November 9, 2017
Today, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) officially announced that the King Street Transit Pilot will launch on Sunday, November 12 at 7 a.m.
The goal of the King Street Transit Pilot is to put people and transit first by improving transit reliability, speed and capacity between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets. Streetcars will be prioritized and private vehicle traffic will be restricted while local traffic access will be maintained.
King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the city moving more than 65,000 riders per day. Currently, streetcars on King experience slow travel speeds, unreliable spacing between streetcars and frequent overcrowding. On a daily basis, the streetcars share the road with 20,000 vehicles, many of which can use parallel streets to get to where they need to go.
"This pilot project will put transit first and will help improve reliability, speed and capacity for the customers on this busy streetcar route," said Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence) Chair, TTC Board. "We've made changes to the 504 King streetcar route in the past, but nothing has had the effect that the TTC needed, so the time is now to take a bolder step for transit in this city."
"King Street is a critical downtown spine, connecting neighbourhoods, the largest employment centre in the entire country, and diverse urban forms and uses," said Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina). "As in so many other areas – community facilities, new parkland, and more – we must both catch up with growth, and plan for the future. The time for putting people and transit first along this important corridor is now, and the King Street Transit Pilot is our opportunity."
Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should be aware that changes will be made to the street over the next few days to prepare for the pilot. All road users should navigate King Street with caution as new pavement markings, barriers and other materials are installed.
The following is the schedule of work prior to the launch:
• Overhead sign installation began October 30 and is now complete (signs will remain bagged until the launch) • Curbside sign installation began November 6 • Pavement marking installation (painting of turn arrows and lines on the street) began November 8 • New transit shelters in select locations will be installed November 9 and 10 • New streetcar stop elements (concrete barriers, planters, tactile strips and ramps) installation will begin November 10 • On-street parking on King Street will be removed on November 10 • New signal timings will be activated November 11 • Transit stops at the far side of the intersection (at all but two stops – Portland and Bathurst on the north side) begin operations November 12.
For details on road restrictions as a result of this work, please visit http://ow.ly/3btm30grYou
All changes to the street including the new transit stop locations and the new road restrictions for drivers come into effect when the pilot launches on November 12 at 7 a.m.
For the first two weeks of the pilot, the TTC will have customer service ambassadors on the street to help direct passengers to the new transit stops on the far side of the intersections.
During that time, the Toronto Police Service will also have a dedicated team of police officers at key intersections along King Street to educate drivers and enforce the new road restrictions.
Highlights of how to navigate the transit pilot:
• Vehicles travelling eastbound on King Street must turn left or right at Bathurst Street. Vehicles travelling westbound must turn left or right at Jarvis Street.
• Through vehicular traffic should use other parallel east-west streets: Richmond, Adelaide, Wellington, Front, Queens Quay, Lake Shore and the Gardiner Expressway, and then access King Street via north-south streets.
• TTC vehicles, City of Toronto emergency and maintenance vehicles, and cyclists are allowed to travel through the pilot area at all times of the day.
• Space for cyclists is provided in the curb lane but no dedicated bike lanes are provided.
• Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., City-licensed taxis are allowed to travel straight through the pilot area. At other times, taxis must follow the same rules as other traffic.
• There is no on-street parking on King Street in the pilot area. On-street parking is available on some nearby streets and there are several off-street parking lots near King Street.
• While travelling on King Street, left turns at signalized intersections (turning off King Street) are not allowed.
• Current turning restrictions for accessing King Street will remain in place (where left turns onto King Street were previously permitted, they will continue to be permitted).
• Existing permitted movements and restrictions on north-south streets will continue after the launch of the King Street Transit Pilot. For example, vehicle traffic on all north-south streets in the pilot area (such as Bathurst, Spadina, John, University and Yonge) can still cross King Street.
A map showing how King Street works along the entire length of the pilot project is available on the project website http://www.toronto.ca/kingstreetpilot.
Directional apps such as Google maps and Waze will be updated through the City's data release on road restrictions and will provide accurate navigation as of the day of the pilot project launch.
During the pilot, which will run for approximately one year, several different kinds of data will be collected and regularly shared with the public, including transit speed and ridership, traffic speed and counts, parking and curbside usage, pedestrian counts, cycling counts, safety measures, retail sales and others. The data will be posted to the project website.
For more information, and to view new video that explains the pilot, visit the project website at http://www.toronto.ca/kingstreetpilot.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://ow.ly/icip30gtlZb
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. In 2017, Toronto is honouring Canada's 150th birthday with "TO Canada with Love," a year-long program of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms and on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto.
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