Streetcar Fleet and Infrastructure Plans 2011

Plans for the ongoing replacement of streetcars and the allocation of new low floor light rail vehicles (LFLRVs) to routes are contained in the detailed papers for the 2011 TTC Capital Budget.  Also included are the five-year plans for track renewal and the overhead replacement/reconstruction project.

This information should be considered as preliminary, an indication of the type and scope of work the TTC plans to undertake.  Changes to the fleet plan and the rollout of new cars to streetcar routes will affect the infrastructure plans.

Fleet Plan

The 204 LFLRVs now on order will begin entering service (presuming deliveries occur on time) in 2013.  The planned rollout is based on the following assumptions:

  • A backlog of capacity requirements to bring routes to current loading standards will be accommodated.
  • Ridership will continue to grow by 2.5% annually.
  • The 501 Queen route will not be split.
  • 20 cars are reserved for a variety of factors including extensions and future ridership growth.

The delivery schedule is:

  • January 2011:  Full scale mockup of 1/2 car (it’s not here yet)
  • October-November 2011: Prototypes 1 and 2
  • February 2012:  Technical verification vehicle
  • December 2012:  Production car 1
  • 2013: 30 cars
  • 2014-17:  36 cars/year
  • 2018: 26 cars

2011 Budget LFLRV Fleet Rollout Plan

A number of issues leap off the page directly from the plan.  Most critical is the TTC’s intent to begin retiring the ALRVs before the routes needing them (Queen and King) are converted to LFLRV.  Indeed, the Queen route is the last projected for conversion, in 2017, even though the ALRVs are all to be retired by about 2014.

This will push up the CLRV requirement in the short term, but there are no spare CLRVs.  Cars released from early conversions of CLRV routes will have to shift to Queen and King just to maintain service if the ALRVs are retired in 2014.  This will require about 46 CLRVs for Queen and 12 for King, more CLRVs than will be released from routes to be converted in 2013-4.

This has important considerations for carhouse plans.  Space at Russell and Roncesvalles will not, realistically, be available for LFLRVs until a few years into the program when the new fleet’s capacity is large enough that old cars can actually be retired.

In short, if the TTC wants to retire its ALRV fleet, then it needs to introduce LFLRVs on the routes using these vehicles at the start, not the end, of the conversion.

Another troubling provision is that the spare factor for LFLRVs is planned at 20%, no better than the 30-year old CLRVs they will replace.  In the short term, a high spare factor would be reasonable as teething problems with the new fleet are worked out, but this should be a basic part of the plan going out 10 years.  Indeed, the number used for Ashbridge Carhouse projections has typically been 15% with 85 of 100 cars on that site available for service.  That extra 5% is setting Toronto back 10 cars.

Oddly enough, although the fleet plan includes some allowance for the waterfront, there is a separate provision in the budget for 11 cars for new routes to the East Donlands (Cherry Street) and the eastern branch of Harbourfront.

The plan as written does not make sense and requires major revisions.

LFLRV Service Levels

Although the TTC has not published service plans for the LFLRV routes, one can work backward from the number of cars assigned to each line to obtain an idea of the headway and capacity to be operated.

2011 Budget LFLRV Rollout Headways and Capacity

This chart uses service design capacities (based on current Service Standards), not the crush loads cited by some, including the manufacturer.  Typical peak period riders should not endure crush conditions, and planning is based on an average over the peak period that leaves room for variations in demand and headway regularity.

In this chart I have used 74 and 108 for CLRVs and ALRVs respectively, and 150 for the LFLRVs.  With the move to all-door loading, there will probably be an improvement in space utilization, but I wanted to be conservative in the calculation.

The projected headways are simply based on the number of cars.  If a route has a one hour round trip and operates to day with 12 cars, then the headway is 5 minutes.  If the revised car allocation calls for 8 cars, then the new headway would be 7.5 minutes.

(Note that the allocation of cars to the King car and its trippers is my estimate based on a comparable service design to today’s with a one-hour long “wave” of higher capacity.  The TTC allocates 30 cars in all to the King and Lake Shore routes, and I have divided them among the services to roughly duplicate current operations.)

The proportional increase in capacity on some routes is quite striking begging the question of how much latent demand the TTC projects for service on routes like Dundas and Carlton.  On Dundas, 17 LFLRVs will replace 18 CLRVs thereby providing almost double the capacity on this route on roughly the same headway.

The 502 Downtowner route is coverted in 2013, but its companion the 503 stays a CLRV route until 2014.  This will produce unblendable headways during the transition, and in any event begs the question of whether, on what will now be almost 15 minute headways for each route, having two separate routes makes sense.  All of the cars should run on the 502 or the 503 routing.

(A common and extremely annoying practice guaranteed to make customers’ blood boil, even in the dead of winter, is that 502 cars are short-turned westbound at Church, returning eastbound from Victoria.  They are on time, but empty.  On a 15 minute headway, this would produce a 30-minute gap eastbound at Yonge.  This practice should stop, but as the schedule always wins out over customer service, that is unlikely.)

Track Replacement

A considerable amount of work is planned for 2011-12 with the list dropping off from 2013 onward.  The TTC is finally catching up with reconstruction of their infrastructure to overcome the poorly built track of the 1980s and early 90s.  Current standards including a robust roadbed, vibration insolation and continuously welded rail.  The TTC considers that 75% of its surface track is now in “excellent” condition, and that by 2015 they will reach a steady state of maintenance.

The “new” style of intersection construction started quite a bit later than the work on tangent track, and therefore the rate of intersection work remains high for coming years.


  • Queen from Connaught to Coxwell and Connaught from Queen to  Eastern Avenue.  This will include replacement of special work at the various carhouse entrances.  The “crossover” track on Connaught will not be replaced as it is no longer required.  This will mean that the only northbound track will be from the east gate out to the intersection with Queen Street.
  • On Eastern Avenue, there is a project to realign the track and place the ladder track, now in the north curb lane, in a reserved area 250-300mm higher than the existing rails.  The intent is to lessen the grade that is included in the turns north from Eastern to the carhouse in anticipation of the new LFLRV fleet.  A Transit Project Assessment has not yet been conducted for this, and it will be difficult to make the fall 2011 construction plan.
  • Kingston Road from Bingham Loop to Waverley including the special work at Bingham.
  • King from Queen to Close.  This is the last remaining track to be rebuilt on the King route.
  • Roncesvalles carhouse tracks 5-17 and 26-29
  • Shaw from Queen to King
  • Long Branch Loop
  • Harbourfront route from the Bay Street Portal to Union
  • Spadina from King to Queen’s Quay
  • Gerrard Street bridge
  • King and Bathurst intersection
  • Separate from the main track project list is a proposed extension of the exclusive lanes on The Queensway east to Roncesvalles.  The budget for this appears in 2011.  Whether it will actually happen remains to be seen as this project has been deferred before.  It is part of a proposed reconfiguration of the traffic lanes at Queen and Roncesvalles which has not yet been approved.


  • Kingston Road from Queen to Waverley
  • Queen’s Quay from Spadina to the Bay Street portal including Queen’s Quay Loop
  • Spadina from Sussex to the Bloor portal
  • Spadina Circle
  • Intersections of Spadina with Adelaide, King, Queen and Dundas
  • Ossington from College to Dundas
  • Richmond from East of Yonge to York
  • McCaul from Queen to College including McCaul Loop
  • Dufferin from Queen to Dufferin Loop


  • Russell Yard tracks 11-22
  • Victoria from Dundas Square to Adelaide including the intersection at Queen
  • Wellington from Church to York
  • York from King to Queen including intersections at Adelaide, Richmond and Queen
  • Wolseley Loop
  • Bathurst and Dundas intersection
  • Adelaide and Charlotte intersection


  • The Queensway (private right of way)
  • Spadina and College intersection
  • Kipling Loop
  • Dundas and Parliament intersection
  • Dundas, Victoria, Dundas Square intersection


  • Dundas bridge
  • Neville Loop
  • Roncesvalles Carhouse pit tracks
  • Dufferin Loop
  • Intersections of Queen with Broadview and Shaw
  • Roncesvalles Carhouse southwest exit
  • Humber (Lakeshore) Loop

The reconstruction projects at the two carhouses will pinch the TTC’s capacity to hold cars at these locations especially before the new carhouse at Ashbridge Bay is available.  A staging plan for this work has not yet been published.

Notable by its absence in this plan is Adelaide Street from Charlotte eastward.  It is unclear what the TTC’s long-term intention for this is.

Automatic Switch Replacement

The TTC has a long-standing project to upgrade the electronics at automatic track switches.  Ever since the change from overhead wire contactors to loop antennas that was required by the introduction of ALRVs, the track switches have been considerably less reliable than the simpler, but more primitive equipment.  Indeed, this was a safety issue, and a “stop and proceed” order was introduced for all switches (electric or manual).  Not only does this slow streetcar operations, it introduces jerky rides for passengers.

This project keeps vanishing into future years, but the budget claims that we will see a tender for new equipment and a rollout of better gear over the next few years.  I will believe this when I see it.

There is no plan to change track switches to double-blade operation.  This would be a massive project, and the spec for the LFLRVs was designed specifically to avoid it.

Overhead and Power Distribution

Although the TTC originally talked of operating the new fleet with trolley poles, this will be only a temporary arrangement.  Conversion of the entire system to handle pantographs will proceed in parallel with the delivery of new cars and their rollout to various routes.  If the plan shown above changes, then the overhead conversion schedule must be altered to match.

Without going into all of the detail, here is a rough outline:

2010-11: A few small sections have been converted including tangent wire and intersections.  The clear intent is to get some experience before launching into the project on a large scale.  For 2011, the list includes the remainder of St. Clair, Kingston Road and some overhead at Hillcrest and at Russell Carhouse.  Oddly enough, St. Clair is not destined to actually receive LFLRVs until 2016, an odd decision considering the high profile nature of this route.

2012: The main work this year will concentrate on tangent wire and intersections for track used for various short turns and diversions, as well as Russell Carhouse and special work for Kingston Road.  This suggest that track between Russell and Bingham Loop will be used as the testbed for new cars.

From 2013 onward, the plan builds out over the system in parallel with route conversions.  In future years, as the plans stabilize, I will include details along with the track reconstruction schedules in the annual wrapup.  The total estimated cost of the overhead conversion and replacement is $104.5-million.

The TTC has been updating its feeder system to increase capacity and to replace old, worn out cabling and poles.  This work will be largely completed by 2016.

Two new substations are planned to deal with low power situations:  one at Humber Loop, and one at or near Neville Loop.  This suggests that the new cars are not as tolerant of low voltage situations as the cars they are replacing.

65 thoughts on “Streetcar Fleet and Infrastructure Plans 2011

  1. Buying 100% low-floor models was 100% right decision. To be honest, LFLRVs already look outdated comparing them to the best of European cities (Lyon, Marseilles, Sevillе and others). If we get them by 2018, for sure, they won’t be up-to-date even in North America. And now what some people tell here is Toronto went too far buying them and it should have been kind of mix between modern LRVs and traditional streetcars? Apart from that, TTC will operate them during the next 20-30 years – so, by the mid 21th century we are supposed to have something that similar to 80s or early 90s in Europe?

    I’ve visited quite a bit of European light-rail systems and never have I seen split layouts (except for Rome with its Citiways). I agree there could be some other cities operating partial low-floor models in Europe. But still, they don’t set the tone. Especially, if we are talking abouth the future of the transit system.


  2. I used to think there was something in retaining some of the CLRV for refitting to cargo trams, but with the complaining above I think maybe keeping them as pilots to precede the LFLRVs might be their ultimate end!

    Roman, I don’t know how extensive your claimed survey of European tram systems is but the reality is that 100%LF is a recent development for many manufacturers and operators. Dublin went with 70%LF for their Alstom Citadis 3/401 order which went into service in 2004, and only acquired 100%LF 402s in 2009 – their network was fully new build and therefore could be designed to the cars on the market or soon to be there, rather than the TTC’s order which should be geared to the infrastructure but was distracted by political considerations.

    As for the PCCs and the Witt – the enthusiasts will hate me for this but I think it’s right to consider at least temporarily relocating them once the LFLRVs start arriving, either to Halton or to a static exhibit somewhere like Ontario Place or the Ex, to free up LRV parking and spares space and remove the distraction of how to make them work for stuff like the Beach Easter Parade. At least in those locations they might actually be on view to the public more than a couple of times a year.

    Steve: Dare I point out the number of European systems with collections of vintage, pantograph equipped cars that are regular used both for tourist services and for special events? The two PCCs and the Witt between them would make space for about 1.5 new vehicles, and the Witt is not even stored regularly at an operating division. Halton already has cars, and indeed the full move to pans will make unlikely the loan of HCRR equipment back to Toronto for special occasions.


  3. Steve wrote, “The TTC seems to be unable to lay and maintain ballasted track.”

    I have said this before, but it is worth repeating: a contact of mine at the TTC told me at one of the Transit City open houses that their track maintenance department does not like ballasted track and opposes any move to implement more of it. This is why the Transit City plans have avoided some implementations that simply make better sense over concrete medians (not to mention their lower construction cost).

    The question is: unable to lay and maintain ballasted track because they don’t like it or do they not like it because they are unable to lay and maintain it? I suspect there is some “TTC Culture” at play.

    Steve: Amazing how they manage to operate the subway system with so much ballasted track!


  4. I’m wondering if they’ll keep and convert a few of the CLRV’s into work cars. Such as snowplows for example.

    Steve: Hard to say. The big challenge with this generation of vehicles is the difficulty of getting parts for the electronics. The original plan to rebuild 100 CLRVs include replacement of the control systems, and that was among the most expensive components of the proposal.


  5. Steve – to be clear, I would see this as a temporary relocation during the early years of the changeover (although I can understand a perception that once moved off the operational network they won’t come back).

    As for ballasted track – perhaps we’re seeing a streetcar division vs subway division culture gap? I thought these were being amalgamated and all that supposed to be over. After all, more ballasted track (or grassed over/FieldTurfed over ballasted alignments) would help reinforce the perception of LRT as not just a mixed traffic mode. Is there a noise argument in either direction?

    Steve: Given that the surface component of Transit City is under heavy fire right now, I think design issues such as turf on the tracks are fairly low in priority right now. If anything, the anti-turf people who want those lanes to be easy for other vehicles to drive on will be in power these day. Doing something because it looks nice tastes like “gravy” to me.


  6. “Steve: Amazing how they manage to operate the subway system with so much ballasted track!”

    There was a time you NEVER saw weeds or anything else growing on ballasted sections….

    Also: “The flip side if we don’t maintain track (ie: get rid of streetcars) is the extra cost of running all the buses needed to carry the passengers.”

    You’ll never get the pro-car contingent to believe that buses are more expensive, for the most part, to operate than streetcars.

    Steve: The weeds on the subway are a direct result of new laws preventing the use of pesticides. One wonders how hard they looked for alternatives.

    As for replacement buses, these are charged to the capital cost of the track projects. That’s why you get so much better service when the streetcars are removed — the buses are paid for from another budget.


  7. Hi Steve
    One thing that I find surprising in all of this is the amount of money and work being done for the two existing divisions. It seems strange that with the timelines proposed that they would even bother to replace rail or special work.


  8. “There was a time you NEVER saw weeds or anything else growing on ballasted sections….”

    To say nothing of litter. How far we’ve fallen…

    Steve: And litter removal has nothing to do with environmental regulations.


  9. One of the reasons given for going to all low floor was the need to have all trucks powered in order to push a disabled car up the steepest hill on the system; something that the TTC claims cannot be done to the ALRV’s by another ALRV or a CLRV. Since the TTC believes that all the trucks need to be powered they want all the trucks to be the same. This is reasonable if it is true; however, I wonder if the TTC has considered that the new vehicles will have AC traction motors and not DC.

    DC traction motors give an effective coefficient of friction of about 0.25 on good rail. AC traction motors give a coefficient of friction between 0.32 and 0.40. This is caused by basic differences in the motor design. DC motors will speed up when they start to slip (undergo wheel spin) whereas AC motors will loose torque and slow down. AC motors therefore can operate a lot closer to the break traction point than a DC motor can. I wonder if two trucks powered with AC motors would have enough tractive effort for one LFLRV to push a disabled LFLRV up the steepest possible hill. I would like to think that the TTC has looked into this but I am not holding my breath. If two powered trucks were enough it would have made the 70% low floor vehicle more attractive as the middle truck would be different and simpler anyways.

    I have ridden both 100% low floor cars, early Combinos, and 70% low floor Bombardiers. I preferred the ride in the Bombardiers as the Combinos seemed to have some vertical motion in the end units.

    If the TTC wants to make up work equipment it would probably be better to use old subway trucks and controllers that use AC motors.


  10. 2 Mark

    Let’s see how they develop LRT-systems in Spain. It will allow me to be more specific and avoid statistically-unproven conclusions.

    Alicante – 100% low floor
    Barcelona – 100% low floor
    Bilbao – 70% low floor (it seems that the only 100% low floor prototype produced in 2002 wasn’t put into service)
    Cadis – 45/55% low floor (under construction)
    Granada – 100% low floor
    Malaga Light Subway – 100% low floor
    Murcia – 100% low floor
    Santa Cruz de Tenerife – 100% low floor
    Seville – 100% low floor
    Valencia – 70% (CAF model delivered in 1993-1999)
    – 100% (Flexity Outlook delivered later)
    Velez-Malaga – 100% low floor
    Vitoria – 100% low floor
    Zaragoza – 100% low floor

    I believe the similar trends take place in France and the majority of small countries (like Austria or Switzerland). On the other hand, Germany, another big player on the tram market (along with France and Spain), has an even proportion of these two types with the biggest of the systems, Berlin, operating 100% low-floor vehicles.


  11. Some replies to a number of the comments:

    Ballasted track – never mind the subway, pity the main line railway companies. All that ballasted track stretching all over the country from coast to coast and between many places in between. Ballasted streetcar track clearly isn’t going to be a problem but obviously the TTC’s decided they want nothing to do with it. Could the problems with The Queensway’s track been attributable to carelessness and a general desire to make it unattractive enough that the idea of laying more ballasted track for streetcars would simply not be considered? Parts of the TTC have been recalcitrant and difficult in the past, ie, when they don’t want to do something and they really, truly don’t want to do it, they’re very good at finding reasons why it won’t work.

    Converting retired CLRVs into work cars – leaving aside the parts issue for a moment, I’m curious about what kind of work cars you’d make them into. The TTC hasn’t had streetcar work cars for a long time so what unmet need would converted CLRVs fill? Should CLRV work cars be desirable, the parts issue would come up but if I was the TTC and I decided to build ten work cars out of retired CLRVs, I’d be sitting on 185 parts units in various states of repair by the time the entire passenger fleet’s retired. Granted, not all would be complete or fully functional, but 185 parts units to feed the hypothetical work cars from is a lot of parts units. Too many, actually, since storing all the parted out equipment taken off 185 scrapped streetcars would be a challenge. Anyways, they’ve been using that exact same technique with deprecated equipment at work for the last four years and haven’t had any problems whatsoever with keeping a smaller subset of a formerly larger fleet of equipment in service. Of course, if you aren’t looking for parts, or if “parts” is narrowly defined and means brand new bought from the OEM with no substitutions allowed, then there’s going to be problems with a lot more companies than the TTC in a lot more industries than just transit.

    Historic cars – ok, railfans: you have a choice. Two PCC cars and one Peter Witt Car with pantographs and they can continue running, or keep the original appearance with no pantographs and no go. Pick one. TTC: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Newark retrofitted pantographs on PCC cars and Milan retrofitted them on Peter Witts, so I don’t want to hear any garbage about why it can’t be done.

    AC motors and wheel slip – AC traction motors won’t run away overspeeding the way classic DC series motors do when they’re unloaded but I doubt they’d slow down under a wheel slip condition. The speed of an AC motor’s determined by the number of pairs and the frequency of the AC power feed. As long as the frequency of the inverter driving the traction motors doesn’t change, the motor speed shouldn’t change in theory either but my suspicion is that you’d actually see a slight motor speed increase due to the motor becoming unloaded while the wheels spin free, causing less motor slip from synchronous speed. I could arrange some time on a Lab Volt motor training station and do a demo using the three phase induction motor and prime mover as a variable load to test that but I doubt there’d be much interest.


  12. Humber loop is scheduled for a rebuild in 2015. That’s four years away.

    Might the TTC be hoping that somewhere in there, the Park Lawn loop is approved to proceed, making the Humber rebuild moot?

    Or is the whole concept of a Park Lawn loop now effectively dead for the foreseeable future, and Humber’s reconstruction in 2015 means that it’s planned to remain in service for decades more?

    Steve: Park Lawn Loop was part of the Waterfront West LRT scheme which is, if not dead, then in intensive care and not expected to survive. The TTC should concentrate on improving service to Lake Shore Blvd. W. rather than extending the Queen car to serve a few more condos.


  13. TTC Passenger says:
    February 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    “AC motors and wheel slip – AC traction motors won’t run away overspeeding the way classic DC series motors do when they’re unloaded but I doubt they’d slow down under a wheel slip condition. The speed of an AC motor’s determined by the number of pairs and the frequency of the AC power feed. As long as the frequency of the inverter driving the traction motors doesn’t change, the motor speed shouldn’t change in theory either but my suspicion is that you’d actually see a slight motor speed increase due to the motor becoming unloaded while the wheels spin free, causing less motor slip from synchronous speed.”

    Don’t forget that with Squirrel cage motors as the rotational speed approaches synchronous speed the transformer effect which creates the magnetic field in the rotor disappears. There is then less magnetic force to keep the motor spinning and it slows back down. It has been too many years since I studied squirrel cage motors and there wasn’t any consideration given to using them for traction back then as it was impossible (then) to have variable frequency inverters that would take up less space than the car.

    Some railways use them in heavy haul mainline work, especially on grades, because of their extra tractive effort and lower likely hood of exhibiting wheel spin.


  14. I have found the Republic Locomotives website to be useful in explaining the benefits of Ac traction motors over DC. This is for locomotives but the same advantages apply to rail transit vehicles and probably also to trolley buses.

    Steve: I have clipped the text that was copied here by Robert Wightman as it is available in full via the link above. This cuts down the length of the comment and respects copyright.

    Given the above information I believe that a LFLRV with only two powered trucks would be able to push a dead car up the steepest grade on the system. I would really like to know if the TTC has taken the improved tractive effort of AC motors into account when the decided that they needed all trucks powered or if the just followed blindly along with the same criteria that applied to DC traction motors.


  15. If Humber Loop is to remain in service, it needs a lot more fixing up than just track renewal. The shelter building is in deplorable shape. While it’s probably not that unsafe, there’s still a Bronx-in-1973 air about the loop now.

    There should be better connections to the power centre just west of it on The Queensway, but as is often the case pedestrian connections are an afterthought, or simply discouraged by chain-link fences.

    The railway/Gardiner underpass is now used by a lot of people who are as likely to be walking between their condos to the south and the stores on the north, as they are to be trudging home after being let off by a HUMBER car.

    I wonder if the Long Branch loop at Humber will be redeveloped into a Tim Horton’s or something.


  16. Just a minor FYI

    They seem to have very recently – I noticed it today – replaced the catenary at the St Clair Stn loop to be panto compatible. So they do seem to be proceeding with plans for overhead conversion. Oddly enough this is one of the last routes on the fleet plan to be converted to the new streetcars.

    Steve: Yes, there is a project to rewire the east end of St. Clair and it will require late evening and weekend bus substitutions east of St. Clair West Station for the month of August. Also, yes, the overall plan for overhead reconstruction bears little resemblance to the proposed rollout plan for the new cars. Left hand, right hand.


  17. As a disabled person new to Toronto I am extremely disappointed to learn the streetcar upgrades to accomodate scooters is so far away. There are accessible buses and the subway to go north and south but below Bloor there is no east/west accessible lines to connect to them making them nearly worthless in my situation. I don’t understand why every fourth car can’t be replaced with an accessible bus while these endless delays go on.

    One other thing, can you tell me if there will be curb cuts installed at every streetcar stop? Otherwise we will have to go to the nearest corner and then wait out in the street unprotected from automobile traffic.


    Steve: The TTC has plans for pavement modifications, or at least a placeholder in the budget, but no details of the scope of work have been announced yet. For a model, look to the new stops on Roncesvalles except on streets that are wide enough to accommodate safety islands.


  18. The 501 Queen Diversion over the Canada Day weekend, that was only for an emergency repair for broken concrete, correct? Could we expect the same diversion later this year for a full-blown track replacement for “Queen from Connaught to Coxwell and Connaught from Queen to Eastern Avenue”?

    Steve: Yes, although this project is now scheduled for 2012.


  19. The 510 Spadina cars are scheduled to receive LFLRV’s as early as 2013 (or 2014). I wonder how the Union Station loop can handle this in its current configuration (unless the Union Station loop expansion is planned to happen before then)?

    Would it be feasible to have the operator open only the back 3 door sets to allow passengers to unload straight into the narrow exit corridor (without them mixing with passengers waiting to board), and then opening the remaining doors to allow boarding (after the exiting passengers have cleared the area)?

    … or the queue waiting to board a streetcar at Union Station can be cordoned off at the front (forcing waiting-to-board passengers to wait strictly in the corridor only). The LFLRV can open all its doors, allowing exiting passengers to move through the entire space without mixing with waiting-to-board passengers. Once the exiting passengers have left, the cordon can be opened to allow boarding passengers through the space.

    In both cases, there would still be a bottle-neck for exiting passengers.

    Steve: I suspect that the TTC won’t deploy the new cars until they have the new loop, but there’s a small problem of funding in the meantime.


  20. I’m worried that having ticket machines on-board the LFLRV’s themselves would take away space, and possibly block out windows. I would have thought that it would simpler to have people purchase tickets at the streetcar stop on the sidewalk, and save precious space on the vehicle.

    The only advantage I can think of about having ticket machines on vehicles would be the number of machines actually required, provided that there are more stops than vehicles.

    1) How did this idea come about? Are there any other streetcar systems that have ticket machines on board the vehicles themselves?

    2) Would the CLRV’s have card-readers and ticket machines installed? I initially assumed that the rollout plan was designed to avoid multi-fleet operation on each line (where each line is either exclusively LFLRV or CLRV, but never both), to avoid the need for CLRV retrofitting, but by 2017, 27 CLRV’s would still be in service somewhere in the system.

    To add to my comment, even if the on-board ticket machines are small, I’d imagine it to be difficult, especially during peak periods, for single-journey passengers make their way across the crowds to access the ticket machines. Even more of an inconvenience of single-journey passengers are in wheel-chairs.


  21. On the subject of the reconstruction of the track on Queen Street west of Coxwell, I noticed that in Mary-Margaret McMahon’s Fall 2011 update for Ward 32 it notes that she “persuaded the TTC to postpone a large 2011 project for one year to give businesses a chance to recover from street closures last year.”

    I’d provide a URL, however my Blue Bin isn’t IP-enabled. (I’m quite happy to have the flier from her … just don’t plan to keep it after I read it.)

    Steve: Yes, I know that project involving a lot of track near Russell Carhouse was deferred. Indeed the Mayor took credit for it even if the Councillor may have started the ball rolling.


  22. Just looking at the roll-out information for each route.

    Obviously this is now out-of date. But one of the numbers jumped out at me, compared to the other routes.

    Only 11 vehicles for Spadina? There’s currently 28 CLRVs out there from about 9 am to 7 pm. I’m sure Spadina will benefit more than other routes with the longer vehicles, and all door loading. But that seems like an error!

    Steve: I believe that the allocations are AM peak because that’s when the most cars are on the road. During that period, there are 15 CLRVs out on Spadina on the regular schedule (I am using September 2011 as the reference because that predates the planned, but deferred, diversion via Bathurst which is included in the currently scheduled 17 cars.) 11 LFLRVs replacing 15 CLRVs is a rather good increase in capacity.

    There are more cars on Spadina later in the day, but these come from 504 King after the AM peak. That’s actually a transitional issue for the TTC because for the first year there won’t be a supply of cars from King (which has a much higher number of AM than PM peak cars) to draw on. By the way, the service after 9 am is 21 CLRVs, not 28.


  23. Ah yes, the other table makes clear that 11 replace 15. And I guess that explains all the 510 King cars I keep catching southbound at Broadview Station around 9 AM!

    Oh, I hadn’t realised that there was a diversion in the October Service Summary. I misread that completely. Thanks for clarifying!

    Interesting that the Spadina AM vs PM load is so different than the other routes!


  24. I was walking down Coxwell between Upper and Lower Gerrard today, and was quite surprised in how bad shape the concrete was between the northbound track and the asphalt, in front of the No Frills. Looks like it’s sunk a couple of inches in several places – exposing what appears to be a rubber gasket underneath the track.

    My recollection is that they rebuilt Lower Gerrard (east of Broadview) in 2004, and Upper Gerrard in 2006; but in neither case touched the track on Coxwell itself (in retrospect it seems odd they didn’t include the small piece between the Gerrards in the 2006 work). Do you know when this section was last rebuilt? As it doesn’t show up in the future track work program, I’m wondering if it’s aging prematurely somehow.

    Sorry to resurrect these old discussions – not sure if there’s a better place to ask this.

    Steve: A few points. First, this section was part of an experimental rebuild that didn’t go very well, and I am not surprised that it’s in bad shape. Second, there is an ongoing problem with that strip of concrete between the outer rail and the curb lane. This chunk always seems to fall apart first and in the process exposes the rubber sleeve around the rail. Unless the pavement actually becomes dangerous, the TTC appears unconcerned, or simply ignores this part of routine maintenance.


  25. This may sound like a stupid question but did this past budget cycle reduce the size of the order or are we still getting 204 of these things?

    Is there an option in the contract for add-ons if we find out that there’s still crowding on the streetcar routes or is that something to be fought over once new revenue sources are in place?

    Steve: The delivery schedule was amended pushing some of the cars off past the 10-year planning window for the capital budget. We will see the real state of affairs when the 2013-2022 budget comes down. Meanwhile, Councillor Pasternak (yes the same one who wants to ensure new Commissioners support his pet subway) wants a review of the TTC’s financial commitment to this new fleet. We should see this later in 2012, assuming his request is endorsed by Council.


Comments are closed.