New streetcars begin running on Toronto routes

Click to play video: 'The one year anniversary of Toronto’s King streetcar experiment'
The one year anniversary of Toronto’s King streetcar experiment
RELATED: It's been exactly one year since the city of Toronto kicked off a bold transit experiment that made the TTC, pedestrians and cyclists a priority on King Street. It also restricted private vehicular traffic from that crosstown route. Marianne Dimain reports on the anniversary grade – Nov 12, 2018

Transit officials and politicians from all three levels of government celebrated a milestone in Toronto on Friday, as the first of 60 new TTC streetcars entered service.

The first of the new vehicles ran along the city’s 504 King Street route after a group of municipal, provincial and federal politicians gathered to mark the delivery.

“A thriving Toronto — with reliable and sustainable public transit — is very much a part of our economic plan,” federal Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland said.

The 60 streetcars come at a cost of more than $500 million, funded by all three levels of government. They are being made in Thunder Bay and will be delivered regularly until 2025.

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“As the new streetcars enter service, it will be faster and easier for commuters in the city to get where they need to go, with more cars and shorter wait times,” provincial Minister of Transportation Prabmeet Sarkaria said.

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“This is a testament to the strong communities we can build when all three levels of government work together to deliver the critical infrastructure we need for today and our future.”

According to the TTC, its nine streetcar routes span more than 350 km and, in 2022, carried more than 26 million people.

Some routes, including those running along Queen Street, face years of disruption while construction of the upcoming Ontario Line takes place.

“Transit has been a priority for me since day one. Increasing the number of streetcars on our roads means shorter wait times, more capacity, and more reliable service for transit users,” said Mayor Olivia Chow.

“As Toronto continues to grow and we look for ways to improve peoples’ commutes, we need to continue to work with all levels of government to make more transit options available.”

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