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TTC could get all-door boarding on every streetcar line

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 8, 2014

toronto ttc kingTTC CEO Andy Byford is pushing for all-door boarding on every Toronto streetcar route by January 2015. By implementing a proof-of-payment or POP system, the TTC would allow anyone carrying a Metropass, day pass, or transfer to enter via the rear doors, not just on Queen Street.

A report released earlier this week blamed lengthy loading and unloading times for the majority of delays on the King streetcar. Currently, all riders are forced to board through the front door, creating long queues during rush hour.

GO Transit currently uses a proof-of-payment system. On the TTC, riders would be able to board through the rear doors of any streetcar at any time, using a transfer, Metropass, or other physical proof of payment. Riders paying cash or token would still need to use the front door.

Fare payments would operate on an honour system, but fare inspectors would be expected to police riders. That doesn't seem to happen a whole lot at present (anecdotally speaking), so expects that this would pose a significant challenge. Rear door boarding could also help prevent bunching at the front of the streetcar.

Right now, all-door boarding is allowed only on the Queen streetcar during rush hour. The entire 510 Spadina line will switch to proof-of-payment on August 31 when the first of the new streetcars enters service.

POP was due to be gradually phased in with new streetcars, but if Byford gets his way, the system could be in place by Jan 1, 2015.

TTC board approval, which could come in about two weeks, is required.

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

Image: Jason Cook/blogTO Flickr pool.



Trolly / August 8, 2014 at 09:15 am
Woo hoo! Free rides! They can't enforce POP on one route (the 501) let alone all.
Marc replying to a comment from Trolly / August 8, 2014 at 09:41 am
Unfortunately, disrespect and efficiency do not go hand in hand.
Peter / August 8, 2014 at 10:20 am
^^^thats exactly what I thought. Who knew Andy Byford was so charitable? Or maybe incompetent, in not knowing a) TTC doesn't have enough fare inspectors to police all door boarding on all lines and b) it is impractical due to the crush load levels on many of the lines.
Mr Toronto / August 8, 2014 at 10:52 am
The new streetcars are more spacious though, with more standing area (less seating) so ticket inspectors should be able to patrol a little more easily. They don't even need to get on the streetcar to do their job either, they can wait at stops and check tickets as people get off, like they often do in London. I would imagine one of the reasons ticket inspectors aren't seen to patrol much now is there isn't really a widespread need for them. It's much more difficult to access the TTC system without a ticket than it has been historically on the London Underground for example. I would imagine a cutback on drivers (fewer streetcars due to increased capacity) and of station staff would cover the costs of a new fleet of ticket inspectors (new hires or relocated staff). And all in all, it should make our journeys much quicker and easier, which is what we all want, right?
Charles Q. Lamb replying to a comment from Mr Toronto / August 8, 2014 at 11:20 am
If a rider paid by token at the front of the streetcar, how would they be able to provide an inspector with proof of purchase out of the streetcar?
Steven / August 8, 2014 at 11:21 am
I have NEVER, not even once seen somebody checking for proof of payment on the Queen streetcar. I ride it daily for the last three years. NEVER once! They do have people posted at Spadina and St George inside the station watching to see if you enter from the bus entrance without paying during morning rush hour. I have seen them nab many people there but not on the streetcar. Anwyay that is for the TTC to worry about, not us patrons. Bring on all-door boarding and let them figure it out. It really will speed things up. And in the meantime, enforce back door off-loading on all buses and streetcars immediately. NO Front door exits!!! (with the exception of the elderly or those needing the ramp on the bus, strollers etc.). Otherwise, BACK DOOR only! Every other city does that - why can't we?
steve replying to a comment from Charles Q. Lamb / August 8, 2014 at 11:34 am
You get a transfer from the driver.
MR / August 8, 2014 at 11:40 am
You know, maybe if downtown (and the majority of the streetcar tracks) weren't under constant construction/diversion/cessation, stuff would move faster. Why not just fix everything, and THEN see how fast it all goes? Studying this issue with the present conditions is foolish (and kind of costly)
chester replying to a comment from MR / August 8, 2014 at 11:49 am
The study that just got released yesterday says its not the traffic or construction that slows it down, it's people getting on and off which is slowing it down. Waiting for elderly, baby carriages and people just taking their sweet ass time is the issue.
steve replying to a comment from MR / August 8, 2014 at 11:55 am
So simple amazing why no one ever thought that before. Just stop building and repairing.
corretto / August 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Woo hoo what an idea. Why is the TTC always 10 years behind every other transit system. Its hilarious to hear when they announce these things as if they invented them. The system is a sad joke.

G replying to a comment from Steven / August 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm
I agree people should exit through the back doors and I always try to do so, even when I'm sitting closer to the front. But there are times when the streetcar is so jam-packed - and I'm standing or sitting closer to the front - that it makes more sense to exit from the front instead of elbowing my way to get all the way to the back. Of course, if the streetcar wasn't so packed this wouldn't be a problem.
finally / August 8, 2014 at 01:51 pm
Ive been an advocate of the back door since i hit puberty.
Back Door Fun / August 8, 2014 at 06:12 pm
I'm curious about going in & out the back door.
Irwin Mimico / August 8, 2014 at 06:13 pm
I'm VERY curious!
finally+ / August 8, 2014 at 06:59 pm
Say no more! Say no more! Fantastico!! Good, good!
Spike replying to a comment from corretto / August 8, 2014 at 08:15 pm
The system's only a joke to whiny complainers like you (who probably don't even live in this city, I'll bet, but in the 905 area.)
Frances / August 8, 2014 at 09:17 pm
The system is a joke to anyone who's ever visited any other major urban centre. Literally the worst transit system I have ever had the displeasure of using. Of course, most of that is due to it being vastly underfunded.

I can't believe that in all these conversation we're having about increasing efficiency, no one has mentioned timed transfers. It's INSANE that these haven't been implemented yet. The pilot program on St Clair has been in place for almost 10 years and the estimated cost of putting it in place system-wide is about $15 million. Seriously, TTC, do something useful for once.
Whiny Complainer / August 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm
I'm sitting in my car,...playin' the radio,...whiny, whine, whine, whine,...etc.
Whiny Complainer Deux / August 8, 2014 at 11:36 pm
We live in tiny burrows underground. We are pale & very hairy. We are Morlocks of Riverdale.
MBurdock / August 9, 2014 at 01:30 am
Weird thing about the Queen streetcar in rush-hour... It is still slow to board because it is so damn full because the service is so infrequent due to insufficient cars and... mmmaybe congestion? Loading time is a symptom of the problem.
MBurdock / August 9, 2014 at 01:31 am
Weird thing about the Queen streetcar in rush-hour... It is still slow to board because it is so damn full because the service is so infrequent due to insufficient cars and... mmmaybe congestion? Loading time is a symptom of the problem.
Alex replying to a comment from Peter / August 9, 2014 at 08:22 am
Brad Ross said that the TTC was hiring about 100 fare inspectors for the purpose, which should help (reference:
Rob Ford / August 9, 2014 at 08:39 am
Charging tokens is a gravy train for "you lefties"™. Stop tge streetcar lefty gravy train! No one's going in and out my backdoor! A subway in every garage! Crack in everyone's pipe. Vote for rich people only! IdidwhatIsaidIwoulddo-nothing!
Spike replying to a comment from Frances / August 9, 2014 at 08:57 am
And pray tell, Frances, where have you been, and what system can you compare that's better than the TTC?

@corretto, Whiny Complainer, and Whiny Complainer Deux: What I said still stands.
Frances replying to a comment from Spike / August 9, 2014 at 02:32 pm
Is this some kind of misguided Toronto loyalism? Every transit system has its issues, but no other city I've been to has one that is so underfunded, out-dated, or inefficient as the TTC.
Spike replying to a comment from Frances / August 9, 2014 at 09:39 pm
No, it's just a person tired of over-entitled First Worlders saying that a good transit system's worse than anything else in North America or Europe simply because we don't have fancy electronic gimcracks to pay the fare with, or that it's super over-crowded more than anywhere else. Perspective is everything, and many people here think that Toronto's worse, but it probably really isn't.
Adrian replying to a comment from Spike / August 9, 2014 at 10:19 pm
416er here, and yes, the TTC is a colossal joke compared to the transit system of other metropolitan centres.
@spike / August 10, 2014 at 10:50 am
We continue to whine in your honour, O wise and mighty Spike! We know you live in the 999 Area know, by CAMH? Being a smug know-it-all with a dumb name has been recognized as a treatable illness.
Irwin Mimico / August 10, 2014 at 10:52 am
Mr. Spike isn't very nice! Mr. Ford is very nice, kind and gentle.
Irwin Mimico / August 12, 2014 at 11:20 am
Don't shove your lifestyle in the back door of MY streetcar!
Rob Ford / August 12, 2014 at 11:24 am
You tell'm Irwin! No more bum threats in the streetcars! Mommy, Doug 'n Me, we're ascared of "you lefties"™.
Spike replying to a comment from @spike / August 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm
And I'll continue to denounce you and others like you from the highest rooftops, and say that you all are full of it. Love your insult of anybody with a mental illness and CAMH, by the way; do you kiss your mom with that mouth? Also, how do you know that I'm mentally ill?
Alex (Toronto) / September 2, 2014 at 04:38 pm
I heard is that the TTC will eventually have all-door boarding on all vehicles and routes, meaning that a Proof-of-Payment (P-O-P) system will have to be implemented across the board and therefore the TTC will have to hire hundred more fare inspectors
Alex (Toronto) / September 2, 2014 at 04:43 pm
I mean is that all TTC surface routes (buses and streetcars) will eventually be using the honour system similar to those used on YRT's VIVA buses and GO Trains, as for the subways fare inspections can stay the same as is, where you still pay your fare at the collector's booth.

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