Someone just drove into the TTC streetcar tunnel on Queens Quay
TTC officials are once again scratching their heads this morning after a driver somehow made his way past their gates, lights and bollards into the notoriously off-limits (and inexplicably alluring) Queens Quay streetcar tunnel.
The Toronto Transit Commission announced just before 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday that all 510 streetcars were turning back at Queens Quay and Spadina due to a blocked track at Union Station, prompting at least one person to ask "Did someone drive into the tunnel again?"
Much to surprise of anyone who's been following this ludicrous saga — and are aware of how much money and time the TTC has spent in recent years combating the problem — someone did, in fact, drive into the tunnel. Again.
And here's what an SUV stuck on the Union Station streetcar platform looks like. The concrete block is a walkway to the operator toilet. pic.twitter.com/7CQOt5oRpW— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) January 22, 2020
"Yes, an SUV made it through the bollards, past the lights and gates we installed in Oct. 2018 and all the way to the Union Station streetcar platform and got stuck," announced TTC spokesperson Stuart Green around 4:30 a.m.
"The driver remained and Traffic Services will determine next steps. Shuttle buses run until clear. No ETA yet."
As of 6 a.m., crews had managed to clear the obstruction at Union Station using special equipment. Green announced that the tunnel was clear, and that the SUV had caused no "obvious damage" to the subway rail.
The SUV itself is likely in rough shape, however, as passenger vehicles aren't meant to drive into Union Station via streetcar tunnel.
This is the SUV that was hauled out of the streetcar terminal at Union Station. Crews used chains to suspend it from a boom on a front-end loader and carried it out of the tunnel. You can see smashed windows and creased body panels. pic.twitter.com/813mNmCiAg— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) January 22, 2020
As for how the car got inside the tunnel, Green explained that it was following a streetcar tightly. The driver managed to squeeze his SUV past the gates that had opened for the transit vehicle just as they were closing.
The elderly driver of the SUV was taken to hospital as a precaution, but is said have been unharmed in the incident.
Full service has resumed on the 509 Harbourfront and 510 Spadina streetcar lines, according to Green, who is now being inundated with questions about the incident on Twitter.
Are you Kidding me?! What else can we Possibly do at this Tunnel? Have a 24/7 Security guard?— ToronTory (@Toron_Tory) January 22, 2020
"How does this happen? That person's license should be taken away for pure stupidity! At one point was the driver not like 'I don't think I should be going here?'" wrote one Twitter user.
"Since the 'mousetraps' TTC have built over the years haven't dissuaded people, maybe it’s time to build an actual SUV sized mousetrap," suggested another.
"As a Toronto driver that is peak Toronto driver," wrote someone else in response to Green's tweet, to which another Torontonian responded: "It's usually 905 drivers."
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