Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Transit Commission Chair Josh Colle today announced that proof-of-payment (POP) and all-door boarding on the 504 King streetcar will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 in an effort to improve service and reliability for the almost 60,000 daily riders of the King streetcar, the TTC’s busiest surface route.
“We need to get Toronto moving, and all-door boarding on the King streetcar will make a significant impact on how quickly the King streetcar moves and makes using transit easier for the people of Toronto,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Our city is facing a congestion crisis, and this is a great first step in addressing the needs of TTC riders.”
“We know the 504 is challenged for a variety of reasons outside of the TTC’s control, so when there’s a solution that’s within our control to help improve service, it only makes sense that we do that,” said TTC Chair Josh Colle.
Initially, POP will operate on the 504 King Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. only, similar to the POP hours currently on the 501 Queen. The TTC’s 2015 budget submission includes the phasing of POP on all streetcar routes next year, with a total complement of 100 fare inspectors that will allow for POP all day, every day on all 11 streetcar routes by year-end. Today, only the 510 Spadina is POP all day, every day.
The TTC’s 2015 operating and capital budgets will be presented at the Jan. 21 meeting of the Board.
Streetcars in Toronto see 250,000 daily trips. Almost 20 per cent of a streetcar’s journey is spent servicing stops. The introduction of POP will see that cut to about 7 per cent, significantly improving service.
Customer service ambassadors fan out across King starting Jan. 1, adding to Spadina and Queen, assisting customers and reminding them of the need to have proof-of-payment – either a Metropass or paper transfer – when boarding rear doors of a streetcar. If paying by cash, token or ticket, customers must take a transfer as proof-of-payment. The fine for failing to have proof-of-payment when asked by a fare inspector is $235.