Editorial Archive

King Street pilot to ease congestion on busiest streetcar route

7/7/17 6:00 AM

This week (July 6) City Council was asked to vote on the King Street Transit Pilot, a reworking of the central section of one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city, between Bathurst and Jarvis streets.

It may come as a surprise to many people to learn that, after our two busiest subway lines, the 504 King streetcar is our third busiest transit route, moving 65,000 people every day through a crowded street in mixed traffic.

While King Street has long been identified as a “transit priority corridor” and while many attempts have been made to improve service on this street, tweaks to parking and turning restrictions, increased fines for violations, all-door boarding, and adding supplemental buses to the streetcar service have not been enough. At the busiest and most congested times, it is often still quicker to walk along King than to sit on a streetcar that is held up by a single-occupancy car, looking to make a left turn.

Clearly, a more radical solution is needed and TTC and City staff have developed a project that reduces the amount of car traffic through the central stretch of King, while still allowing access for local deliveries and businesses.

This year-long pilot will begin in the fall and will be subject to evaluation against a range of success criteria, most importantly the impact on journey time for streetcar riders and the quality of service that the TTC is able to provide.

This is the latest in a series of improvements that we are making to routes across the city, all part of our relentless drive to give you a transit service that makes Toronto proud.

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