TORONTO – The head of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is floating the idea of creating car-free routes along busy downtown arteries King and Queen streets to ease streetcar congestion during rush hour.
City councillor and TTC chair Karen Stintz will put forth a motion Monday to for a pilot project on King Street during the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“We have an opportunity now with the streetcars that are bigger, with bigger capacity to try to improve upon the service on King Street,” Stintz told reporters at city hall. “And I think we would start with the morning rush hour because there wouldn’t be an interference with the merchants on the street.”
This push to improve congestion comes as the city prepares the launch its new fleet of streetcars next year. The TTC’s King Street line is among the city’s busiest transit routes carrying, approximately 65,000 people a day.
The pilot project would create a dedicated right-of-way for streetcars along King Street during the Pan Am Games between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m.
Stintz said it would be an experiment to study how it affects commuters – both on public transit and in private vehicles.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday disagrees. He’d rather pull streetcars off King and Queen entirely and replace them with buses, he told Global News.
“Well I think there’s a couple ways to look at that,” he said. “Maybe they ought to look at taking the streetcars off and putting buses on. Maybe we could try that for an experiment and see if that helps their problem.”
© Shaw Media, 2013