Starting today, TTC passengers can board all streetcars using the rear doors so long as they have a valid proof of payment.
This is a move to speed up boarding and reduce the amount of time streetcars hold at stops as they load and unload passengers.
Speaking today on CBC Radio's Metro Morning show, TTC CEO Andy Byford said going to all-door boarding will speed up streetcar journeys by about seven per cent.
"It's always seemed to me kind of odd that people with Metropasses are forced to get on at the front of the streetcar when people are trying to get off as well," he said. "We know this is going to speed things up."
Byford said there will be fare inspectors on streetcars to help passengers adjust to the change and to ensure that fares are paid. The TTC says a failure to show a transfer, valid pass or proof-of-purchase receipt can result in a $425 fine.
Passengers who pay with tokens, tickets or cash must continue to board at the front door.
CBC News spoke to passenger Vicky Rodriguez as she boarded a streetcar this morning. She pays using a Metropass and hopes the move will speed her journey.
"I think it's a good idea but at the beginning, there's going to be a lot of commotion," she said.
The move toward rear-door boarding on streetcars comes as the TTC gets ready to allow streetcar passengers to pay using the Presto prepaid fare card. Passengers using Presto will soon be able to tap the card at the machines as they board. The machines will be located at both the front and rear doors of all streetcars, old and new.
The TTC has said Presto payment on all streetcars is coming before year's end. During his interview on Metro Morning, Byford hinted that an announcement about Presto use on streetcars may be coming this week.
Presto machines are already in use on the new streetcars currently in service on the 510 Spadina and 509 Harbourfront routes. Some stops are equipped with machines that allow passengers to pay using their Presto card before they board.
Some notes on Presto/streetcar use:
- Presto-paying streetcar passengers who plan to transfer onto the subway should tap when boarding the streetcar and tap again upon entering the subway station. One fare will be charged. That also applies to passengers who transfer between streetcars.
- Presto customers whose journey includes bus transportation will require a transfer. Customers should board at the front door of the streetcar, tap and take a transfer.
- Customers riding the new streetcars can board at any door, pay their fare at a Fare and Transfer machine and get their POP receipt.
- Proof-of-Payment is required on all streetcar routes.
Anyone with questions can call the TTC's customer information office at 416-393-4636.
Passengers getting on the front of the streetcar are being told by driver they can get on the back with a metropass pic.twitter.com/EiwL8wghdk— @LindaWardCBC