Editorial Archive

WELCOME ABOARD! TTC launches next-generation streetcar on Sunday

New streetcar in Spadina Station. 8/29/14 6:00 AM

This Sunday, the TTC will reach a significant milestone in its modernization program and in its journey to become a fully accessible transit system.

At 10 a.m., the first of our 204-strong fleet of low-floor, accessible and air-conditioned streetcars will enter service at Spadina Station on the 510 Spadina line. Following a short ceremony, the new vehicle will begin its inaugural trip, heading south down Spadina Avenue to Spadina Loop at Queens Quay from where it will turn back north. A second new streetcar will also enter service on Sunday, following the first vehicle along the same route.

A lot of preparation has gone on to making this event a reality. Staff from across the TTC have collaborated over many months, and years in fact, to acquire and finally prepare the new streetcar for service, to train Operators and maintenance staff, to draw up operating procedures, and to design and install on- and off-board fare payment machines.

These new vehicles are fully accessible and feature a ramp to enable customers that need this feature to board with ease. This is hugely important as our current streetcar fleet is completely inaccessible to customers that use a mobility device.

With the introduction of the new streetcars on Sunday, the 510 Spadina route automatically becomes a proof-of-payment (POP) route, whether you ride the existing streetcar or the new one. This means that customers that already hold proof of payment, such as a Metropass or a valid transfer, may board via any door, at any time on any streetcar (old and new) operating on the 510 route. Customers without POP must still purchase a fare and obtain a transfer. This may be done both on the new vehicles and at on-street machines that have been installed at the busiest stops along the route.

There will be plenty of TTC customer service staff on-hand to help riders get used to the new streetcar and to assist you at stops along the route. These staff will help ensure that you have proof of payment and they will guide you through the operation of the new fare vending machines.

Focus will now turn to progressively converting the whole 510 route to new streetcars. On Oct. 12, we will reinstate service through to Union Station for the 510 Spadina, as well as the 509 Harbourfront. Later this fall, the new Presto smartcard will be accepted on our new streetcars, part of the first phase of the system-wide roll-out of Presto across the TTC over the next three years.

I am very proud of the way TTC staff have worked to achieve this milestone. And I am delighted to welcome everyone to their new, state-of-the-art ride.

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