finch west lrt accident

Collisions on Toronto's new LRT line are already happening before it's even open

While the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been stealing the limelight for more than a decade, there's another light rail transit line that Metrolinx has in the works for Toronto: the Finch West LRT.

And and while the 11 kilometre-long project's construction has been far less storied than its more southerly counterpart, it is already encountering some of its own issues before even opening to the public.

During test runs on the line on Wednesday, one of the shiny new transit vehicles struck a car on Finch Ave. W near Tobermory Drive.

While no one was seriously hurt in the crash — one man was transported to hospital with minor injuries, Toronto Police said — people are finding it quite concerning (and somewhat hilarious) that this sort of incident is already happening before the line's debut.

A photo of the scene shared to Reddit shows a somewhat crumpled white sedan sitting across the rail tracks with one of the Alstom LRVs crushed into the driver's side door, with Metrolinx and emergency personnel around assessing the scene.

"Car collisions with the Finch West LRT are already ahead of schedule," a person reposting the image wrote, while others in the comments began placing bets on when the next accident will occur.

Some are also wondering if the accident, which all agree was the citizen's fault, will impact the LRT's projected completion later this year.

"We can confirm that a driver made an unpermitted left turn and crossed the path of a Finch West light rail vehicle during testing, which resulted in a minor collision," a Metrolinx spokesperson tells blogTO.

"With the construction of the Finch West LRT’s tracks and stops along Finch Avenue West, road conditions and permitted turn movements have been adjusted. Metrolinx reminds all drivers to stay alert and only turn where signage permits."

finch west lrtThose commenting on the incident on social media appear to have the same sage advice as the agency, making such quips as "the train swerved and hit me" and "if only there were road markers to indicate the movement trajectory of the train."

One person's astute recommendation? "If you feel like you're running over something, or if the type of road surface changes where you're trying to go, perhaps check and think through what you're doing before going all the way."

Hopefully drivers will be able to remember this tip when the 18-stop route's trains are actually fully up, running and carrying passengers.

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