It’s been two and a half weeks since the TTC started running their new streetcars on the Spadina and I was lucky enough to ride one of the new cars the other week. I anxiously waited for one of the new streetcars to arrive at King and Spadina and the first one to show up was southbound, so I hopped on it when the intention of riding it down to Queens Quay and back up to Spadina Station. I was pretty excited when I boarded the new vehicles, but there were things I needed to learn before I could enjoy my ride, like how to pay. Luckily, their are TTC Ambassadors riding the streetcars to answer any questions people may have, but I thought I’d share these three important things that you should keep in mind if you plan on riding these new vehicles.
1: Carry your POP
Making sure you have Proof-of-payment is essential to riding on Toronto’s new streetcars. This includes day, weekly or monthly metropasses, valid transfers from your point of origin or a payment receipt from fare vending machines which are available onboard the vehicle or at select streetcar stops. If you plan on using tickets, token or cash You can acquire your proof-of-payment from the fare vending machine. In the future, these new vehicles will also be compatible with any future smart payment cards or systems such as PRESTO.
This type of POP system is already in use on GO trains and VIVA buses around the GTA and in other cities globally. But this is an important note for Toronto commuters who are unfamiliar with the practice. Especially if you are entering the streetcar from Spadina station. As a paying customer, you must remember to take a transfer if you intend on using the Spadina Streetcar line, as you may or may not end up boarding on one of the new streetcars. (Fines will be issued to commuters who are caught without a POP)
2: Board from Any Door
The beautiful streetcars consist of 5 connected articulated cars equipped with four doorways along the length of the vehicle. When the streetcars come to a complete stop, all doors will be unlocked and commuters will be able to use any of the doors along the length to enter or exit the streetcar. This is amazing, as it will allow commuters to load and unload more quickly, reducing the amount of time spent at each stop.
3: Get to know the Accessibility Features
The new streetcars are loaded with features that make the vehicle highly accessible, starting with the low floors, no more steps. A ramp is also available for people with mobility issues or commuters with strollers, these are deployed from the wider second doorway on the streetcar. Lastly, the vehicles are designed with wider aisle area, providing more standing room and locations to accommodate strollers, mobility devices and bicycles. Yes, I said bicycles.
(Note: on-board bike storage is limited to two bikes and is only available during off-peak hours; Mon-Fri before 6:30 a.m., 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and after 7 p.m. also weekends and stat holidays)
Other Cool Features
– There are 70 seats on the new streetcars, which include 15 priority seats (blue seats for people with disabilities, elderly, and pregnant women) and small number of family seats (these are seats that are 1.5 times as wide as normal seats)
– There is a lot of standing room in the new streetcars especially in the articulation joints between each cabin. The maximum capacity for standing commuters in the streetcar is 181. This allows for a maximum of 251 commuters to fully load all 5 cabins.
– The new streetcars are fully equipped with heating and air-conditioning depending on whatever season we are in.
Check out this interactive tour of the new Streetcars
What do you think of Toronto’s newest streetcars?