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This is what Toronto's new streetcars look like in action

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 23, 2013

new toronto streetcarThe first of the TTC's $1.2 billion fleet of new low-floor streetcars made its first daylight appearance on Bathurst Street this morning, ferrying a herd of reporters from the yard at Hillcrest, down to Bathurst Station, and back again successfully, albeit slowly and with subtle a police escort.

After months of secretive testing under the cover of darkness, the new vehicles are preparing to enter service next summer on the Spadina, Dundas, and Bathurst routes. When they finally hit the streets, each of the $6 million vehicles will be the first in Toronto to feature full Presto integration, all-door boarding, and automatic wheelchair and stroller ramps.

There's drastically more space as well. The added length and additional 24 seats mean there is room for 119 more passengers per vehicle - more than the current number of seats on the existing CLRV model.

The streetcars feel very different to the current fleet. There is better lighting, air conditioning strong enough for condensation to form on some of the metal surfaces, and a bump-free ride minus many of the squeals, rumbles, and electrical whines that are a feature of the current cars.

It remains to be seen whether the face-to-face seating areas (awkward touching knees for tall strangers) and firm seat cushions will be a turn-off for the first riders, however.

new toronto streetcar"Even a higher rate of speed it's still a much smoother ride than our current fleet," says Alan Boyd, the driver of the test model. "Personally, I find it much easier to operate this vehicle," he adds, showing off the lever used to control acceleration and braking.

In terms of personality, the TTC has dispensed with the old stop announcements, recorded by employee Cheryl Bomé, and opted instead for a computerized female voice for the various automated warnings and stop announcements that's similar to the one used on the new Rocket subway trains. Even the familiar dinging bell is a digital recording.

new toronto streetcarSome changes were required to the road, too. Construction crews had to adjust the platform height on Spadina right-of-way to accommodate the swing of the automatic ramp. Before, the TTC simply dropped a slab of concrete beside the tracks, jokes Stephen Lam, the chief vehicle engineer.

The overheard wires had to be tweaked as well so that the trolley pole used to draw power is able co-exist with the new car's pantograph system when it goes live in the years to come.

"It's beautiful," says Robert Brown, a streetcar driver for the past 18 years waiting at Bathurst station when we pull up. He likes the low floor, the AC, and the separated cab area that features a comfortable leather seat. "They're nice, very nice," he adds.

new toronto streetcarQUICK STATS:

Seating: 70
Standing: 181 max (250 crush load)
Length: 30.20 metres
Width: 2.54 metres
Height: 3.84 metres
Weight: 48,200 kilograms
Max speed: 70 km/h
Cost per streetcar: $6 million
Fleet cost: $1.2 billion
Fleet size: 204 streetcars
Additional costs: $800 million (Leslie carhouse, curb cuts, wiring, and new track)

ROLLOUT SCHEDULE:

505 Dundas: Mid 2014
510 Spadina: Mid 2014
511 Bathurst: Mid 2014
509 Harbourfront: Late 2014
501 Queen: Early 2015
508 Lake Shore: Early 2015
504 King: Mid 2016
512 St. Clair: Mid 2017
502 Downtowner: Early 2018
503 Kingston Road: Early 2018
506 Carlton: Mid 2018

MORE IMAGES:

new toronto streetcar
new toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarnew toronto streetcarChris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photos by Tom Ryaboi

Discussion

136 Comments

Chino / July 23, 2013 at 01:17 pm
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Cant wait for those monsters to come to King and Spadina and stall traffic for 30 metres at a time.
Azz replying to a comment from Chino / July 23, 2013 at 01:29 pm
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They hold up to 250 people.

Would you rather an extra 250 cars on the street?
Chinojump / July 23, 2013 at 01:29 pm
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I can't wait for Chino to jump from her Cityplace balcony!
Ron replying to a comment from Chino / July 23, 2013 at 01:32 pm
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Chino, these streetcars take people out of cars. I think you'd rather have one extra streetcar than 250 extra cars.
Kim / July 23, 2013 at 01:32 pm
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What the hell are they thinking having seats face eachother!??! Don't they know how many crazy people there are on the street car? I don't want to be facing someone who's eyeing me up. This is going to cause some trouble for sure. This isn't a go train.
Frances Spoon / July 23, 2013 at 01:35 pm
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2018!? Unfriggingreal. Not to mention the completely illogical seating arrangements. Have the people who designed these ever actually taken public transit? Honest to god, the state of the TTC would be hilarious if it wasn't so shameful. At this rate, humans will have gone extinct by the time Toronto figures out how to implement an efficient transit system. Never thought I'd pine for Translink, but at least Vancouver knows how to design a goddamn bus. Do better, Toronto.
ms / July 23, 2013 at 01:40 pm
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sure hope there is more room for wheelchairs and strollers than there is on our current buses!
JD replying to a comment from Marc / July 23, 2013 at 01:40 pm
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Rude.
Linda replying to a comment from Azz / July 23, 2013 at 01:41 pm
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Ass, I mean Azz, these beasts will not only cause major delays for cars, but also cyclists and pedestrians. They also mean a much longer wait time as they will come less frequently.

The TTC service is already known for crappy service (which is why most people TAKE THE CAR) and these ridiculous streetTRAINS will just make congestion worse for everyone.

Only a city as backward as Toronto would embrace such a dumb idea. If you travel to real world class cities, you will see that our transit system is a joke ...like the "politicians" that run this city.
Ferg / July 23, 2013 at 01:42 pm
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@kim
All of the Montreal busses are like this and I admit it's disconcerting at first but I never had an issue with it. Also, not all seats face eachother so you can just avoid certain seats if you're worried.
CW replying to a comment from Linda / July 23, 2013 at 01:50 pm
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> these beasts will not only cause major delays for cars, but also cyclists and pedestrians. They also mean a much longer wait time as they will come less frequently.

Please help me work through this. They will come less frequently which will cause major delays for cars? They will also delay pedestrians walking on a sidewalk? I don't get it.
Bradley / July 23, 2013 at 01:50 pm
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I don't wanna bit#h about it!
It's all good to me except for the two points below.

1. Seating arrangement, can someone find out who proposed + who approved the design rationale so we can understand why this configuration was chosen?

2. The length of the project from design to final product delivery is long given the state of public transit in Toronto. Evidently, the commuting experience in Toronto is broken and thus shameful as it is disrespectful to the hard working people who commute several times a day to make a decent life for themselves.

That is all - sort of.
Michael / July 23, 2013 at 01:55 pm
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Curious if they plan on implementing streetcar-only turn signals at intersections. It seems like these will take a very long time to clear intersections when turning.

Also have they budgeted for losses from people simply not paying fares? Allowing all-door entry is going to turn most routes into free hop-on hop-off rides unless the TTC has people frequently enforcing payment. I used to take the 501 very frequently and not once saw an enforcement officer checking for POP.
ERK replying to a comment from Kim / July 23, 2013 at 01:56 pm
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They have these style trams in Australia. Sitting face-to-face BLOWS!!! Your legs have to be staggered and there's no room for bags on the floor or between your legs.

Can you imagine staggering you legs with Zanta?! Or some other creepy pervs?
tt replying to a comment from Frances Spoon / July 23, 2013 at 01:57 pm
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This seating arrangement is actually very common in most European buses and streetcars. Seats are placed on the raised areas above the wheels, the rest is pretty much all flat surface. Great for strollers, bikes, wheelchairs, people who are having trouble climbing stairs, and human beings in general since it leaves plenty of standing space. Lots of standing space and all-door boarding (FINALLY) is really going to speed up boarding and unboarding during rush hour.

Welcome to the 21st century, Toronto. Even if it means glancing up your issue of Metro and looking at the person sitting in front of you who - God forbid - might also look up and smile at you :)
Janie replying to a comment from ERK / July 23, 2013 at 02:01 pm
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Right!? And what about those of us who have to cart our groceries around on the streetcars? It's hard enough squeezing yourself + three bags into front-facing seats. Seriously, there should be some sort of bylaw that says you have to spend 6 months exclusively using public transit before you're allowed to design a streetcar.
j-rock / July 23, 2013 at 02:02 pm
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I can't wait for our idiot mayor and his perpetually aggrieved suburban sheep to start labeling these a "boondoggle" or "disaster".
skube / July 23, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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I can't wait. The quicker un/loading alone will improve everyone's lives.
j-rock replying to a comment from Linda / July 23, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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Linda, that's actually the dumbest thing I've read online today.
brad / July 23, 2013 at 02:06 pm
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I like that they have Presto. I can't understand why every station doesn't accept presto yet. I bike, and use the subway on random occasions and would love to have a card i could load up.
Geoff / July 23, 2013 at 02:09 pm
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They look like an LRT to me...


Light rail or light rail transit (LRT) is a form of public transport using a steel-tracked fixed guideway that operates primarily along an exclusive right of way and has vehicles capable of operating as a single unit or as multiple units coupled together.
Stephbeee / July 23, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Why 2018 for the 506?! I mean even the freakin' downtowner (where does the downtowner even run??) will have the new cars before the 506. Wow. That's sucky.
CW replying to a comment from Michael / July 23, 2013 at 02:11 pm
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> I used to take the 501 very frequently and not once saw an enforcement officer checking for POP.

They've hired 20 new enforcement officers. No mention on whether they purchased 20 new chairs or will have to share.
Frances Spoon replying to a comment from tt / July 23, 2013 at 02:12 pm
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Vancouver's buses have wide, cushy vinyl bench seats that allow for more/wider bums to sit comfortably next to each other without having to knock knees or be ogled by strangers. They figured this out almost 10 years ago!

Also, most European cities have extensive subway/train systems, which make their streetcars/buses a secondary option for most commuters. Obviously, this is not the case for Toronto. We're talking about packing the vast majority of the city's commuters into a seating arrangement that would be awkward even if everyone was the polite fellow-traveller you're dreaming of, rather than the creepy weirdo you're actually likely to encounter. I can pretty much guarantee this design wasn't done by a woman who's ever taken a streetcar late at night.
Marc replying to a comment from j-rock / July 23, 2013 at 02:14 pm
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I love Linda's style choices: streetTRAINS

I can really picture Linda shouting TRAINS at everyone.
Philip / July 23, 2013 at 02:14 pm
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All I can say is that Canadians in general are the least satisfied people in the World. You got it to good. And then a lot of them are psychics, they already know that this is a bunch of crap even though the project hasn't been implemented. The problem isn't just politicians, the problem drains right down to the route of society. Even sitting in front of people becomes an issue!

People complain every single time... everyone is always saying, bla bla bla, Europe... I lived there 17 years and had to return to Canada because it was almost impossible to get a job. Folks of Toronto and Canada, be happy and stop whining all the time.

As someone once told me: A developed country isn't where the poor can afford a car, it's where the rich use public transportation.
The Future replying to a comment from Chino / July 23, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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I can't wait for better transit!
(Streetcars on spadina are on a seperated lane and don't interfere with traffic)
In case you didn't notice the road ain't just for cars. Increasingly cars will be the least efficient way to travel in the downtown, get used to it.
The Future replying to a comment from Chino / July 23, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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@chino
Karen / July 23, 2013 at 02:16 pm
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Streetcars are just a stupid idea that Toronto will not let go of.

I beat the Queen streetcar on my bike every time and laugh at the dummies packed in there that paid $3.00 while I get exercise.

I also laugh at the suckers waiting in the heats/cold so long as I ride by. The new cars will increase your wait time ...do not be duped into believing that this is a TTC service improvement! It is a service CUT and your fare will be raised eventually to $4.00 to pay for it and the damage these trains will do to the roads.

I also find it cheaper for me to drive a car when I have to than to take the TTC (when you calculate the time wasted)

I understand that not everyone can commute by bike, but if you can and you decide to waste your time and money on the TTC, you get what you deserve! After discovering cycling, I refuse to give the TTC another dollar. It is the worst transit system in the world and these shiny new streetcars are not going to fix it.
Tommy replying to a comment from Geoff / July 23, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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Only streetcars don't operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which is the whole point of an LRT. Not rocket science there, Geoff.

And for you people complaining about facing seating, it's because of the low-floor design. The wheel/trucks stick out into the body of the train, and the only way to use that space is with facing seating. The alternative was going with another high-floor design, and pissing off the disabled and elderly.
Marc replying to a comment from Karen / July 23, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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Are you the ones that speed past stop signs and red lights and then complain when you get plowed-down by said streetcars (or streetTRAINS, according to Linda).
cyclist replying to a comment from Marc / July 23, 2013 at 02:36 pm
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@marc: ignorant of you to stereotype all cyclists. I guess all TTC passengers behave exactly the same too?
Franco / July 23, 2013 at 02:40 pm
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I think they're great, but 2018 seems a little far away.
AA replying to a comment from tt / July 23, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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TT, you sir/madam are a star. Run for office and you have my vote.
Shannon / July 23, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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Can't wait to get out of the 501 Toaster Oven!! A year and a half is so far away!
smnbaby / July 23, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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Why spend all that money on streetcars? We have elderly and homeless who need help.
Adam / July 23, 2013 at 02:52 pm
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I can't believe some of you are actually complaining that you have to face a fellow human being while riding this streetcar. You sound like a whiny, spoiled child!

I'm just thankful they're air conditioned and I won't need to smell this city's stank ass BO next summer.
Randy / July 23, 2013 at 02:53 pm
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Blah blah blah blah, oh wait, Presto card multiple door boarding? OMG we might actually have a partially useable transit system in a few years!
Realist replying to a comment from Linda / July 23, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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To quote Linda, and the other users (Karen, etc. who are probably all Dave Price):

"Only a city as backward as Toronto would embrace such a dumb idea."

Hmmn, I guess this story doesn't exist then:

http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/transportation-nation/2013/jul/23/wamu-rides-along-first-streetcar-tests-dc/

Nor a number of similar stories in other cities "embracing" modern streetcars. Nope, nothing to see here at all.

cathy / July 23, 2013 at 03:02 pm
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I don't really care about awkwardly staring at strangers, but quite frankly half the douchebags who ride the TTC are completely incapable of keeping their damn feet on the floor. These seats are going to be filthy and unusable (especially in the winter) when everyone props their feet up on them.
Michael replying to a comment from CW / July 23, 2013 at 03:03 pm
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Unfortunately that doesn't seem like it will be nearly enough to enforce ridership that will likely be well over 300,000 daily for streetcars by the time these are rolled out.
W. K. Lis / July 23, 2013 at 03:05 pm
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To those who complain that the new LFLRV's will be too long, they are not when you look back in history. One LFLRV is about the same length as two CLRV's or two PCC streetcars or one Peter Witt streetcar and its trailer.

Peter Witt streetcars and trailers ran on Yonge Street and other routes as well, until the 1950's.

PCC streetcar trains consisted of two PCC MU (multi-unit) streetcars coupled together, during the rush hour. They ran on Bloor and Danforth until the 1960's, and on Queen until the 1970's. ALRV's were the first articulated streetcars for Toronto, and the LFLRV is a natural evolution in articulated streetcar design.

With the new LFLRV's, we are actually going back in time to when double-length streetcars and/or trailers ran successfully on the streets of Toronto.
Zach replying to a comment from Janie / July 23, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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I like that idea. If Ford would spend even 10 minutes on the BD subway he'd see there really isnt space for an extension.
Jennifer / July 23, 2013 at 03:15 pm
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The city is planning on running the streetcars less frequently as they hold more people. Doesn't make sense at all. It just means they will always be crammed, regardless of the increased number of awkward seating. As a daily Queen West streetcar commuter, I predict these monsters will be a total nightmare.
Chris / July 23, 2013 at 03:18 pm
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Toronto Transit Commission operates the second largest subway system in North America (New York City being the first) while the extent of bus services throughout Toronto is the largest in North America. Everyone at City Hall needs to realize the consequences of losing this competitive advantage. The reason for the extent of bus service is due to the lack of subways which Rob Ford was elected on building subways. The RT blue line in Scarborough will have to replaced because it is a Light Rail service and Light Rail Transit need upkeep and maintenance as not built underground such as subways.

The cost of subways is significantly greater than Light Rail Transit, where LRT is the most plausible option on the table. The scenario is whether a downtown relief line and a direct route to Pearson Airport will happen in the imminent or near future. The subway station being built to Vaughan Mills is a step in the right direction. But with 150,000 newcomers coming to Canada each year, most of them will end up in the Greater Toronto Area, infrastructure and the ideals of New Urbanism in the downtown core and inner suburbs should be acquiesced. Walkability and access to public transit in comparison to traffic congestion going in and out of the city.

One way of funding building subway stations is adding tolls and partially privatizing highways going in and out of the city much like Highway 407. It was brought forward during Lastman’s tenure but was voted down in council.
K replying to a comment from Karen / July 23, 2013 at 03:47 pm
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Have you ever actually paid for parking downtown? I'm not even gonna start on the cost of gas spent while idling in traffic, the exorbitant prices for parking is enough to put your dumb "driving is waaaaaayy cheaper than the TTC!" argument to rest (don't forget that Ontario's car insurance prices are also some of the highest in the world!).

Also, have the people complaining about the new seating arrangements actually looked at the photos? It looks like barely even the majority of the seats face each other - only the ones that sit on top of the wheels which, as someone has already explained, is done to accommodate the low floor of the streetcars, which is something that has made them more accessible overall. But, I mean, of course your desire to not have to look at anyone trumps grandma's desire to not have to climb stairs to get into the streetcar.
lulz / July 23, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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Why are people complaining about having to face other people?

Have you never been on a subway train?

Have you never had someone stand beside you while on a streetcar?

As for the 2018 thing that other people are bringing up, most routes will have new streetcars before then (as was stated in this posting).

Also, does it grind your gears that the TTC still uses some of its older trains?
Shaz replying to a comment from Chris / July 23, 2013 at 03:52 pm
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You're not seriously proposing we give up another one of our highways to a private company, are you? 407 was one of the stupidest sales the Government has made in recent history!

A one time sale will never help the future of our city or province. What happens when the money runs out? The TTC will never be a profitable source of income. Why would you sell property that you own, for something that will never make you money?

I can agree with the need for subways. But when you lack the money to build the appropriate subway tunnels, and the need for transit is imminent, you have to find a more affordable and logical alternative. Scrapping a fully funded LRT system in this present day commuting nightmare, is absurd. The fact that council followed Teflon Robully into the dark, unfunded and unbuilt subway tunnel, is ridiculous.

Work with what you have! Not with what you wish you had! If surface routes are more affordable and less time consuming, build them. Cars will deal with the transit, like they always have.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Jennifer / July 23, 2013 at 04:03 pm
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They might run less streetcars during the rush hours, to avoid bunching. During the non-rush hours, the new streetcars may replace the old CLRV's one for one.

In addition, the current order of 204 new low-floor streetcars may not be sufficient. The TTC is thinking about increasing the order for an additional 60 streetcars, if there is an increase in ridership.
Neville Queen replying to a comment from Karen / July 23, 2013 at 04:05 pm
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Why does the destination sign look like such a piece of junk?
Zanta replying to a comment from ERK / July 23, 2013 at 04:09 pm
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Yes! Yes! Yes!
Jane Bloor replying to a comment from Karen / July 23, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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If you can cycle, great for you. Unfortunatetly that's not much of an option for the elderly or people with various illnesses or disabilities. If you can still cycle when you're 85 after two hip replacements and you have glaucoma, then by all means keep riding.
Dave Price replying to a comment from Karen / July 23, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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One of the chief reasons why streetcars are so slow is because the police do not enforce traffic laws on King and Queen. There should be no cars making left turns in the streetcar lane at all. This is what slows down the streetcars.

I ride my bike, just like you, and am glad not to be stuck on the streetcar in the summer. However, blaming mass transit for a problem caused by personal vehicles is misguided.

Get rid of cars downtown and free the streets!
Mr Krabs replying to a comment from Marc / July 23, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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Good point Marc. Cyclists in this city are incredibly selfish and act like they are the only ones who have rights on the road. They snake in and out of bike lanes, dangerously go around cars already in the process of turning, don't stop at reds/stop signs/crosswalks almost hiting pedestrians crossing, and try to run over people boarding streetcars.
Mr Krabs replying to a comment from Marc / July 23, 2013 at 04:25 pm
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The biggest problem with these streetcars is that it will take forever to get them on every route. Of course anything with the TTC takes a million years to implement.
Kara / July 23, 2013 at 04:32 pm
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I live on king and am happy it hear the new streetcars have a/c

However, the seating seems really off. I think you could seat way more people if the seats faced outwards like they do on some trains and streetcars... The walk ways inside look narrow too.

Unfortunately, By 2016, liberty village is going to have a million residents so more streetcars are not the answer. The city should be going underground here not above.
Aces / July 23, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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I don't think more biking is the answer as some have suggested above.

Who wants to get to work all sweaty? Gross!

Also, there needs to be something done to deal with cyclists n the road. IMO, they should be fined for riding down one way roads the wrong way, running stop signs, riding on sidewalks and running red lights.

I don't drive often and have almost hit 3 cyclists in the past week because they ran stop signs. So dangerous.



Deepak / July 23, 2013 at 04:45 pm
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This is no doubt the worst way mode of public transport on the road. with buses at least when they stop the whole traffic behind them does not have to stop but only the right lane. These things are just useless, traffic causing monsters.
g / July 23, 2013 at 05:16 pm
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Should be interesting to see these beasts operating in mixed traffic. what a nightmare...

Is there any precedent for such a large streetcar to run in mixed traffic?
Chris Lea / July 23, 2013 at 05:21 pm
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There are many things I like about these new streetcars. I've ridden a few that are similar. But I think they will drive car drivers nuts where they are in mixed traffic. We may have to lose a bit of street parking on those streets or they will be very difficult to pass. This will piss off merchants and as well encourage speeding around them, which will compromise everyone's safety. But as has been pointed out, we used to have "trailers" and double PCCs and people back then learned how to deal with it.

I do think I will resent any reduction in service frequency on the Queen line, which I use frequently. The other day I just gave up and walked 2.5km home when my app told me I would have to wait 27(!) minutes for a streetcar. I've lived on this line for almost 2 decades and for sure there was much better frequency on the 501 a decade ago. Service needs to go back in that direction, not get less frequent. If it's because of bunching caused by drivers illegally turning left, ticket them without mercy until they learn to pay attention to the law. I'm pretty sure the cost of enforcement would be recovered nicely by the fines.
Alex l / July 23, 2013 at 05:29 pm
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Looking forward to these new streetcars. I drive too, to work at Steeles. But, going anywhere downtown, I like the existing streetcars or the subway. Yeah, we don't have the greatest transit system, but it's still very usable. As for traffic, I don't expect it will affect traffic much at all, it's already fairly slow on the streets the cars run on already. And that really hasn't changed in decades... and wouldn't change even with subways - look at bloor and yonge streets...

I guess I'm not surprised there are so many nay sayers on the net. It seems to be the human condition. I usually find that the ones who complain the most are usually the ones who -cause- the most problems... drivers from outside the core, cyclists who own the road ...
drew replying to a comment from Chris / July 23, 2013 at 06:44 pm
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TTC doesn't have the second largest subway system in North America. If you're talking length Mexico and Chicago beat Toronto by miles (literally) among other cities. And ridership-wise, Toronto is number 4.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Neville Queen / July 23, 2013 at 06:56 pm
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Take a photo of a program from your television set, then tell us what a lousy picture you get. Its called moving pictures. The frame changes, and since signs (usually) don't have to show motion, they change less often than your television or in movies.

Silent movies had a speed of 16 frames per second. Early sound movies had a speed of 24 frames per second. Some current movie image formats use the electricity's frequency of 50 Hz (Europe) or 60 Hz (North America).

If your camera takes pictures at 1/125th of a second, you may get an incomplete picture of the sign. Try setting your camera to use a slow shutter speed to compensate for it. I would recommend using a tripod.
Roy replying to a comment from Neville Queen / July 23, 2013 at 07:13 pm
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Shutter speed of the camera I imagine.
McRib replying to a comment from Alex l / July 23, 2013 at 07:32 pm
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re: internet complainers, they only really come on the internet to scream and shake their fists because they know that in the real world nobody pays attention to their irrational, misconceived, and frankly stupid opinions.

Like Karen above, for example.
McRib / July 23, 2013 at 07:34 pm
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also I can't wait until these are on the road. I almost never ride the TTC, preferring to cycle everywhere, but they look great and the few times I'm on the 501 or 504 I'm looking forward to riding on one of these.

One question though, why aren't they deploying the first new cars on the busiest routes? 3 more years for the King line? fucking hell.
DryGlobin / July 23, 2013 at 08:10 pm
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Geez. $1.2B? Can you think of all the extra subway stops we could have gotten for that? oh right, 3. maybe.
Anyway, rather have those undergrounds than these way posh 'just too comfy and poorly space-utilized' street cars. Why oh why do we have seat-pairs facing forward/backward-ever? what population of riders ever board as pairs - 1-in-100? - and when are they both available on that odd occurence?? dumb-dumb. 3 people could be standing there in the space of the second seat. At least the new subways have more open standing middle-space for rush-hour 'cattle-mode'. And they look just a bit too precious and plastic-y - a car or 'law-abiding' cyclist (hah-kidding - what's that? - law abiding cyclist) scrapes along one side and they look like crap -the old ones you could hit them head-on and they look 'vintage' with a bit of paint.
UninformedScarboroughResident / July 23, 2013 at 08:55 pm
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FORGET THESE, I WANT A SUBWAY!
rOB / July 23, 2013 at 09:19 pm
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I LOVE every driver on here complaining that these streetcars will get in their way.

YOU are the problem. YOU are not stuck in traffic, YOU ARE traffic.

Selfish.
stopitman replying to a comment from Geoff / July 23, 2013 at 09:42 pm
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lol Geoff, please stop displaying your total ignorance when it comes to transit.

LRT has it's own right of way AND further spaced stops than streetcars. Streetcars have frequent stops, while LRTs service a middle ground between streetcars and subways. Subways nowadays are generally built to have a stop about every kilometre or more in suburban areas while LRTs provide a middle ground.

All of the current TTC 500 routes are streetcars, regardless of whether they have a Right of Way or not, since they have very frequent stops.
Chino replying to a comment from Azz / July 23, 2013 at 09:57 pm
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stand at king and spadina for 15 minutes. streetcars already stall foot traffic, cyclists, other streetcars, and yes cars.
Chino replying to a comment from Chinojump / July 23, 2013 at 09:59 pm
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I live in the neighbourhood but I dont live at CityPlace. Sorry that I'm not as cool as you are to live somewhere up and coming. I walk to work and I see streetcars congest the hell of out of already busy intersections. Although, the conductors are likely more to blame than the vessels themselves.
Chino replying to a comment from Ron / July 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm
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I'd definitely have less cars. I walk to work and cycle my ass everywhere. But remember the old Nokia cellphone game Snakes. Remember how hard it was to maneuver the snake when it got really long? lol. dirty jokes aside, I dont think that these are a good idea.
WTF / July 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm
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The seat configurations...I'm a guy and they scare the hell out of me. When these things come in, I will not take the street car outside of rush hour. I will cab it. I think I will take it less even in rush hour.

I also think there will be more incidents on the street cars because of the seating. There are many people in this city that you just can't make eye contact with. If you do make eye contact and they don't like how you are looking at them, watch out! Be on the lookout for some stories like this when these things are rolled out next year. And then the TTC will be criticized for the decision.....
Ray T / July 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm
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Why wait until 2014 when its already demonstrated that they become operable now?
Seaner / July 23, 2013 at 11:29 pm
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Toronto may benefit from a congestion charge for inner city automobiles that are not registered as residents like Stockholm, London and other cities are doing. It is a great financing tool for things like this. Sure people would freak out, but it may be enough to get on track for new subways (pun intended).

Also the Presto system is pretty interesting because you can load $X onto it, which has the effect of the TTC and metrolinx receiving a kind of "cash advance" from its ridership because they pay ahead of time. More money up front = more stuff getting done.

These do look great though! Although I will miss the good ol' street cars' iconism.

Snarky comment: try giving up your face-to-face seat to the old or pregnant lady if you are so adverse. (PS the entire NY subway seating layout is face-to-face).
James / July 24, 2013 at 12:06 am
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For people complaining that these longer streetcars will slow you and your car down - don't drive on the routes the streetcars are on. If it discourages people from driving downtown and on the roads where the streetcars are on, I'm all for it.

As for the long roll out of the new streetcars on some routes, it's because some routes are going to take longer to prepare to accept the new streetcars, such as the overhead wires, loading/unloading curb alterations, access to the storage garages need to be adjusted, and also in case re-routing is needed in case of road closures or emergencies, any possible re-routes need to be able to accommodate the new streetcars as well. I live on Bathurst, so I'm happy to be on one of the first routes that will get the new streetcars.
lol / July 24, 2013 at 12:07 am
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All this city needs is 1... just 1 right of way east west connection along king, richmond, adeliade or w/e and downtown congestion would be solved, instead streetcars, cars and cyclist try to share roads made for the 1900s
Jordan / July 24, 2013 at 12:26 am
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I agree with Seaner, new revenue tools would help fund more heavy rail rapid transit and light rail expansion, although it appears the mayor is too impulsive minded to come to a proper arrangement.

I hope that the Commission will make a piggyback order while the assembly line in Thunder Bay is still running, for additional legacy network LRVs in the not too distant future. I remember researching back in the day how Metro Council back in 1992 considered buying new low floor streetcars for the then dubbed Spadina LRT and Harbourfront LRT. When the then designated 604 Harbourfront line opened in 1990 (600 series for rapid transit routes), it was promised that there would be low floor streetcars. Even when the SRT first opened in March, 1985 there were members of the persons with disabilities community protesting how the SRT wasn't wheelchair accessible.

The decision for new streetcars was put off further and further since I'm sure that the city dreaded what an ordeal it would be to assemble a new fleet. But still, better to get new cars now than earlier, since the LRV technology is better than ever and hopefully more cars can be ordered later and *fingers crossed* we can have them running the streets in multiple unit trains. =D
Geoff replying to a comment from Tommy / July 24, 2013 at 07:38 am
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No its not rocket science - its streetcar science TA DAH!!!

Did everyone see how I did that?
the lemur replying to a comment from WTF / July 24, 2013 at 09:16 am
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How are these facing seats any different than sitting across from someone on the subway, or facing seats on a VIA train?

People you can't make eye contact with? Really? People on transit already pay more attention to their book, phone or newspaper than who's in their line of sight.
Yildo replying to a comment from Bradley / July 24, 2013 at 11:06 am
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There are facing seats because the new streetcars are 100% lowfloor.

100% lowfloor means you need to design seats to go around the wheel wells. This means you need to have some facing seats, as otherwise there'd be no space for legs.
Bradley replying to a comment from Yildo / July 24, 2013 at 11:37 am
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Oh icic this makes sense - it's design constraint. Thanks for the clarification : ]
bloo replying to a comment from Yildo / July 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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Bingo. How more of these whiners can't figure this out is stunning. Screw people in wheelchairs and those with strollers and the elderly - I don't want to look at my fellow city dwellers! :-P
Buck / July 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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With doors that open that close to the body of the car it's going to mean even MORE people not paying attention and zooming their cars past the doors once the streetcar stops.

Also, Id like to point out that by not having any open space under the seats WHERE DO THE FEET GO? Forget worrying about legs that might touch each other in facing seats, oh god, the feet.
nfitz replying to a comment from drew / July 24, 2013 at 01:28 pm
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Chicago's might be longer ... though it's mostly an El (elevated railway).

However, Toronto's subway carries about 30% more passengers than Chicago's El according to APTA - http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Documents/Ridership/2012-q4-ridership-APTA.pdf
Tam / July 24, 2013 at 01:52 pm
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Great point! But if u get hit by a car it could mean $$$$ from the driver, and from the TTC.
Can you say retirement?
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Yildo / July 24, 2013 at 02:01 pm
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Don't want the facing seats on the new 100% low-floor streetcars? How about NO seats on the 70% low-floor buses? If there were 100% low-floor buses there would be NO seats over the rear wheel wells.
Andreas / July 24, 2013 at 02:28 pm
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Been living here for 8 years and I'm so tired of people whining about transport here. It's your own fault. You've let the council/mayors piss about while the city crumbles around you. It's the worst 'supposedly' world class, western world city for transport I have lived.(New York, London, Boston and Berlin)
phlox replying to a comment from Andreas / July 24, 2013 at 02:55 pm
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Then maybe you should go back to some of these lovely cities, Andreas. You won't be missed.
Rob replying to a comment from Andreas / July 24, 2013 at 03:18 pm
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It's actually your fault for continuing to overcrowd the city.

Regina doesn't have enough night life options for you?
Alex replying to a comment from ERK / July 24, 2013 at 03:44 pm
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Zanta is currently living with his mother and medicated out of his tree; he will not be taking the streetcars as he is banned from DT. He is not a creepy perv, btw. He is a man who was injured in an industrial accident while on the job in construction and suffers the effects years later. Educate yo'self and don't perpetuate stereotypes!!!
Ray T / July 24, 2013 at 04:28 pm
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Reading these comments highlight two underlying issues I find really annoying whenever the TTC does something: 1) complaints from passengers BEFORE they've even tried had a chance to experience it themselves and 2) complains about the transit system in general.

With regards to 1), why don't we save the complaining until we've all had a chance to see how these new vehicles operate. The first barrier to change/ progress is resistance and scepticism. The city already experiences enough of that. Why further contribute to it?

With regards to 2), this is a significant improvement to the overall transit system. If it's taking more passengers at a time, it will not only be able to move more people at once, it could also further reduce congestion from other types of transport (i.e. cars) which are the real reasons for why we experience so much congestion. I think we can all agree that a streetcar with 100+ people takes up less space than 100 cars, each with only an individual in them. The remaining question is with this increased capacity, will service frequencies take a hit?
jer / July 24, 2013 at 04:47 pm
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I think the "proof of payment" feature and the extra doors will really help with the load in and out as long as people actually "move to the back" (or just move away from doors and from the presto pads with the new system). However, I am concerned with the length. Already I often see street cars (and normal cars) blocking intersections along spadina and king. What will happen with these huge vehicles. I would like to see stricter enforcement of jaywalking at least during rush hour where people run across with "3 seconds" on the flashing lights preventing people from turning/etc.

These vehicles are so long, I wonder how easy it will be for drivers to manage to pass them with cars parked in the right lane on most streets. I think at some point we need to remove on street parking and require more public lots to be built into Condo buildings and new retail/etc (and maybe cap rates to existing street parking rates for a while).

Ted replying to a comment from Ray T / July 25, 2013 at 08:56 am
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"The remaining question is with this increased capacity, will service frequencies take a hit?"

PEOPLE! Instead of getting THREE meals a day, you are going to get ONE big one!

It is laughable that most people have bought into this as a TTC service improvement when it is really a service cut. Of course frequencies will take a hit!!! Bigger streetcars will only be useful in rush hour. I feel sorry for the people traveling at other times that will be waiting a half hour for an really long streetcar that is empty.

Only in TO and only with the TTC. The better way in a world class city!
Andrea replying to a comment from CW / July 25, 2013 at 08:21 pm
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I use city transit all the time. People should be encouraged to leave their cars at home. I'm all for city transit. I can hardly wait for these improvements. Also, I traveled on the King streetcar during rush hour the other day and it was so slow because of the traffic that I could have walked quicker. I hope the TTC does address that issue as well and not allow vehicles (other than streetcars) during rush hour. It's "greener".
monkeybutler / July 25, 2013 at 08:42 pm
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Toronto - the only place where you can step off public transport into the middle of oncoming traffic. yay
Tam replying to a comment from monkeybutler / July 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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AGAIN GREAT POINT! But if u get hit by a car it could mean $$$$ from the car driver, and from the TTC - the big payback.
Can you say retirement?
Me replying to a comment from Andreas / July 26, 2013 at 12:53 am
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Bye.
Johnny replying to a comment from Linda / July 26, 2013 at 11:13 am
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I'm a cyclist and they won't cause me any delays. I don't stop for anything.

I'd rather more of these and less cars. But I'm curious how the constant fare increasing TTC can cry poor and keep buying new vehicles.
W. K. Lis / July 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm
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When the new streetcars made their daytime debut, the mayor was helping the streetcars in general by painting the curbs at streetcar stops red. That was nice of him.

I guess there are no photo-sensors for the interior lights. They were on, even though the bight daylight was flooding in from the extra large windows of the new streetcars.
Elysium replying to a comment from Johnny / July 30, 2013 at 09:49 am
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It's only a matter of time when you assume that car sees you and you will be the equivalent of a bug on a windshield...
Good luck!
Sergio replying to a comment from Karen / August 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm
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I think Toronto did a good move with these streetcars we need less cars going downtown it's not the streetcars that cause the traffic it's cars way to many of them people who work downtown should only be taking transit how many cars do you see with only a driver in it good move Toronto
Top New York Asian Escorts / August 2, 2013 at 03:59 pm
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Rob replying to a comment from ms / September 19, 2013 at 04:51 pm
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These new cars will not only accommodate persons in wheelchairs, but strollers AND bicycles TOO!
Rob replying to a comment from CW / September 19, 2013 at 04:56 pm
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Nothing to get C.W., it will ONLY hold up cars and teach those drivers to leave their car at home. Pedestrians and cyclists remain unaffected for the MOST part!
Rob replying to a comment from Michael / September 19, 2013 at 05:00 pm
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That's all about to change Michael, Thanks to the news just announced on cp24, the T.T.C. is going to start HAVING Special Constables starting on the 501 Queen now!
Rob replying to a comment from ERK / September 19, 2013 at 05:04 pm
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ERK, people who sit in THESE kind of seats can put the bags on their LAP!
Me replying to a comment from Alex / September 19, 2013 at 05:21 pm
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Who's Zanta? Some character out of a video game or movie or stupid reality TV show you assume everyone has heard of?
Rob / September 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm
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Actually W.K. Lis, the length will be more like 3 cars long. Common mistake everyone makes, I know this because our CURRENT ALRVs on the Queen line are TWICE as long as the current LRVs and our NEW LRVs will be a BIT LONGER. I can understand the confusion though.
Rob replying to a comment from Jennifer / September 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm
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Let's agree to disagree Jennifer, even though there will be LESS to BEGIN with, the T.T.C. Chairwoman, Karen Stinz, and Andy Byford, CEO, want to order about 57 more ON TOP on the ORIGINAL 204 that were ordered to ALLEVIATE this concern, as they find more and more funding over time!
Rob replying to a comment from Chris / September 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm
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Ford REALLY broke that promise to add new Subways Chris, and the Spadina line is actually ONLY going to be extended up until Highways 7 and 400. Vaughan Mills is SLIGHTLY further north at Rutherford.
Rob replying to a comment from Neville Queen / September 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm
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The destination sign does NOT look like a piece of junk, in fact, not ONLY does it look B-E-A-Utiful, but there is one on EACH PART of the car so that passengers can read where they are going REGARDLESS of which door they enter through Neville Queen.
Rob replying to a comment from Dave Price / September 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm
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Dave Price, you read my mind!
Rob replying to a comment from Mr Krabs / September 20, 2013 at 12:01 am
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Mr. Krabs,
5 years time is HARDLY "forever" if you THINK about how QUICKLY time REALLY FLIES! Why 10 years ago when I was 20 seems like it was ONLY YESTERDAY! Besides, under HALF the lines will have them by this upcoming spring!
Rob replying to a comment from Kara / September 20, 2013 at 12:04 am
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Kara, if you ask me, the seating is NOT MUCH different than that on the subways. They may be NARROW, but if you've EVER been to NYC, so are THEIR subway trains on the inside. Besides, the Downtown Relief Subway Line they are talking about could be WELL underway by then.
Rob replying to a comment from Deepak / September 20, 2013 at 12:15 am
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Deepak,

Buses cannot handle HALF the passengers a streetcar can, and besides, they are smoother, quieter AND 0 emissions, making them the CLEANEST OPTION over buses TOO, due to the electricity they are powered by, verses those SMOKE BELCHING DISEASEL DEMONS! which would be stuck in traffic ANYWAYS. With a STREETCAR, you eventually have the option to put them on their OWN RIGHT OF WAY, separating them from OTHER traffic, ergo, making them even FASTER than the subway. I actually know this as a FACT from my PERSONAL experience on the Harbourfront LRT line from Union Station to C.N.E., AND NOW the NEW St. Clair LRT line!
Rob replying to a comment from g / September 20, 2013 at 12:17 am
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Yeah g it's called Leave your car at HOME! maybe Toronto will EVENTUALLY become CAR FREE downtown! It works in EUROPE!
Rob replying to a comment from stopitman / September 20, 2013 at 12:27 am
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ANY streetcar on it's OWN RIGHT OF WAY IS an LRT stopitman, that's LITERALLY what it IS by definition! You even said so YOURSELF!
Rob replying to a comment from stopitman / September 20, 2013 at 12:30 am
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WTF, seating is like this on the SUBWAYS and GO Trains, and NOBODY has had a SINGLE incident such as this!
CCP / September 20, 2013 at 12:34 am
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APPLAUSE!!! Love this! World class city, world class streetcars, world class transit.

Leonard Adler / September 22, 2013 at 05:37 pm
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When I visited Toronto last week I couldn't help but admire how forward thinking the city and TTC are. The auto and truck traffic downtown was adverse. I drove to your city from Maryland. I took several streetcar rides as a tourist, and was amazed at how extensive the system is, and how as people increasingly live in high rise multifamily dwellings, autos become less attractive. These new streetcars with private right of way resemble European standards, and put the US infrastructure to shame. You are so fortunate to have leaders who put social benefits and development above expenditures.
Mr.bob / October 28, 2013 at 05:31 pm
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506 Carlton last? the 506 is the second most reliable route connecting Main St. station with High park,though you can take the subway. But 10 min walk! That thing gives you a direct connection and you can stay in the park the whole day, especially if you live 1 mile away from Main Street
Claire / November 16, 2013 at 08:55 am
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Clothed seats again? Why doesn't anyone make non-clothed seats:( they get so undanitary over time.
Claire / November 16, 2013 at 08:56 am
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unsanitary*
Elizabeth from Etobicoke / November 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm
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The "511 Bathurst" route is gradually getting ready to welcome the new low-floor light rail vehicles (LFLRVs) when they arrive; it's likely that this is the first streetcar route they'll be travelling on. It will be quite some time before streetcars will return to Queens Quay West, especially if construction on new tracks is delayed (due to weather conditions). I use this route - "511 Bathurst" - to travel to places of interest such as Historic Fort York, Liberty Village (get off at Strachan Avenue and Fleet Street and walk northbound to East Liberty Street then westward), and the Exhibition grounds.
Moses / February 3, 2014 at 08:01 pm
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The Boston AnsaldoBreda Type 8 Lrv, which can also be used for streetcars(Boston uses it on the Green Line Lrt Line which has branches and it is used on every branch with the 1988 Kinki Sharyo type 7). That has 3 cars, 2 levels and was made in 1998-2007, as the type 9 took over. It seats 80 sitting and 150 standings and is faster. Boston uses rebuilt PCC's on the Ashmont-Mattapan LRT segment of the Red line (Heavy Rail) though only 10 of them r used. Boston rebuilt them at 1 LRT yard. So TO you should have rebuilt your 755 PCC fleet at yur 2 carhouses and added the current fleet. A total of over 1000 streetcars. There would be 1 car per minute
Oh my god / April 8, 2014 at 04:10 am
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I've never been anywhere else in the world that breeds so many online wankers as this city. They're nice streetcars ya whingey losers.
Peter Kropotkin replying to a comment from Frances Spoon / April 10, 2014 at 01:11 am
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Frances, why don't you and the other whiners here go and live in another city? I suspect that NOTHING that the TTC does will ever please you or whiny bitches like you, simply because (like most of the people complaining probably) you take transit improperly and often catch a bus or streetcar late, then complain or get mad when it can't get you to where you want to go early enough. Might want to consider living in some other city, or get a transporter installed in your house or apartment that can be activated from your cellphone so that you can get to work quicker.

@Oh my god: You said it.
Can't wait until Ford is turfed... replying to a comment from Oh my god / April 10, 2014 at 07:52 am
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...and WHOEVER wins can get this City back to functioning again. Maybe then we'll have an INTELLIGENT conversation about transit, like found above.

People who hate LRT or equate them with streetcars have simply never ridden them. Which is why Ford fails so badly. The only reason he leaves his tank is to score crack and snacks at various Esso stations.
Frances Spoon replying to a comment from Peter Kropotkin / April 10, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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If you had actually read my comment, you would know that I HAVE lived in other cities. I've also spent time in a great many more cities, all of which have vastly superior public transit systems. I have no idea how it's possible to take transit "improperly", and literally none of what you said hits the mark.

The simple fact is that these new streetcars are problematic in a multitude of ways, not the least of which is how shameful it is that this is what we get after decades of waiting for an update to our unbelievably outmoded transit system. However, most of that has very little to do with the TTC and much more to do with an electorate that cares more about saving $60/year and continuing to drive their single-passenger vehicles on a daily basis than they do about supporting an efficient public transit system.

Toronto deserves a functional, well-designed transit system. It also deserves citizens who care enough about public services to elect leaders that will support and fund them properly. If you consider that whining, you are either ignorant, selfish, or decidedly lacking in any kind of civic pride.
Bob replying to a comment from Bradley / April 22, 2014 at 01:51 pm
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long time before I noticed you message
to answer your questions
1. the seating arrangement is forced by the low floor design, the wheels have to go someplace, they are under the seats.
2. the long lead time was caused by several things,. gettincg the money, getting the cars designed so they would go around Toronto curves some of the tightest in the world and of course Rob Ford. he wanted to cancel the order and build some more VERY expensive subways.

almost identical cars work fine, and in fact some are even longer in the major cities of Europe
Alexei Zamuruyev / July 11, 2014 at 04:12 pm
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You raise me Toronto's new streetcar, I raise you Russia's new streetcar! Read about it here, http://bfybtech.com/r1innoprom. Looks like Toronto will have some serious competition if it wants to be proud of its new streetcar.
BT / September 8, 2014 at 11:36 am
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STREET CARS are ONLY good for dedicated lanes. NOT REGULAR roads!!!! Way to cause CONGESTIONS!
BT / September 8, 2014 at 11:38 am
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In a city like Toronto, the only way to go is SUBWAY. Look at Chicago, Manhattan, Montreal, San Francisco! You're adding more to the congestions NOT LESS!
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