STAYING ON TRACK IN THE CITY
It’s no secret that many of us motorists find the streetcar annoying at times, in fact over the years we Torontonians have developed a love/hate relationship with the ever-present Toronto streetcar. The debate on removing them from our streets continue to be a heated topic for many. Practical or not, they are a historical fixture on Toronto’s streets. Most of us have grown an emotional attachment towards them. One thing however is certain, Toronto’s streetcar has come along way.
The streetcar is the foundation upon which Toronto’s transit system was built on, it’s history dates all the way back to 1860 with the horse-drawn cars. Today they continue to be a crucial element in our city’s modern TTC. The Toronto Transportation Commission was founded in 1920 (“transportation” would change to “transit” in 1954) and continues to operate today with over 2.70 million ridership daily.
Today’s technology has radically advanced the streetcar to accommodate accessibility requirements and traffic demands. The new streetcars are longer and are 100% low floor, offering wheelchair ramps that can be lowered into a platform or the street itself. As well, the driver has now been removed from the fare payment equation, operating the streetcar in his own isolated cab at the front of the vehicle. It has the capacity to hold 271 passengers, so the next time you are stuck behind a streetcar remember the red and white aboveground trains are a hallmark of the city and a crucial part of travel for many living in Toronto.