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.
Minister @cathmckenna annonces support for the TTC purchase of 60 new electric streetcars for Toronto, built in Thunder Bay, that is a win-win for Canadians. This project will protect middle-class jobs in Ontario, and help Torontonians to get around quickly, safely & reliably.— Chantalle Aubertin (@Chanty_Aubertin) May 12, 2021
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."
Today, the province and federal government also invested $360 million in addition to $208 million from Toronto to help the TTC purchase 60 new streetcars and make other upgrades. These streetcars will help move people in our community, and across the city. 3/3— Ana Bailão (@anabailaoTO) May 12, 2021
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.
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