ttc toronto

Toronto is getting a ton of new streetcars so TTC routes will be less busy

Though TTC ridership has naturally been way down during the health crisis in Toronto, certain routes popular with essential workers have been an ongoing cause for concern due to how packed they can get during select times, making social distancing impossible.

Part of this issue may be caused by reduced service due to drastically reduced demand, but also because of buses, which accommodate fewer people than their railed counterparts, running along select streetcar lines — something that is about to get remedied by a huge investment into new vehicles.

The Province announced today that it and the federal government will be helping the city purchase 60 new streetcars, to be built at the Thunder Bay Alstom plant, to put on Toronto's streets.

The new fleet will begin popping up around the city in 2023, and the manufacturing process will provide jobs in the northern part of the province.

At a cost of upwards of $500 million, the brand new vehicles will hopefully reduce congestion in Toronto's transit system, and will allow a total of 50 buses that are currently supplemeting streetcar service to return to serving actual bus routes in need of more frequent trips.

At the same time, the commission's Hillcrest storage facility will be revamped to accommodate the additional streetcars.

"This keeps our transit system strong and we know a strong transit system will be crucial in the wake of COVID-19," Mayor John Tory's office said in a statement.

"This is about better transit, jobs, a greener Toronto and connecting people to opportunities."

The news comes just one day after Ottawa stepped up to help fund the tens of billions in transit projects Ontario has on the go right now, including four new subway lines or extensions in Toronto.

But, the hit to commuter traffic during the work-from-home trend has meant a massive budget shortfall that advocates are asking the governments to help cover to keep the system operating and to avoid things like fare hikes.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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