Toronto's new streetcars: What riders need to know

The TTC has posted a YouTube video to tell riders what they need to know about using the new streetcars.

New vehicles hit the streets on Aug. 31 on 510 Spadina route

With new streetcars set to hit Toronto's streets in 10 days, the TTC has posted a YouTube video to tell passengers what they need to know about using the vehicles.

TTC CEO Andy Byford said the arrival of the streetcars is "a huge step forward for the TTC."

The new cars feature:

  • Increased passenger capacity.
  • Air conditioning on all vehicles.
  • A lower floor to better serve passengers who use mobility devices, such as wheelchairs.
  • A quieter, smoother ride.
  • Bike storage in the fourth car of the train (off-peak hours only).
  • Better passenger safety devices including exterior flashing lights to warn drivers the doors will open, closed-circuit cameras so drivers can keep watch over the entire car, and a passenger service alarm similar to ones in use on subway cars.
Riders who need to use the accessibility ramp in mixed traffic can push this button to request assistance from the driver. (YouTube)

For all-door boarding, passengers at some stops will have to press a red button to tell the driver to open the doors. At busier stops, this will happen automatically.

The accessibility ramps deploy two different ways. On stops with raised islands, the ramps slide straight outward. At stops with no raised island, the ramps deploy in two phases, moving outward and also lowering down to the pavement level. At these stops in mixed traffic, drivers will need to assist passengers who must notify operators they need help by pushing a blue button outside the streetcar.

Bike racks are located in the fourth car (module) of the five-car streetcar train. Bikes will only be allowed on board during off-peak periods. (YouTube)

Each streetcar train is made up of five cars (the TTC calls them modules). The second module is the accessibility module where the ramp deploys.

To accompany the rollout of the the new vehicles, the TTC has unveiled an updated map of the streetcar network. Brad Ross, the TTC's head of communications, tweeted a picture of the new design on Thursday afternoon. 

The TTC has ordered 204 of the new streetcars. They will be deployed along various routes over the next five years.

Here's the rollout plan. 

  • Aug. 31: 510 Spadina.
  • 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.

Click on the image below to watch the TTC video about the new streetcars.


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