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Scene: Light Rail at the Ex

CNE-goers can get a glimpse of the light rail vehicles we'll be getting over the coming years.

WHERE: Canadian National Exhibition

WHEN: Friday, August 24

WHAT: After much hemming and hawing, to-ing and fro-ing, Toronto has finally—dare we say conclusively—decided to go ahead and build some new LRT lines. On display at the Ex: a model of Bombardier’s new “Flexity Freedom” light rail vehicle cars, which will run on those LRT lines. You can find it outside the Direct Energy Centre, but note that it isn’t quite the same as what we’ll be getting. For one thing, the mock-up on display is short—just a cab and one module, while the full-size versions that run on our rails will have five modules. The aesthetics may also change, as the fabrics and colours have not yet been approved. (We are still holding out for the trademark TTC red.) Still, it’s nice to start getting a feel for the new ride some key routes will be getting over the coming years.


  • Anonymous

    One very little item I noticed when I visited the mock-up was the little buttons on the doors ( ), which allow passengers to press to gain entry (optionally). Which means to me that if there is no humans at a stop, the vehicles may not stop.

    They’ll probably have to apply some decals next to the buttons to explain some of us what the buttons are for. Wonder what company would supply the decals? (Hint: the Ford brothers inherited a decal company from their father.)

    • Daryl Fritz

      The buttons might be similar to Berlin’s S-Bahn. The train makes all the stops, but the car’s doors don’t open automatically. I guess it saves energy and air conditioning.

    • Anonymous

      Bog standard buttons. Most every modern LRT has them. Doors only open when you push the button. The LEDs light up green when the doors are unlocked for opening.

  • Miroslav Glavic

    I thought they were going to be low-floor, look at those steps you have to go up. 4-5 steps. That does not seem low-floor to me. People with scooters/wheelchairs will have issues with that height.

    • Anonymous

      The mock-up is on a podium (presumably making it easier to haul away once the Ex is over). The real thing won’t be.

    • Anonymous

      They will have to pole vault in, of course. *rolls eyes*

    • Mare Ford

      I appreciate your enthusiastic support to my administration, but you’re honestly just the dumbest ever.

      EDIT: Like ever, ever.

    • Anonymous

      :facepalm (although I also blame Bombardier for not employing a raised continuous platform to simulate streetlevel)

  • Anonymous

    These are low-floor. The platforms will be even with the door entrypoints so you can roll on and off easily. The stairs in the image above are only for the CNE display site.

  • denkyem

    why did they not build a ramp to the platform? Not cool. One of the most exciting things about these vehicles is that they will be Toronto’s first wheelchair accessible street-level rail transportation. These vehicles will make a major change in the transit landscape of toronto for wheelchair users, and I imagine many would be pretty interested in checking this out to see how accessible it really is.

    • vampchick21

      Because this is just a display, that’s why. Once these are on the road, there won’t be a need for a ramp/stairs, as they will be low to the ground, allowing accessability. Several people have already pointed this out in the comments.

      • Anonymous

        I disagree. They already did a display like this at Yonge/Dundas when they borrowed the Minneapolis car. They should have had a continuous raised platform simulating the street > door heights with accessible (not only to wheelchairs but also strollers, suitcases etc) ramps at either end. Instead they got some metal stairs. Awesome. “TTC and Bombardier – we never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.

        • vampchick21

          Or….it was on a platform for display purposes so people could, like, you know, see it before they built everything? Again. This has been pointed out in comments.

          • Nick

            mark_dowling has a good point, vampchick21 – the TTC and Bombardier really should talk to some marketing people before setting up their wares for display at the Ex.

        • denkyem

          When those streetcars were on display at Yonge/Dundas, the only people I know who actually bothered to check them out were my friends who use wheelchairs — because they were excited about the prospect of FINALLY getting access to the city’s streetcar network. Many people with disabilities are awesome advocates for quality transit in this city (see: how we got those automated audio and visual stop announcements on the TTC) and while this CNE display thing is pretty minor in the grand scale of things, it is pretty short-sighted and insulting.

      • denkyem

        Why shouldn’t a display be wheelchair accessible if possible? When the additional expense/effort would be so minimal, why should ANYTHING be made deliberately wheelchair inaccessible? One of the coolest features about these new vehicles IS their accessibility, and the TTC/Bombardier wasted an opportunity to demonstrate that feature and show that equity of access for people with disabilities is a genuine priority for them. It’s just silly and kind of embarrassing.

    • UrbanRen

      Have you guys actually been there? It has a ramp going up to the rear entrance. You guys should check things out before complaining about it.

  • TransitRegular

    With a low floor the rail bogies jam up into the car, narrowing the aisles. Not a problem, provided the TTC gives up its prehistoric front-door only boarding policy. Else the aisles will jam solid at the front, just like the half-baked low floor bus design.

    • OgtheDim

      By the time they get here, they will all have Presto readers at every door. As will every other streetcar, for that matter.

  • OgtheDim

    Saw a tweet on Friday from Stintz that these will be red.

  • Anonymous

    Are these to be used on streetcar routes, Transit City routes, or both?