Rid­er­ship sky­rock­ets on King

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Toronto -

The King Street streetcar pi­lot project has in­creased morn­ing rush hour tran­sit rid­er­ship on the route by al­most 25 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the TTC.

The num­ber was re­leased Thursday in a re­port go­ing be­fore the TTC board next week.

“This is ac­tu­ally a good case study, when tran­sit ac­tu­ally be­comes rapid, peo­ple want to use it,” said TTC Chair Colle, coun­cil­lor for Ward 15 Eglin­ton­lawrence.

TTC spokesper­son Stu­art Green con­firmed that roughly two weeks after the pi­lot was in­stalled in Novem­ber, the agency counted 2,600 peo­ple us­ing east­bound street­cars at Spad­ina dur­ing the morn­ing rush — an in­crease of 500 rid­ers com­pared to the 2,100 tal­lied prior to the pi­lot in Septem­ber. The pi­lot re­moves on-street parking and com­pels drivers to make right turns off the street at most ma­jor in­ter­sec­tions.

City stats show it has cut jour­ney times in the pi­lot area be­tween Bathurst and Jarvis by as much as 14 per cent, while in­de­pen­dent anal­y­sis by Univer­sity of Toronto re­searchers found even more dra­matic time sav­ings.

The re­port, au­thored by act­ing TTC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Rick Leary, said the pi­lot has made the tran­sit agency “a bit of a vic­tim of our own suc­cess,” be­cause in­creased rid­er­ship is ex­ac­er­bat­ing crowd­ing on street­cars.

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