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King Street pilot project: Ridership still strong 1 year later

Click to play video: 'Passengers grade Toronto’s King streetcar experiment' Passengers grade Toronto’s King streetcar experiment
It's been one year since the streetcar became the king of King Street. The TTC, passengers and pedestrians comment on its success – Nov 12, 2018

Latest data from the city of Toronto shows strong transit ridership for the King Street pilot project one year after the controversial plan was introduced.

Numbers for July and August revealed an 11 per cent increase in all-day weekday ridership. During the morning weekday commute, there has been an increase of 35 per cent, while the evening commute has seen a ridership increase of 27 per cent.

The data mirrors the exact same results from May and June.

“We’ve seen ridership, a baseline started at 70,000 trips a day on King Street and that already was our busiest surface route, the entire network was King,” TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said.

“And then today, in the summer, the last time we had data, we’re up around to 82,000 to 84,000 a day riding King Street.”

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READ MORE: King Street pilot project: Latest data shows increase in ridership, streetcar reliability

Meanwhile, transit reliability is up 82 per cent during that time. The number takes into account the percentage of streetcars arriving within four minutes westbound during the morning commute.

Transit travel times improved to about four to seven minutes in each direction during the evening commute since before the pilot.

“We’ve seen significant improvements to reliability and that in turn means that travel time has improved as well,” Ross said.

“So we’ve shaved travel time in the morning peak in the eastbound direction by about one-and-a-half minutes. That might not sound like a lot but when you take the route as a totality and as a whole, that is significant and in fact it has a knock on effect to reliability, it means that the streetcar comes more frequently, without coming in bunches and big gaps, it’s coming reliably.”

WATCH: King Street pilot project marks first year. Jamie Mauracher reports.

Click to play video: 'King Street pilot project marks first year' King Street pilot project marks first year
King Street pilot project marks first year – Nov 12, 2018

READ MORE: Toronto’s King Street pilot project: what you need to know

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Customer spending, a key complaint from businesses in the area, has seen a growth of 0.3 per cent over the same months from the year before, according to the latest numbers from May.

The King Street pilot project, which restricts vehicular traffic for improved streetcar access between Bathurst and Jarvis streets, began on Nov. 12, 2017.

A decision on whether to make the pilot project permanent will be decided by year’s end.

–With a file from Marianne Dimain

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