The Toronto Transit Commission on Aug. 31 celebrated the inaugural service run of the new low-floor streetcar on the 510 Spadina line.
TTC customers, staff and government officials were on-hand to witness the historic event, which saw the first new generation of streetcar in Toronto in 30 years enter service, guided by long-time TTC operator Eddie Braga, who has now driven all four generations of streetcars.
New streetcars #4400 and #4403 will now be integrated into service on the 510 Spadina route. The 510 now also becomes a proof-of-payment route on all cars, old and new alike.
Two-hundred and four streetcars will be deployed on all 11 streetcar routes through to 2019. The new low-floor vehicles are fully accessible, have greater capacity, are air conditioned, and have bright, easy-to-reach stop request buttons located throughout. When the streetcar stops, the driver remotely unlocks the doors. Warning lights and audible chimes let people know when the doors are opening and closing. Customers will enjoy a smoother, quieter and more comfortable ride on the vehicle, which is jointly funded by the City of Toronto, Government of Ontario and Government of Canada.
The launch launch follows years of collaboration by an interdisciplinary team who designed and built the vehicle, including its two-stage ramp, to suit Toronto's unique streetcar network. Since the first vehicle arrived in Toronto, the new streetcars have undergone rigorous testing, both on Toronto streets and in a special climate centre in Ottawa.
The streetcar requires new and upgraded infrastructure, including changes to overhead, curb cuts, platform modifications, and a new state-of-the art storage and maintenance facility, Leslie Barns, currently being built at the corner of Leslie St. and Lake Shore Blvd Watch TTC's explainer video on the new streetcar for an overview of the new features.