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Toronto Streetcar Experiment Likely to Be Made Permanent

The city of Toronto did something radical and gave its streetcar its own lane on King Street as part of a pilot project launched in 2018. The results included improved service and increased ridership.
April 10, 2019, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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King Street Streetcar
Vadim Rodnev

"More than a year after [Toronto] reconfigured a major downtown thoroughfare to give priority to streetcars over private vehicles, the King St. pilot could be here to stay," reports Ben Spurr.

A recently released report [pdf], prepared by the Toronto Transit Commission, recommends making the pilot project permanent. In the report, according to Spurr, "city staff detail extensive monitoring of nearly all aspects of the King St. project, and conclude it has achieved its goal of improving streetcar operations on the TTC’s busiest surface route with minimal negative effects on traffic and surrounding businesses."

The idea of making the King St. pilot permanent already has support from Mayor John Tory, according to the article, and the City Council is expected to debate the issue this week.

For more insight, Angie Schmitt also writes about the findings of the report, touting the success of the city's decision to give priority to the streetcar instead of cars on the highly trafficked streetcar corridor. Ridership grew by 16 percent after the city decided to give the streetcar its own lane, free of conflicts with automobiles in the right of way.

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Published on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 in The Star
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