Toronto — Article Questions Effect on Traffic
The Globe and Mail has posted a story examining the issue of whether the longer Bombardier Transportation Flexity articulated streetcars being built for Toronto Transit Commission [TTC] will slow auto traffic behind them on Toronto streets. TTC is buying 204 streetcars for USD $1.1 billion and each is more than 98 feet long.
The story reports that the new cars, which are twice as long as the majority of the cars they will replace, are worrying motorists even before they are introduced.
Drivers are concerned about how they will pass the nearly 100-foot long cars on busy streets such as King, Queen, and Dundas. Drivers try to pass streetcars on either side when they have a chance, trying to avoid being behind a stopped streetcar exchanging passengers, thus missing a green cycle.
The TTC countered that as the new cars are much larger than the old, there will in fact be fewer streetcars on the street to bedevil drivers. Frequency will fall from a car every two to three minutes to one every four or five minutes.
Boarding and alighting will also occur through all doors on the new cars and as the cars are low floor, only a single step from the street surface will speed the process. All this means dwell time at streetcar stops should be shorter.
Further more than 400 intersections in the city have a system that adjusts signal cycles to give priority to streetcars.