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Real City Matters

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Check Out Toronto’s New Streetcar, Inside and Out

TTC provides video tour of the new vehicle, which will be hitting the streets August 31.

It’s almost here: on August 31, the new streetcar will make its official Toronto debut on the 510 Spadina route. We’ve seen it in action a couple of times before, but a new video explainer from Brad Ross, head of communications for the TTC, and Andy Byford, the TTC’s CEO, highlights more of its features and aims to get Torontonians ready for and even more excited about this new addition to our transit system.

The TTC has ordered 204 of the new vehicles, and they’ll be considerably different from the ones we’ve grown familiar with over the years: they’ll boast a higher carrying capacity, air-conditioning, and four sets of doors (which will mean reduced boarding times); they’ll be quieter and offer a smoother ride; and they’ll be fully accessible for all riders, thanks to a ramp that can be deployed on routes with and without islands.

If riders want to speak with the operator, they can use an intercom—a yellow alarm strip can be pressed in case of emergency.

The vehicle also features elements designed with the safety of drivers and cyclists in mind: eight flashing lights located along its side will let road users know that the doors are about to open—and a flashing sign on the back will warn them that it’s necessary to stop behind the streetcar.

You won’t see these long, bendy, state-of-the-art streetcars all over town for a while yet—the TTC will be phasing them in on the remaining routes over the next five years:

  • 2015: 511 Bathurst, 509 Harbourfront
  • 2015-16: 505 Dundas
  • 2016-17: 501 Queen, 508 Lake Shore, 504 King
  • 2018-19: 512 St. Clair, 502 Downtowner, 503 Kingston Road, 506 Carlton
  • Two of the niftier aspects of the new model? The outside of the vehicle features “door open” and ramp-deploying buttons that passengers can press all by themselves.

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