Scene: Up Close and Personal With the New TTC Streetcar
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Scene: Up Close and Personal With the New TTC Streetcar

A sneak peek at the colourful, fancy, and bendy vehicle that will officially be hitting the streets of Toronto later this summer.

WHERE: TTC’s Hillcrest Complex (1138 Bathurst Street) to Bathurst Station and back

WHEN: Wednesday, June 4, 11 a.m.

WHAT: A ride with TTC board members and city councillors on one of the TTC’s new streetcars. The new low-floor light rail vehicles (LFLRV) will be twice as long as the ones we’re used to now and will boast air conditioning, automatic retractable ramps, and the Presto fare collection system. For now, the streetcars can only be glimpsed occasionally, while they’re out on the streets being tested or delighting the crowds at Doors Open. They are like elusive, exotic, very shy creatures, the sight of which can turn otherwise staid, respectable Torontonians into gleeful transit paparazzi.

“We’ve been testing, and now we’re into training, getting our operators into training and ramped up so they’re qualified to run these machines,” said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross. “It’s all joystick operated, so there’s some training … it takes ten days to train one operator in how to run these new streetcars.”

“We’re getting that much closer to revenue service, so we’re starting to build some momentum, excitement, and interest,” Ross continued. “We need to start familiarizing the public, council members, board members, and the media. So we’ve organized this ride, a ride next Wednesday for some Twitter members, and the following week with some members who have been working very closely on this project. We’re only twelve weeks out from service now.” As of August 31, the new vehicles will become a far more familiar sight—that’s when they’ll start running regularly on the 510 Spadina route.