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Streetcars moving faster 1 month into King Street pilot, data shows

Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm EDT

The city has released its first set of data for the King Street Transit Pilot and, not surprisingly, it suggests streetcars are moving a little faster and cars a little slower.

The pilot project launched on Nov. 12, between Bathurst and Jarvis streets, primarily to improve transit service, which has slowed significantly over the past several years.

The differences are only a few minutes either way, with the biggest change coming during the afternoon rush hour.

“This initial set of data shows improvements in the reliability and travel times of the streetcar, with minimal impacts on travel times for vehicles on other routes in the downtown,” said Barbara Gray, general manager of Transportation Services.

Here are the preliminary findings.

  • The reliability of streetcar travel times has improved for both the morning (7 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and afternoon (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) rush hours.
  • The most significant improvement has been during the afternoon rush hour, when the upper range of streetcar travel times has improved from 25 minutes to 22 minutes eastbound and 24 to 19.7 minutes westbound.
  • Average streetcar travel times have improved for the afternoon rush hours. The most significant improvement has been westbound, with a 2.6-minute improvement in average travel time through the pilot area.
  • Average vehicle travel times on most streets in the pilot area have seen variations (+/-) of around a minute or less compared to before the pilot.
  • In some cases, where increases in vehicle travel times are more than a minute, other conditions have been identified which most likely caused the delay.


“Measurement is vital to the King Street pilot, and will ensure we can make any necessary adjustments so the street and surrounding area works for transit customers, cyclists, pedestrians, drivers and business owners as well as local residents,” said Mayor John Tory.

“We also appreciate the feedback of local businesses, transit users, and the taxi industry and will continue to address any concerns as quickly as possible.”

The city is monitoring the impact on transit service, traffic on parallel streets and effects on cyclists, pedestrians and local businesses.

New data for the pilot project will be released every month, and a more comprehensive report will be out early in 2018.

Related stories:

Report: Early data shows King Street pilot project is cutting commute times 

TTC responds to complaints about overcrowding on King streetcar

Drivers adjust to changes on King Street, congestion concerns raised