Which other cities have similar model vehicles?
Toronto’s new streetcars are based on the Bombardier FLEXITY 100% low-floor trams. Other cities that operate similar vehicles include:
- Brussels, Belgium
- Valencia and Alicante, Spain
- Innsbruck, Austria
- Augsburg, Germany
- Marseille, France
In these cities, vehicles range in length from 28 metres to 43 metres and operate in dense urban environments like we have here. The Toronto vehicles are approximately 30 metres long.
Why spend money on streetcars? Why not use buses?
The existing streetcar network of 11 routes carries in the range of 285,000 people per day. The busiest streetcar routes operate as frequently as every two minutes. The routes are among the busiest TTC surface routes, and among the busiest surface transit routes in Canada. These ridership levels are well in excess of what could be effectively or comfortably accommodated by a bus service. The ridership levels on our streetcar routes are highly attributable to the presence and quality of ride provided by streetcars. Toronto’s streetcar heritage, and the positive contributions which streetcars bring to the City and the TTC, are valued by many Torontonians and visitors alike.
What is the cost of these streetcars?
The total cost of this contract is approximately $1 billion. Included in this cost are the Toronto-specific design improvements, testing, manufacturing and delivery of the 204 vehicles, training for TTC personnel, and warranty support. These vehicles are designed to be very durable and have at least a 30 year life span.
Why are we ordering new vehicles?
The TTC’s existing streetcars (which were made between 1977 and 1989) are coming to the end of their economic lives, are not accessible, and are insufficient in capacity to keep up with ever increasing ridership. The new, 100% low-floor, accessible, modern, and much longer vehicles will dramatically improve service and customer comfort.
Will the new streetcars go faster than those currently in use?
The new streetcar is designed to accelerate and brake similar to our present streetcars. When travelling along the road our Operators are governed by the same speed limits as all other traffic. All-door boarding and alighting, and reduced crowding, will reduce the time spent at streetcar stops, thus speeding up service for everyone.
What is the maximum speed that the new streetcars will be able to reach?
The vehicle is capable of reaching a service speed of 70 km/h. However, the vehicle must be operated within the posted speed limits of Toronto’s roads.
How will the new streetcars reduce bunching and improve service?
On our very busiest routes, where the new higher capacity 30 metre vehicles will replace existing 15 metre streetcars, rush hour service will change from every two or three minutes to every four or five minutes. This will help reduce bunching of streetcars, and will also allow the priority traffic signals for the streetcars to work better than they currently do. At off-peak times, and on less busy streetcar routes, we expect to have little or no change to the frequency of service. The new streetcars will provide more capacity than is provided by the current service.