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King Street pilot project will give streetcar priority

The TTC has released details of a planned pilot project which could greatly affect your commute along King Street in the downtown core.

Sixty-five thousand people ride the King streetcar every day, so the TTC is making a move to give the transit line a priority between Bathurst and Jarvis.

“It’s our second busiest transit route. It’s busier than two of our subways.” TTC deputy CEO Chris Upfold explained.

It’s estimated that 20,000 drivers travel along King Street daily.

The pilot project would not ban cars from the downtown portion of King but would implement restricted vehicle access.

Vehicles would only be able to use one lane on either side of the street and left turns would be eliminated between Bathurst and Jarvis. As well, drivers would be forced to turn right at the end of each block.

Street parking would be eliminated along that stretch of King.

Upfold said this type of project works in other places so it should work in Toronto.

“I really believe that. I think people have to see how well this can work and how you can move people in more efficient ways. You can support businesses,” he said.

“I think, once we see it work here in Toronto, that a lightbulb will go on and people will begin to accept it a bit more.”

If it’s approved, the year-long pilot project would go into effect in October.

Council will vote on the project in July.