Ridership up during morning, evening commute in area of King pilot
Streetcars travels along King Street West during the King Street Pilot Project.
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:43PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:34PM EDT
In the months of May and June, transit ridership was up 35 per cent during the morning commute and up 27 per cent during the evening commute in the King Street pilot area.
Overall ridership has increased by 11 per cent on the King Street streetcar running between Bathurst and Jarvis streets. The data is compared to the same time period last year.
The pilot project that began on Nov. 12, 2017 only allows vehicles, except TTC and emergency vehicles, to travel one block before being forced to make a right-hand turn. The pilot project is scheduled for one year.
“The King Street transit pilot demonstrates that we can move a larger number of people on the city’s busiest surface route, quickly and reliably, while managing the impact on drivers and local businesses,” Mayor John Tory said in a news release issued on Wednesday evening.
“The city will continue to carefully measure this pilot to make sure that it works for more than 80,000 daily riders of the King Street streetcar and everyone who enjoys the vibrant part of our city.”
The news release also said transit reliability, pedestrian traffic and cycling volumes are up, noting that is consistent with seasonal changes.
The city said it is also monitoring the impact on traffic flow on parallel streets but that data was not released.
In May and June, the city has made significant changes to combat opposition to the pilot project.
King Street business owners were granted permission by the city in June to set up patio space in the curbside lane without paying the required application fee. The city also began installing nearly 30 streetscape improvements along the stretch of the busy downtown area in May in an effort to encourage people to visit the street despite restrictions on vehicular traffic.