You're a transit enthusiast keen to catch a ride on a new TTC streetcar, two of which entered service Sunday on the 510 Spadina route. Eventually 204 of the new vehicles will operate across the streetcar system but for now, just two of the new vehicles are running.
So how do you find out when a new streetcar is coming?
Here's what you do:
Step one: Instead of craning your neck down Spadina and waiting at the stop for 30 minutes, pull out your smart phone or pull up a web browser and use this link. It brings up a map on the NextBus system, one that shows the 510 streetcar route. It displays, in real time, the location of the streetcars as they make their way south from Spadina station, down to Queen's Quay and back up again.
Step two: Click on each of the red "510 Spadina" flags and look at the vehicle number. The streetcars you're looking for are number 4400 and number 4403. The TTC had hoped that an accessibility icon would be displayed on this map to let riders know when the next low-floor streetcar is coming. The TTC says this is in the works.
One of the new cars, number 4400, was pulled from service for about an hour Tuesday morning while technicians fixed a problem with a vault on the fare vending machine. It was back in service by 9:30 a.m.
The new streetcars will be deployed along various routes over the next five years.
Here's the rollout plan now that they're running on the 510 Spadina route:
- 2015: 511 Bathurst and 509, Harbourfront.
- 2015 to 2016: 505 Dundas.
- 2016 to 2017: 501 Queen 508 Lakeshore, 504 King.
- 2018 to 2019: 512 St. Clair, 502 Downtown, 503 Kingston Road, 506 Carlton.