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New ‘bendable’ streetcar launched

TTC ALRV #4200 1 December, 2019

TTC history took a new twist on January, 19 (1988) when the first ‘bendable’ streetcar entered revenue service on the 507 Long Branch route.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Humber Loop for Toronto’s first Articulated Light Rail Vehicle (ALRV) was presided over by Chairman Jeffery Lyons and Lloyd Berney, General Manager – Operations.

Following the ceremony, the guests, including media representatives, took a demonstration ride to Roncesvalles Carhouse. Here, the ALRV was joined by one
of the TTC’s new Orion-Ikarus 60-foot, articulated buses, which recently entered service on Finch East.

A total of 30 articulated buses are scheduled to be in service by this April. They have 61 seats and carry as many as 107 riders – almost twice that of a standard 40-foot bus. The cost per bus is $310,000.

Visitors were allowed to inspect and photograph the new bus, and rode it back to Humber. Shortly afterwards, the ALRV returned and headed out towards Long
Branch, picking up surprised passengers and beginning a new era in public transportation.

Currently, five cars in the 52-unit ALRV order have been received in Toronto, although only one car has been accepted for service during rush hours.

The remaining ALRVs are expected to be on property by the end of this year and will be operated on routes such as 501 Queen and 502 Downtowner.

“Our slogan for this launch,” Lyons said, “is that the TTC is ‘bending to meet ridership.’ We believe these new streetcars will go a long way to improve service, particularly on heavily travelled routes.”

The Chairman acknowledged the TTC’s partners in developing the ALRV project:  the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. He noted that Toronto had begun its 127-year history with horse-drawn streetcars.

“Let’s face it. Toronto loves its streetcars,” he added.

The 76-foot ALRVs seat 61 riders and have a carrying capacity of approximately 155 passengers, compared to 46 seats and approximately 100 riders on a conventional car.

The vehicles are being built in Kingston, Ont., by CanCar Rail Inc., a subsidiary of the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. They carry a unit price tag of $1.37 million.

Photo: ALRV #4200, TTC’s first articulated streetcar.

From the February 1988 Coupler, Vol. 63, No. 2

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