Editorial Archive

POP goes King on the TTC

12/12/14 6:00 AM

At the start of this week, I joined Mayor John Tory and TTC Chair Josh Colle to announce an important change to the operation of the TTC’s busiest surface route, the 504 King streetcar.

The 504 carries 60,000 riders daily and around 20 per cent of overall journey time is spent servicing stops. The core section of the route through downtown is heavily congested so we are taking a number of measures to tackle this.

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, all-door boarding will be permitted throughout the full length of the 504 King streetcar route between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. – just one of a series of measures to speed up this critical service. Customers in possession of proof-of-payment (POP), such as a Metropass or a paper transfer will be permitted to board via the rear doors, thereby shortening the amount of time that streetcars need to spend at each stop. Customers paying by cash, ticket or token must still board at the front doors and must take a transfer as proof-of-payment.

Customer service ambassadors will assist customers during the first few weeks of this new arrangement, a system that is already in place on the 501 Queen and 510 Spadina routes. Fare Inspectors will randomly board vehicles and visit stops to check that customers have proof-of-payment and to ensure that everyone pays the correct fare.

During 2015, our plan is to progressively convert all streetcar routes to the proof-of-payment, all-door boarding system. The TTC’s 2015 budget submission includes the hiring of additional Fare Inspectors so that, by year-end, all 11 streetcar routes can operate POP at all times. Today, only the 510 Spadina is POP all day, every day.

There are other plans to improve streetcar service. We will progressively convert each route to be operated by our new, state-of-the-art, low-floor vehicles, the first three of which are already on Spadina. And we continue to work with Toronto Police and City Transportation to tackle illegal parking and to enhance transit only lanes through the city.

Coupled with the Mayor’s broader initiatives to tackle traffic congestion, these changes to our streetcar network will lead to shorter journey times, more reliable service and less frustration for you, our valued customers.

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