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New TTC streetcar testing ramps up on Toronto streets

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 10, 2014

toronto new streetcarRob Ford might be promising to toss them all in the garbage, but, like it or not, Toronto is getting 204 new low-floor streetcars, starting this summer. They won't come cheap - roughly $1.2 billion over the next few years - but the extra capacity will provide welcome respite to many beleaguered Toronto commuters.

The new low-floor streetcars (they don't have a sexy name like the Toronto Rocket trains) are roughly 7 metres - about 25 per cent - longer than the articulated ALRV streetcars on Queen Street and are capable of holding about 50 more people at crush load, which is exactly the claustrophobia-inducing situation it sounds like.

toronto new streetcarThe number of daytime tests of the new streetcars have noticeably stepped up in recent weeks as the TTC begins training its staff. New photos are posted to Twitter or Instagram of the two test vehicles creeping around the city on an almost daily basis, increasing the sense of excitement of this year's launch.

"Having it out during the day is certainly good exposure for the new streetcar, and it's starting to build some interest and excitement," says TTC spokesman Brad Ross. "We're not doing that testing during the day to solely build interest and excitement, we have to do it for practical reasons."

When the first production vehicles arrive next month, the TTC will begin training staff round the clock, further increasing public exposure.

toronto new streetcarThe 510 Spadina will get the streetcars first, starting with a ceremony on August 31 until November when the last of the old streetcars move elsewhere. Bathurst will come next in December until Spring 2015. The Harbourfront, Dundas, and Queen routes will get theirs in 2015, too. King won't start until 2017, St. Clair in 2018, Downtowner and Kingston Road in 2018 into 2019 and, finally, Carlton in 2019 and 2020.

Some routes, like King and Queen, will take a full year to become fully populated with new streetcars.

toronto new streetcarThose keen to catch the streetcars in the wild before the official launch will soon benefit from daily tips about its whereabouts, the TTC says. One of the two test vehicles is due to appear in the Beaches Easter parade and, some time this summer, the TTC will begin giving away a free rides to competition winners.

Here are some of the best new streetcar pictures on social media:

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

Images: Tom Ryaboi/blogTO, John Tavares, Sean Connors/blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

101 Comments

Willis / April 10, 2014 at 01:05 pm
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Screw Ford and is transit fiasco!

Chow is not male and not white, therefore she's the best candidate for the job.
Tuscani / April 10, 2014 at 01:15 pm
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When did Spadina become the 505? It's the 510.
Coxwell Queen / April 10, 2014 at 01:29 pm
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In my city the 505 runs on Dundas, not Spadina.
Steve Macgarret replying to a comment from Willis / April 10, 2014 at 01:35 pm
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Whatca talkin' 'bout Willis?
Greg / April 10, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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Spadina is the 510, and Dundas the 505. Good catch. I can't wait to see these in action, four doors to enter and exit from, that should speed up loading and unloading at busy intersections.
Saint Clair / April 10, 2014 at 01:45 pm
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'social media pics' #3 and #4 show training for keeping the streetcars bunched up just like the old ones.
TheCynic / April 10, 2014 at 01:48 pm
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Even with all that extra space, people will still crowd around the doors.
Mark replying to a comment from Willis / April 10, 2014 at 01:51 pm
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What you talkin' bout Willis?
steve replying to a comment from TheCynic / April 10, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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You still do not understand that streetcars are the victim of traffic. Bunching is caused by those single occupied vehicles.
Jo / April 10, 2014 at 02:01 pm
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Wonder why there seems to be so much less seating with single seats wasting space between them and the windows? No more cozying up to travelmates? More shouting at one another from accross single seats?

All will be forgiven if the AC works all Summer ;-)

Too bad that the route that needs them worst (King), is getting them last tho.

Paul N / April 10, 2014 at 02:06 pm
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Is that a camera taped to the side of the car in the last few pictures? The big black line towards the back of the first cab - taped up cables?
Mark / April 10, 2014 at 02:09 pm
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Olivia Chow is the worst choice! She doesn't even make the downtown relief line a priority!
Ian / April 10, 2014 at 02:17 pm
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Does anyone know what's going to happen with the old street cars? Are they being sold to a developing nation possibly? Going to scrap?
G / April 10, 2014 at 02:23 pm
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Why is it going to take 3 years for King to get them? Isn't it the busiest street car route in North America?
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Greg / April 10, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Four doors. However, I expect almost every able-bodied person will attempt to enter AND egress through the front door only.
oph replying to a comment from Ian / April 10, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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They're going to donate them to Ford Fest where they will be burned at the stake.
Dan / April 10, 2014 at 02:47 pm
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We could have gotten a whole new subway line up for this money.... what a waste of money on these traffic causing monstrosities. The traffic is already bad enough on streets like dundas or king. With these larger streetcars it will take even longer for people to get on and off. this will slow traffic and only make things worse on the streets. On top of this service will be worse too as these streetcars will run less often, making wait times at streetcar stops even longer for people

Nomad / April 10, 2014 at 02:49 pm
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these things are huge, im not sure they are suitable for the crowded toronto streets
Joe Taxpayer / April 10, 2014 at 02:57 pm
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Hope the ttc and their riders pay for this with a fare hike. It's not fare to raise taxes on the people who don't ride public transit for a living.
Jim Flaherty / April 10, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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I disapprove of all public transit!

Now that I've just become am a private citizen, by God I'm going to fight this development tooth-and-nail!
Steve / April 10, 2014 at 03:12 pm
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Ford is the worst. Escalades don't belong on downtown streets.
iSkyscraper / April 10, 2014 at 03:25 pm
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Ford's ignorance knows no bounds.

DC and Atlanta are opening new streetcar lines this year, joining Seattle, Portland and St. Lake as cities with modern systems. Tucson and Kansas City are up next, followed by Los Angeles. SF and Boston still retain some of their lines, while Philly just put one back into service. Are all of these cities wrong, or is the crack-addled university dropout the one who might be missing something?

Toronto has more streetcars than any other city in North America. It's a huge asset and investment, envied by every other city. Very sad that people like Dan, who have sufficient mental capacity to type complete sentences, have been so fooled by Ford's childish and uniformed rants.

There will be issues with the new vehicles of course. Yes, they will come less often though with smartphones and display boards it is becoming easier to minimize wait time. The on-board payment, necessary at some stations, will be a complete disaster (how are you supposed to get to the machine to pay when the thing is crammed full?) There are still too many stops and not enough auto restrictions (just ban all left turns already, everywhere). Putting streetcars on the system map as streetcars and not as buses would be nice.

But this is still a good start. Fuck you Rob, Toronto is going to get better, streetcars and all, and it starts the moment you're booted out of office.
Rob replying to a comment from Jim Flaherty / April 10, 2014 at 03:25 pm
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Poor timing, bruh.
lxpatterson / April 10, 2014 at 03:26 pm
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AC? I will miss sticking my hand out of the window in the summer and those old-fashioned "keep your arm in" signs.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Joe Taxpayer / April 10, 2014 at 03:28 pm
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Public transit is a Public good. You benefit even if you don't use it.

"Fare" enough to say that we can now safely disregard anything else you have to say.
steve replying to a comment from Joe Taxpayer / April 10, 2014 at 03:54 pm
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I will assume you are willing to pay for city roads then. Bring back the VRT. It is only fair that drivers start to pay their fair share.
Robert replying to a comment from Dan / April 10, 2014 at 03:58 pm
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You use the same math as RoFo. !.2billion will not get any kind of a subway.
The problem with traffic is what causes traffic cars.
Cash Strapped City replying to a comment from Robert / April 10, 2014 at 04:02 pm
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If we can get the $1 billion back from Wynne that should help.
Jacob replying to a comment from Dan / April 10, 2014 at 04:04 pm
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A whole new subway line for $1.2 billion?

The 3-stop Bloor-Danforth expansion to STC is going to cost $3.7 billion alone.
OMG / April 10, 2014 at 04:26 pm
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Choo-choo-chuga-chuga-chuga!
adsgag / April 10, 2014 at 04:32 pm
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@herro, never say that again
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 10, 2014 at 04:50 pm
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At this link http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Projects/New_Vehicles/New_Streetcars/FAQ/FAQ_PassengerExperience.jsp at the bottom, there will be vending machines at the busiest stops for pre-payment of fares.
Liz / April 10, 2014 at 04:54 pm
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Instead of this article truly being about the streetcars and their testing, its really just a seed for more political commenting.

Read the first two words of the article "Rob Ford"....Could you not keep his name out of this article? Why lead with him.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / April 10, 2014 at 05:02 pm
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Yes, I'm aware. But there will be plenty of times when the streetcar is full and you board at a station that is not one that has an offboard machine. By the time you get to a machine onboard and wait to do your transaction you'll be getting off. Or blocking the door. It's going to be a giant clusterfuck, just wait.

The only solution is to get everyone onto Presto and make the machines available everywhere, including in stores, as fast as possible. Just like Oyster.
Tax Payers in Ontario to pay an estimated annual cost of about $50 million. / April 10, 2014 at 06:43 pm
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Ontario to fund in-vitro fertilization with a caveat

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/09/ontario-to-fund-in-vitro-fertilization-with-a-caveat-one-embryo-at-a-time-to-cut-risky-multiple-births/
Dan is right! replying to a comment from Dan / April 10, 2014 at 07:36 pm
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We need to ban all car traffic on King--bike, streetcar, and delivery vans ONLY. It's the only way to break the deadlock downtown.

Good call, man!
Why do we need the $1B back from Wynne? replying to a comment from Cash Strapped City / April 10, 2014 at 07:37 pm
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Money well spent I say!
DL / April 10, 2014 at 08:15 pm
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Funny how we've had streetcars for almost a century and traffic hasn't gotten any better in that time so we went and got longer streetcars.
DL replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / April 10, 2014 at 08:16 pm
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There should be pre-payment at all locations. Period.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Ian / April 10, 2014 at 08:27 pm
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Most possibly, they will be sold to a developing nation, to an American city like Shaker Heights (which has our old PCC cars), to San Francisco for use on the waterfront, and some to the Halton County Radial Railway Museum.
LIBERALS want Tax Payers in Ontario to pay an estimated annual cost of about $50 million. / April 10, 2014 at 08:56 pm
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Why cant we make it easier to adopt in Ontario that should be first choice? Why don't we have funds to help families with autistic children? Why can't we help little Madi Vanstone get the prescription she needs anymore like Wynne promised her? Instead the Liberals want us to pay 50 million a year to help pay for more people to get pregnant that can't afford invitro themselves? Must be an election year for sure....

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/09/ontario-to-fund-in-vitro-fertilization-with-a-caveat-one-embryo-at-a-time-to-cut-risky-multiple-births/
Ray replying to a comment from DL / April 10, 2014 at 09:14 pm
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Traffic hasn't gotten better because the population has grown significantly in the past century, the city has become more dense in the downtown core where the street cars run AND its gotten easier to actually get a car.
Dorion replying to a comment from Dan is right! / April 10, 2014 at 09:16 pm
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Actually the only way to get rid of the deadlock is to follow Chow into the future. Tear down the Gardiner without any immediate plan of of how to divert the traffic.
Ivan replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm
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It would be nice if we all had an awesome transit system for 2.6M people (personally I'm waiting for when jetpacks become a reality), however, we don't. Until then, we can express our dislikes about the streetcars as much as we like, but that won't change the fact that streetcars are part of a strategy to move people. What are you going to do? Toss out the streetcars, and wait 10 more years for a subway to be built?

Oh... and with what money? Rob Ford's financial magic? Right... the last time I checked, when you're poor you don't go out and buy yourself a high maintenance subway system. You pay for something you can afford that can do the same job just as well or better.

Also, those of you rooting for a downtown relief line, probably have no idea what traffic is on Eglinton where the've started construction. Take that, and put that downtown.
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Would you shut the hell up already? Your off-topic nonsense is getting really tiring. Go back to the Toronto Sun comment section.
ThePast replying to a comment from Ivan / April 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm
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It would be nice if we all had an awesome transit system for 2.6M people (personally I'm waiting for when jetpacks become a reality)...

------------------
dude,

http://www.martinjetpack.com/sales/personal-jetpack
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If you're trying to be funny, rest assured you aren't.

If you're not, rest assured you're freaking hilarious.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 11, 2014 at 01:20 am
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Here is a big city of 3.9 million with a mix of subway, light rail, streetcar and BRT. Plus commuter rail, bus, bike lanes, etc.

http://media.metro.net/riding_metro/maps/images/rail_map_future.pdf

Oh wait, it's LA, not Toronto.

All big cities use multiple modes of transit, idiot. Each has its place, including streetcars in livable, dense, downtown areas. Fuck off. I'm tired of this ignorant shit.
Davy Gravy replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 11, 2014 at 01:50 am
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Nicely done.
Choubz / April 11, 2014 at 06:11 am
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Nice design TTC finally has decided to join the 21st Century ..it was about time
Everyone Else is doing it / April 11, 2014 at 08:31 am
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Yes all big cities use multiple modes of transportation. No not all cities have opted to use streetcars.
Hawker Siddeley / April 11, 2014 at 09:03 am
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Funny how they are having a contest to ride the new streetcar when they're going to be on the streets soon anyway. I guess the contest is so you can ride on a streetcar with lots of space that's not jam-packed to the doors. For that you can pay regular fare.

Should have been painted red and cream though.
scottd replying to a comment from Choubz / April 11, 2014 at 09:33 am
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What a stupid comment. The existing streetcars came out in the 70's and had a life span. Now they are at the end of their operational life and we are getting new ones. The universe is unfolding as it should. Kinda sad to snark at things following a natural progression.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Everyone Else is doing it / April 11, 2014 at 09:43 am
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Actually all cities everywhere at one point had streetcars during their golden eras of development. Go to any city on the continent and find the most desirable part of town to live in. Chances are it was once a streetcar suburb. In Toronto this was Lawrence Park, among others. There is something about the density, walkability, land uses, transit connectivity, etc. about streetcars that creates very good cities.

So while most cities removed them many are looking to recreate what Toronto has -- livable downtown neighborhoods -- by bringing them back. The idea of throwing away what others are spending hundreds of millions, or in some cases billions, to create is flat out stupid.

"But what about London, New York and Chicago? Real cities don't dink around with streetcars". First of all, take off the fantasy goggles. Toronto is a tier down from those bigger and older cities (even Chicago, in terms of its core.). And yes, they were gifted with more subway lines, good for them. But to enhance their downtowns they are certainly thinking toady about streetcars from time to time -- no one is so retarded as to say they should not be used in modern transportation networks:

http://www.chicagostreetcar.com/
http://www.vision42.org/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1496073.stm

And of course Paris has already reintroduced trams:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramways_in_%C3%8Ele-de-France

In an era where Toronto is run by low-grade morons, the argument Everyone Else Is Doing It is actually a pretty wise move compared to listening to the people currently in charge. Why shouldn't we learn best practices from others?

That's not to say the TTC streetcars are perfect -- they are not. They are operated as if it was World War II and have missed out on most of the innovations of the modern networks. So improve the network. They also should be more like light rail once out of the core, as Boston's old streetcar lines now are. But to do what Ford says is possibly as dumb as anything he has ever uttered, and that is saying something.
Grant / April 11, 2014 at 11:14 am
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why such long implementation timelines before all routes have them? How will vehicle traffic be controlled on non-protected routes?
Bobo / April 11, 2014 at 11:28 am
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I like them.
Trash Ford & Hudak / April 11, 2014 at 11:53 am
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One's a murderer, the other a moron. A prize to the first correct with a description of the killing & most moronic moment of the moron.
IVF, Streetcars and Ford/Wynne / April 11, 2014 at 11:59 am
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So Ford & Wynne are having a child in vitro, on a streetcar? Is that right?
LivinTheDream replying to a comment from Joe Taxpayer / April 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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Absolutely agree @Joe Taxpayer - and we need to switch to toll roads so drivers pay the tab for roads and highways.
Jono / April 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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haha by the time all the routes are sorted with these, they'll be obsolete.
Dan I(diot)) Mimico / April 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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Ford is right wing! Mindless Ford drones have no place in a city of 2.6 million! We're not in the 1860's any more!
Rob Ford's Future / April 11, 2014 at 12:22 pm
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Public drunk, pissed up, divorced, living on the street within 5 years.
Hudak killed Walkerton! / April 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm
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As Harris' chief of staff, with wife Deb Hutton. Also Dudley George. Ford's the moron...IADS.
Rob Ford's Future / April 11, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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And riding the streetcar 24/7.
It's irresponsible / April 11, 2014 at 01:41 pm
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Someone has graffitti'd in a laneway behind Queen St that Jim Flaherty died because Harper's wife gave him AIDS after tehy had an affair.

That is NOT cool.

This is a great city, with a great future (see streetcars above); just because some PCs are mucking things up doesn't give us the right to be as vile as they are.

Class up, Toronto!
kn / April 11, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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Extremism is the real issue here. Ban cars? How idiotic can you be? Streetcars are not a substitute for subways, bicycles or cars. They all have their purpose and this needs to be respected. Our city councillors have debated this issue for 4 decades and nothing has happened. In that time, council has somehow approved 20-30 condos west of the Rogers centre, reaching over as far as Liberty village, yet somehow they didn't think to build a subway line to service these people. The real problems lies with councillors like Adam Vaughan who has actually said that streetcars are sufficient to service areas. (I am sure the sardines packed into the Spadina streetcars would have something to say about that.) What about the people who live beyond Adam? Take a streetcar from Humber river or high park?? Oh sorry Adam and Olivia don't think that's part of Toronto.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from MmmmmBeeeer / April 11, 2014 at 03:30 pm
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Mmmm beer indeed. Sounds good right about now. And you're right -- for all their supposed fiscal clarity, Fordies can't see that the cheapest thing in the world would be the $20 signs that say "no cars" - would speed up King and Queen instantly.

But you are wrong about the subway thing. Total myths. And mind you, I like subways and want them built in the right places - the DRL, or whatever you call it, it critical and needs to start ASAP. (Chow is wrong to be downplaying it, though she seems to now be retreating from that position). But to be clear:

- American cities have been experimenting while Toronto sat on its laurels for the last 20 years. Pay attention, there is much to learn.

- Presto was the worst abomination of Metrolinx and the government. No on in their right mind hires a company with no experience to break into the smart card systems market. They should have just hired the people who built the Charlie Card, or any of the others. Idiots. But it is the way forward - transit without a smartcard is in the past. And you need it no matter what kind of vehicle you ride.

The new streetcars will not need to be replaced in ten years. What are you smoking? They will last as long as a subway car or any other transit vehicle.

The maintenance of a surface streetcar line is far less than the maintenance of an underground subway tunnel. (Signals, third rail, water leaks, etc.) What you are thinking of is the per-passenger km cost, which is a bit lower for subways if they are running at 100% capacity. Which would not be the case along the streetcar routes. In any case, not an argument for subways.

Fewer stops is necessary if you want to move more people more quickly. Yonge & Victoria & Church? Give me a break.


The streetcar network should stay, be improved, and even expanded. The DRL should be built. LRT lines should be built in the 'burbs to feed into the subways. GO service should be vastly increased. Not hard to understand, this is all proven stuff. Get. It. Done.
realityCheck / April 11, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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@Iskyscraper... can you please stop pretending that anyone who doesn't see things your way is anti-transit ..and that all transit experts agree that your views are the correct ones? I think there are some routes in Toronto where the streetcars work very well (spadina for one). But there are many transit advocates/experts who think the streetcar purchase was a costly mistake ...including Dave Gunn, considered the best TTC GM of the past 50 years. I might not agree with all of Gunn's views on this matter, but I think they are somewhat more credible then yours, and he raised issues which you don't even acknowledge. I don't think any form of transit should be rejected out of hand ... but the fact that other cities are doing things isn't necessarily a justification for doing it here.
Rick replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 11, 2014 at 04:23 pm
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Not even worth reading. Complete idiot here folks.
Rob Ford / April 11, 2014 at 04:53 pm
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I'm ALWAYS right! Are there urinals on streetcars?
Moaz Ahmad / April 11, 2014 at 05:27 pm
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No sexy name for the low-floor streetcars? Let me offer "Low-Riders". Want to have an intimate chat with a friend or engage in some PDA...or keep your kid (or bag) beside you? Check out the 'extra - wide' seat. Cheers, Moaz
GRBY / April 11, 2014 at 05:45 pm
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Rob Ford will be using the old streetcars as a crack smoking hot box device.
kn replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 11, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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iskyscraper, agreed about streetcar stops being too frequent. It's almost an hour to go from Downtown to high park area. Honestly though, how can a city the size of Toronto not have another subway line south of Bloor running from the Beach to Humber river??? Has anybody seen the number of condos going in around the distillery district?? how about a commuter LRT running under the Gardiner from Beaches to Humber?? I'm a driver most of the time but street parking in the core of the city needs to be slowly be removed and replaced by underground parking under all of these condos going up.
Dr. Kukko / April 11, 2014 at 06:22 pm
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Instead of testing the streetcars, can they test Mayor Numbnuts by running him along the various routes and collecting his sweat for irrigation.
Rusty / April 11, 2014 at 08:18 pm
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Nightmare waiting to happen. And a big F U to the TTC for making Leslieville host these c**** that won't even service the area.
iSkycraper / April 11, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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Attacking streetcars gets my blood pressure up and no, I will not stop pretending that anti-streetcar does not equal anti-transit.

I'm tired of false equivalencies, as if there was ever a subway option instead of a streetcar purchase. We needed new streetcars and a streamlined way of operating them, we got them. Now on to building more subway lines east-west and north-south and all points inbetween, and new BRT experiments and all the other things we need, but it is not fair to slag streetcars while advocating for other transit. To do so attacks the transit that we have while getting nowhere on anything to replace it - how Fordian.

David Gunn had some fair points in his 2011 op-ed but although I respect his opinion on many things he was wrong about streetcars. He's been retired for many years from urban transit, I'm not expecting him to be up to date on this. Others felt similarly:

http://stevemunro.ca/?p=5398

I point out the experience of other cities because they are too often forgotten in the navel-gazing that is Toronto thinking. I'm not saying transit experts agree with me, I'm saying here are real-world examples which by their existence show how people have tackled similar issues. If you have better concrete examples of how to do things successfully (and not figments of your imagination) then cite them. I'm listening.
Dr. Oetker / April 11, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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Whaaappmmmm?
MmmmmBeeer the II / April 12, 2014 at 01:30 pm
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I want a transit system dedicated to MY PERSONAL NEEDS! Don't care what's good for the city! Don't care about the greater good! Don't care what works in other cities! Its SUBWAYSSUBWAYSSUBWAYS! Ford More Years! CarsCarsCars! IADS! IADS!IADS! Screw all of you except me!
MmmmmBeeer the II / April 12, 2014 at 01:32 pm
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Oh...guess I could take a cab...never mind...
Rob Ford / April 12, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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I just peed in my Daddy's park! I saved $$$ by not flushing my toilet AND is the grass green!
OneWays / April 13, 2014 at 06:26 am
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iSkyscraper may not live here but his comments still seem to be by far the most intelligent and well reasoned I've seen - and I've lived in Toronto all my life, and transit pretty much everywhere, so I get the "voting authority" to agree with him I suppose.

The problem is that everyone seems concerned with their mode of transit only, when in reality everyone benefits from any individual mode benefiting:

Bay and church should be one way. Cars should be banned on king and queen, during peak hours only. Bike lanes, dedicated ones like sherbourne currently is, should exist on st george/beverley and harbord/hoskin/welleseley. Every second streetcar stop should be removed, no questions asked.

Everyone suffers a little bit - bay and church become slightly less bikeable, cars can no longer drive on queen/king during rush hour, transit users have to walk a whole block (the horror!).

But they all WIN so much! One way thoroughfares both E/W and N/S for cars means you can get in and out of downtown fast, no matter what. If you're a driver, and you don't appreciate *timed* one way streets, you need to give up your license. Bikers get a safe, workable square with which to navigate pretty much anywhere down-town - admittedly not great, but a huge improvement over just sherbourne. And transit riders get, *finally*, a workable streetcar solution through the downtown core (by which I mean the streetcars would actually become faster than *walking* during peak hours through the core)

And all it takes are a few signs, some road paving, and a few curbs - no billion dollar projects that require mass coordination to fund.
OneWays / April 13, 2014 at 06:33 am
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Oh, yeah, the new streetcars.

Everyone's all pissy about the facing seats - I won't get into how ridiculous it is that people are complaining they might have to be friendly and social, and maybe even meet a new friend. Words would fail me :P. Otherwise, despite being slower than the old (interurban intentioned) CLRV/ALRV's, they look fantastic. All door boarding POP, fully accessible, bike space, higher capacity, quieter, and given the panto power no doubt a snappier ride.

Awesome.
FordFamilyFarting / April 13, 2014 at 09:04 am
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We are ALL voting Chow! Rob's a drunk.
Rob Ford / April 13, 2014 at 02:05 pm
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I just switched to wearing cloth diapers! I saved $$$ and is my bum pink and fresh!:-)
Peter Kropotkin replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / April 13, 2014 at 02:22 pm
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Not everybody can afford Presto cards (or will be able to)-namely, poor people and homeless people that have to travel to get things done, which is why we'll still be needing tickets and tokens. The city can't have EVERYTHING that foreign cities have for paying for transit.
realityCheck / April 13, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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@Iskyscraper... (and "Oneways" who sounds a lot like iskyscraper)... I commend you for your zeal on transit and urban issues. But, once again, the fact that other cities have done something is not significant justification to do something here. And the fact that local transit advocate Steve Munro pushes a particular plan or mode of transit is not significant vindication for that plan or mode of transit. Many agree with Munro and I think everybody appreciates his passion. But there are plenty of transit advocates who think that Munro's analysis, while passionate (like yours) is deeply flawed, especially with respect to what the critical issues are for inner and outer suburban. I'm not going to call him an inner-city elitist, but I think he has little sense of what boost transit ridership in the inner suburbs. Also, once again, I am not anti-streetcar There are some routes I think it works well on...And I also think it would work a lot better (and provide better value) on other routes such as King and Queen if those routes were one-way (which like New York and Montreal, Toronto should have a lot more of in my view). But there is no use pretending, as many streetcar advocates want to do, that streetcars are more "efficient" than buses (or even articulated buses). That's only the case if one looks at Operator cost -- and leaves out maintenance, etc. TTC might say that the replacement schedule of streetcar tracks is 25 years... but we know it's well under 10 years and probably less than 5 years at major intersections where operators tend to do hard stops. For me, the key issue is value in providing the better transit we need to make this not only a liveable city but a viable region.
Rob Ford / April 14, 2014 at 08:52 am
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Junk Presto! Junk Streetcars! Fake save $$$ by pretending/lying! CarsCarsCars! Ignorance Wins! Vote Against Everything! Have No Ideas! I'm a RealLife Bubblehead!
Thomas replying to a comment from Joe Taxpayer / April 14, 2014 at 09:44 am
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Classic right winged shortsightedness. But subsidizing and encouraging the use of public transit we all win, even if we don't right it. It keeps less cars of the road and allows you to drive faster and breather easier. few cars means less road repairs which save the taxpayers way more than buying new streetcars. Having taxes pay for transit will ultimately save us all in the long run.
OneWays / April 14, 2014 at 06:45 pm
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Don't get me wrong, my comments are explicitly on Toronto proper - we're discussing the TTC here, and quite frankly the suburbs are better handled by Go/Metrolinx's initiatives, which are a whole other ball game. The fact of the matter is, the downtown core is why the suburbs exist, so I don't feel too terrible suggesting an incredibly cost effective plan that caters mostly to that geographical area's needs.

King and Queen one way?! there's already Richmond and Adelaide 30 seconds from both!!! It'd be great if we had a full subway like new york, allowing us to focus pretty exclusive on cars on the surface, but amazingly we're not new york - I feel like I'm saying your points right back to you ;) . Streetcars are NOT more efficient than buses, but LRT's - see banning car traffic on king/queen, removing every second stop no questions asked - ARE. As for digging up the street, clearly you haven't seen how often Van has to repave the bus stops - steel track is a lot more durable than paved road - and that's with significantly less frequent and busy service.
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from MmmmmBeeeer / April 15, 2014 at 09:52 am
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I'm many decades from being retired, and who says I'm not a voting taxpayer? It's funny what people infer. (For a while I was assumed to be female also. Go figure). Property owners still have rights, regardless of current residency. (http://www.toronto.ca/311/knowledgebase/82/101000040382.html)

In any case, I'm for good transit planning, period. That includes new streetcars downtown, new subway lines radiating out from the core, more frequent commuter rail, BRT in some suburbs, LRT in others, and seamless (and reasonable) fare integration across all of them. There are lessons on all of the above in Toronto's own experience and in the experiences of other cities. Just get the ignorant people out of the room (ahem, Ford) so that we can get on with it already.
OneWays / April 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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See to me that makes perfect sense...
realityCheck / April 16, 2014 at 02:23 pm
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@ OneWays and iSkyscraper... once again...you make claims about the most "efficient" forms of transit without a shred of proof or reference to what is being left out of the equation. Just because you repeat something doesn't make it true.
David Gunn for Mayor / April 16, 2014 at 06:36 pm
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I agree with David Gunn.

The Spadina, Sheppard, and Scarborough subways are complete wastes of money and should never have been built.

He's a smart man.
Bob chev / June 19, 2014 at 07:46 pm
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Toronto planners/politicians have failed us again.
streetcars are actually street trains that are slow moving and really slow at stopping .

People get killed by these things and cars get stuck behind creating more smog. True maintenance costs for tracks and trains are kept deceptively out of public knowledge.
People are stressed in this city and it's obvious.
Ell replying to a comment from Bob chev / June 19, 2014 at 08:38 pm
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Lemme guess - which part of the 905 are you from?
Alexei Zamuruyev / July 11, 2014 at 04:10 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.
Dan is a dummy replying to a comment from Dan / September 13, 2014 at 07:52 pm
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We can't have any more new subways other than the DRL and the Vaughn extension, you dumb moron. What is it with you and the other subway addicted fools of Ford Nation that none of you can be bothered to read about public transit and how it's planned? Or is just believing in subways all that you can do?
Spike replying to a comment from Jo / September 13, 2014 at 08:09 pm
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Spadina's getting the new trams first because it's got the off tram ticket machines first-the other routes don't have these yet, not do they have the capabilities to allow for handicapped people to get on or off. It's all been explained already, if you're willing to search
Spike replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 13, 2014 at 08:31 pm
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Not everybody can afford Presto, especially with the requirement of needing to have a bank account to top up the required fares. Also, Presto has fund transfer issues (http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/the_fixer/2014/02/06/plenty_of_problems_with_presto_cards_transit_riders_say_fixer.html).

I think people like you want this system on the TTC and GO not because we need it, but because other cities have it, like little kids wanting a toy that some other kid has, and because if we don't get it, we won't be cool. The big question is, do we really need it here in Toronto?
remhits.Warnerreprise.com / October 4, 2014 at 03:51 am
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It's nice to sprinkle a little chili salt over your potatoes to give
them that extra kick. The picture that the person uses in the
framed present should be one that will elicit memorable events out of the couple's memories.

Perfect Red Lipstick - Find out if this is for
you.
azurite / October 6, 2014 at 08:18 pm
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9:30: 'Hill Billy' Tom had found a parking space around the
corner and we threw our luggage in back. Basiago viewed the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC as it would be in the year 2013.
The ability to let go of old emotions is based in this Chakra.

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