New streetcars will roll out on Spadina, Bathurst first
The TTC's newest streetcar is shown making a turn while on its maiden voyage early on March 14, 2013. (Brad Ross/Twitter.com)
Chris Kitching, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:09AM EDT
TTC users on Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street are set to become the first to ride Toronto’s new streetcars when they launch in 2014.
The transit agency chose Spadina as the first route to get the low-floor streetcars because it is a right-of-way with access to Spadina and Union stations, TTC spokesman Brad Ross told CP24.
Riders on other routes will be forced to wait up to five more years.
After Spadina and Bathurst, the streetcars will be introduced on the 509 Harbourfront route next year, followed by 505 Dundas in 2014-15 and the Queen and Lake Shore routes in 2015-16.
The Bombardier streetcars will roll out on the King route in 2016-17, and the St. Clair Avenue right-of-way in 2017-18.
Riders on Kingston Road and Carlton Street will have to wait until 2018 or 2019, according to a rollout plan that is being presented at Monday’s TTC board meeting.
When the streetcars are introduced, some routes will have less frequent service, but the streetcars will be able to carry more passengers and they will be more reliable than the existing, aging fleet, Ross said.
The older streetcars will not immediately disappear, however.
Some routes will see a long period of “mixed fleet,” according to the implementation plan.
To accommodate the streetcars, the TTC is modifying curbs and platforms, replacing overhead wires and improving other infrastructure.
In addition to new streetcars, TTC users will be introduced to a new proof-of-payment system.
After a transition phase, the system’s receipt-dispensing terminals, located within the streetcars and at stops, will only accept Presto cards and cash fares.
The new proof-of-payment system is required because streetcar operators will be in an enclosed cab and the vehicles will feature all-door boarding.
Ross confirmed the TTC plans to hire 20 new fare enforcement officers to catch those who try to ride without paying a fare.
According to the implementation plan, the capital costs for the streetcars and upgrades have surpassed $2 billion.
That figure includes the $1.1-billion price tag for the streetcars themselves, $497 million for a new Leslie Street facility where the streetcars will be stored and maintained, and infrastructure modifications.
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