-effective and very much what cities these days are trying to do.

The existing streetcar asset should be optimized, while LRT is built in the burbs and political will is gathered for funding new subway trunk lines. We can all get along here.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 06:21 pm
user-pic
Wrong, wrong and totally wrong.

Every city I listed in every link above uses streetcars in their downtown, not suburb. On the surface. As for the size excuse, certainly Washington DC, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are size comps for the former city of Toronto. As for moving people and not just being a development tool, examine Houston, a very big, new, modern city that is now building surface LRT-streetcar hybrid lines not unlike the Queen line to act as their main commuting service. They have one operational and are building four more.

You need to learn to use the internet more.
Ford/driver Crowd / March 14, 2013 at 06:24 pm
user-pic
I love how the driver & pro Ford hate street cars but are the first to say no to raising taxes to pay for a subway to replace them. Can not have both. One or the other.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from Ford/driver Crowd / March 14, 2013 at 06:35 pm
user-pic
I agree- raise taxes, impose a two-tiered congestion charge (one to drive anywhere in Toronto, another to drive into the core, waived at certain extreme off-peak times of the week to allow for deliveries) and demand money from neighbouring municipalities whose commuter residents use toronto services and pay nothing in return.

And build downtown subway lines. Preferably a minimum of two although I would make do with one to start with.
FobRorf / March 14, 2013 at 06:38 pm
user-pic
Can we now ban all the dirty hobos on public transit?
nardl blarn replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 14, 2013 at 06:39 pm
user-pic
you didn't really read all my points did you? Most of those cities are far smaller than toronto. And if not any streetcar (tram) line they are currently actually building with real money will be in the suburbs. And if not then it's probably a real LRT and doesn't operate on the street like in a jerky old timey movie. and toronto. And I wouldn't like to model toronto public transit on north american in any case, as they have such an unhealthy dependence on roads and cars.
Mark D / March 14, 2013 at 07:00 pm
user-pic
Let us be honest the people in position of decisions at the TTC all drive cars and or live outside the GTA. Most Every Senior management person/Engineer in the decision area who work at TTC has a parking spot at a TTC Yard and does not use public transit.Underground subway is the only real resolve to traffic congestion in the GTA. Sadly we have the likes of The chairwoman on the TTC commission who actually knows nothing about public transit and believes Rapid transit system is what this city requires ( this tells me what she actually knows and understands in public transit) The short sight of these politicians will only cost the taxpayer in later years after these fools have moved on to other political offices or appointments by the govt leaving this city in a system that will require massive tax payers dollars to resolve this mismanagement of today's politicians.Geoffrey Lyons said it best when he was the chairman of TTC " Do Not Let this system be taken over by politicians and allow the TTC to become a pawn in political politics" Sadly his words are what we have today people who know nothing and decide for political gain, the real loser becomes the taxpayers of GTA.
ZaneR / March 14, 2013 at 07:05 pm
user-pic
Privatize it, and put just one person to make sure it doesn't fall apart.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from nardl blarn / March 14, 2013 at 07:08 pm
user-pic
I've given you actual links that counter every myth you've raised -- streetcars are for small cities, streetcars are only in the suburbs, downtown streetcars only exist as LRT with full ROW, streetcars are only for europe, streetcars should be more like europe....

If you don't want to use your browser, or travel outside Toronto, I really don't know what more I can do to help you. We both want more rail investment, only I'm arguing for all modes including streetcars (and fix their damn operations) and you seem to be deadset against one of Toronto's best, and need I point out ALREADY EXISTING assets.

Sorry I couldn't do more for you.
Aaron / March 14, 2013 at 08:22 pm
user-pic
A 5-car bunch-up of these suckers will be about 2kms long! A short turn will strand 100's! Can't wait to be stuck in gridlock in one of these.
Mayor McBlowsnorter replying to a comment from Ford/driver Crowd / March 14, 2013 at 08:39 pm
user-pic
No streetcars!! More lanes!! More subways!!

(...but no tolls or raising our insanely low property taxes to pay for them!)
Morp / March 14, 2013 at 08:43 pm
user-pic
I demand all streetcars removed from Bayview and Sheppard!
it is the most congested intersection, next only to Yonge and Sheppard. MUST be all those Sheppard streetcars wrecking havoc!

aside from that, these puppies look gorg.
Grabass Robbo replying to a comment from Morp / March 14, 2013 at 08:45 pm
user-pic
Is that even populated there?!?

I thought it was all permafrost above Dupont.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Emily / March 14, 2013 at 09:07 pm
user-pic
Emily, of course neo-Luddite subway loving morons like you hate these new streetcars-they'll get in the way of your being able to drive anywhere you like or whatever it is that you'll be likely to be pissed off against concerning these things. Where do you propose we build new subways in Toronto other than the extension to Vaughn and the DRL? Even better, when will people like you try and use whatever free time that you have to learn about streetcars and LRT while on the 'Net instead of coming to places like BlogTO and Torontoist to bitch about the TTC, as iSkyscraper suggested?
Morp / March 14, 2013 at 09:32 pm
user-pic
Im excited for this if only for the idea that it will make all the suburbanites realize that streetcars are modern and comfortable, and then they will get jealous and want them going through their areas.
Morp replying to a comment from Grabass Robbo / March 14, 2013 at 09:34 pm
user-pic
there arn't streetcars On Sheppard, or any of these streets: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/06/14/torontos_most_congested_intersections.html which just proves that there MUST be another cause to congestion other than streetcars. WHAT?? could it be??
Bob / March 14, 2013 at 09:49 pm
user-pic
Certain people in Toronto are way too selfish. They don't have any future vision and believes that road space is unlimited and unconstrained. TO is backwards as there is significant group don't accept lost of road space for the greater good.

Some of the newer LRT systems are created by taking 2 of the 4 lanes and turning it into tracks. This will take away parking space for faster transit through the downtown core. King street is actually a good candidate for conversion to LRT-like service. There was a plan in 2007 to convert the road to be more transit friendly. Loading happens on red lights and traveling happens on green. It never went through and will won't be planned till Ford is out of the office.

Think of it, you can never get rid of cars. They just keep growing. There is no way to expand the downtown roads ever. Not in 1880, 1950 nor today. Taking one of the east-west streetcar routes and making it into a transit own road isn't such a bad idea. Calgary did so with it's 7th street LRT/bus lanes. Why is TO is behind? It isn't a billion dollar project.
Bubba / March 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm
user-pic
that red paint on the street car isn't red enough!
B. Ross Ashley / March 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm
user-pic
Just to address one point, the major pavement damage I have seen on Toronto streets is from overloaded buses in summer when the asphalt is soft. If you have ever bicycled past Castle Frank subway station westbound, over the ruts in the pavement coming out of the bus exit/entrance, you will know what I mean.
seanm / March 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm
user-pic
As I driver and transit user I believe two things need to happen in Toronto: ban parking on streetcar routes, and introduce congestion fees (similar to London's) for driving in the core during certain hours. Tolling the DVP and Gardiner could fall into a transit fundraising program as well.

Now, use the funds to improve streetcar infrastructure (e.g. loading in the centre of the street, like College), build more ROWs, and build more bypasses so stranded streetcars can be passed. For instance mini routes like the Church-Wellington-York section could be replicated throughout the city, providing mix-and-match route options in an emergency situation.
HUK replying to a comment from ZaneR / March 14, 2013 at 11:53 pm
user-pic
Put the taxpayers in charge as shareholders and you've got yourself a good idea.
Stev R / March 15, 2013 at 01:38 am
user-pic
Looks nice, and fitting. However it seems a little too long for the crowded downtown Toronto. I'm assuming there would be longer wait times since this new model, looks to me, fits about 25% more people.
Right replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 15, 2013 at 09:28 am
user-pic
There's no helping the mentally challenged.
Right replying to a comment from seanm / March 15, 2013 at 09:34 am
user-pic
Now there's an idea I could get behind. I'm still all for them banning cars completely in the core - I remember there was a study on "Car Free Zones" a few years back. Of course, without a DRL or improvements to the YUS line, I don't see that happening any time soon.
StephenBB81 / March 15, 2013 at 09:44 am
user-pic
Good move Toronto. I like the idea of streamlining public transit, Next step is STOP your war on Cars and build parking structures so we have less street parking.
I don't use public transport because it isn't feasible, I travel 250-400km per day by car and coming into Toronto is terrible. Parking is hard to find, traffic is blocked by lanes being taken up.
Encourage public transport by making it easier to park and get on public transport in and make it easier to be a visitor to the city by improving traffic flow. It doesn't have to be a war on Cars which by reading this thread of comments by people who seems to think the whole world is accessible by public transit, Both Cars and public transit need to operate together. Lets see higher capacity buses next as well.
StephenBB81 replying to a comment from Right / March 15, 2013 at 09:46 am
user-pic
Only way to Ban cars would be to increase parking availability just outside of the core and having fast in and out transport. Lots of business is done with people NOT in the core coming in doing business and leaving. No place that has heavy winters does NO car zones as they make it harder to actually do business
StephenBB81 replying to a comment from the lemur / March 15, 2013 at 09:55 am
user-pic
You must not drive much if you feel Toronto doesn't need more parking structures.
The hardest part about doing business with downtown businesses is finding a place to park.
Heaven forbid if there is a concert, or leafs game going on then parking is even worse. Toronto has many surface structures that should be multi level, Toronto needs parking closer to public transport access so that visitors to the downtown core can park take transit then return to their cars easily for departure. It is very hit or miss if one can find parking and the challenge of using public transport to get around increases because of this.

the lemur replying to a comment from StephenBB81 / March 15, 2013 at 10:23 am
user-pic
I do drive, just not 250-400 km a day like you! Where are you coming from in the morning and where are you going during the day? When do you have time to do anything during the day other than driving?

Finding a place to park is not hard. There are tons of surface lots and many underground/multi-level garages. I parked this morning, close to transit access as it happens. I'm sure many others managed to do that as well.
Jordan / March 15, 2013 at 11:05 am
user-pic
Why do they look so vintage? They look straight out of the 60's!
freeloader / March 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm
user-pic
Looks nice! with the diver up front in his own cabin.. I can now sneak inside without paying! :) expect below average profits the year they roll out. lol *sarcasm*
freeloader / March 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm
user-pic
oh and such huge doors too! Awesome job ttc! I love it! *sarcasm*
JohnnyBoy / March 17, 2013 at 05:01 pm
user-pic
Hey Toronto, 1918 Called and with hardly any cars on the road,Lets put these gigantic trains above ground to move people around instead of horse and carriage
morp / March 17, 2013 at 07:43 pm
user-pic
StephanBB81 I find it really funny that you would write something on that on an article about new vehicles for the TTC (last new ones came in 1978). As for parking, its under almost every building in the private sector, and the city runs tonnes of green P lots in the city, at reduced pricing for cheapskates. use google it will help you find them.
BUCK / March 18, 2013 at 09:54 pm
user-pic
Get with the times people,this is a work of art ,you should be proud to live in such a cool Canadian city,poke away on your laptops,Blackberries,or turn up your mp3 player while you enjoy the ride.Where else are you going to get a show like you see on public transportation Europe or Canada you have to lighten up,its a short dance.The ttc is a massive system that gets you from A to B for a few bucks.If you don"t like it look for the cash cab and maybe you'll make enough to by a smart car.

LTR,bus,street car or subway,elevated ,ground level or tunnel it gets more entertaining as you go.Get with the times your SUVS EXTENDED 4X4S CREW CABS will make perfect landfiller
nardl blarn replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / March 20, 2013 at 03:27 pm
user-pic
Iskyscraper, just look at those links again and actually read into them with an open mind and you will see how wrong you were. I started going through them and itemising all the issues but I'm frankly to busy to educate you on material you are posting. And knowing BlogTo my response will be deleted anyway.
MikeB / March 22, 2013 at 07:15 pm
user-pic
Not sure if anyone complaining about these has ever travelled to any other parts of the world.
The streetcars are fantastic. I have lived in Sydney, Melbourne, Thailand, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris... all of which use these vehicles and they are amazing. Presto entry will eliminate wait times considerably.

The TTC is clearly not going throw these vehicles on the road and expect that to be the fix. There is planning going into adding GPS at lights so eliminate wait times for drivers and service will be frequent, there will just be fewer stops... which as a TTC rider I am happy about. The current routes stop way to often. The TTC is too accomodating at this point and that is what hinders quick reliable service. Transit is a machine that people need to work to their advantage.. the TTC shouldnt be worrying about you! they should be focusing on the efficiencies of a transit system.

Urban planning has been put into this project hence why is was not rolled out over night.

I have faith in the TTC on this one. All they need to do is mimic what has been done in every other major city in the world.

Tanya / March 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm
user-pic
As someone who routinely uses the longest streetcar line in North America - Long Branch - I can attest to streetcars being RIDICULOUSLY slow. It stops at every lamp post - there are waaaay too many stops. It stops on every traffic light. It stalls once it enters Queen or King - people park illegally, the whole street gets crazy congested.

Streetcars will be efficient when they get dedicated lanes that no other cars can enter (like they have on a Roncesvalles-to-Humber-Loop stretch. And when they reduce the number of stops. Until then - it's a very aggravating experience.

That being said, I am looking forward to finally having a/c on streetcars. Last year I had to take alternate routes (which took twice as long) to avoid fainting (I was pregnant).
stclair 512 / April 13, 2013 at 03:57 pm
user-pic
did they run them up on st clair yet?
Mr.bob / October 17, 2013 at 08:01 am
user-pic
If we remove all streetcars on Queen,King,College,and Dundas,we would look like every average American city,we should build a streetcar line on Wellesley we should replace 94 as a ceosstown,running from Jane to Victoria park
the lemur replying to a comment from MikeB / October 17, 2013 at 09:29 am
user-pic
The light rail running in Sydney is nothing like this and as far as I know there is no streetcar or LRT anywhere in Thailand.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal