Toronto's familiar streetcars will soon be on their way out. The fleet of Canadian Light Rail Vehicles is being replaced starting in 2013 by a sleeker, lower and modern light rail vehicle to be built by Bombardier. The new LRVs will be phased-in with the intent of replacing the entire existing fleet of existing streetcars.
There's exciting news from the TTC today, as the new design for Toronto's streetcars has been revealed. Along with a new rendering of the vehicle in action on Queen Street, the Commission has posted a series of interior shots to its Meet Your New Ride website. To say that the new cars will be an update on the current fleet would be an understatement. Given that the original design of the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) dates all the way back to the late 1970s, the change is even more remarkable than what we witnessed with the introduction of the Toronto Rocket subways earlier this year.
The total cost of the replacement project is approximately $1 billion. 204 new rail cars will replace the 247 existing streetcars that were built between 1977 and 1989 and are coming to the end of their economic lives. The new, accessible, modern, and much longer vehicles will dramatically improve service and customer comfort according to the TTC.
Toronto's eleven streetcar routes encompass 304.6 kilometers and carry approximately 285,000 people per day. The busiest streetcar routes operate as frequently as every two minutes. The new higher capacity 30 metre light rail vehicles will replace existing 15 metre streetcars, rush hour service will change from every two or three minutes to every four or five minutes. This will help reduce bunching of streetcars, and will also allow the priority traffic signals for the streetcars to work better than they currently do.
Hat Tip to Alan Bedenko