The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is in the middle of vast changes to its system. From the introduction of various customer service initiatives
to the construction projects on Eglinton and Spadina to the new Red Rocket subway trains
, the TTC is attempting to improve its transit experience.
This week, the TTC unveiled to the media and the general public their new light rail vehicles that will replace the aging 30-year-old streetcars that are currently running on 11 routes. Officials showed off half of a LRV at the TTC Hillcrest Facility on Bathurst.
The current plan is to have the 189 LRVs on the roads within the next six years. They will go into service starting late 2013 and early 2014. In June 2009, the TTC awarded a $1.5 billion contract to Bombardier
for these new LRVs. The public was then consulted
about the design and layout.
LRVs have been introduced
all over the globe, including in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.
TTC’s LRVs will carry a maximum of 251 passengers and run at a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). It will have wider seats, larger windows and broader doors. There is a boarding ramp and two designated accessible areas for those with bicycles and wheelchairs. The LRVs will contain new audio, visual and touch features.
The new streetcars will be low to the floor; will have full air conditioning and cameras on the vehicles to send images to the drivers.
Each LRV will have pay-at-the-door technology in which passengers can pay with cash, debit or smart cards. Operators will not handle fares. At least two ticket-vending machines (TVMs) will be installed in each LRV – it does not accept bills and does not provide change and issues paper receipts/transfers. There will be dispensers at key route stops. There will also be ticket validators for fares until the system completely converts to the Presto system
Similar to trains, there will be passenger alarms. Similar to buses, there will be a push-button system.
If you are interested in taking a peak at the European-style LRV, you can go to to the Hillcrest Facility at 1138 Bathurst Street
from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The TTC will be providing frequent shuttle buses from Bathurst and St. Clair West Subway Stations.