TORONTO – Toronto transit users have been salivating for months about the city’s new fleet of streetcars but the wait will be over Aug. 31 when they officially hit the tracks.
The highly anticipated vehicles are featured in a seven-minute video posted on the Toronto Transit Commission’s YouTube page.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross and CEO Andy Byford both appear in the video guiding viewers on the new streetcars’ unique features which include push-button door entry, automated ramp for wheelchair accessibility and room for bicycle storage on board.
“They have undergone extensive testing including extreme weather,” said Ross. “We have ordered 204 of these beautiful new cars. We’re building a new maintenance and storage facility at the Leslie Barns, Leslie and Lakeshore.”
The new streetcars will first be introduced on the 510 Spadina line with all 11 routes being phased in over the next five years.
The deployment is as follows:
2015: 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront
2015-2016: 505 Dundas
2016-2017: 501 Queen, 508 Lakeshore, 504 King
2018-2019: 512 St. Clair, 502, Downtowner, 503 Kingston Road, 506 Carlton
A TTC report released in early August said passenger loading and unloading times added between four to 15 minutes of delay on each 504 King streetcar.
It is expected that the new longer vehicles with all-boarding capabilities will help eliminate much of the congestion.