News   Apr 18, 2024
 899     1 
News   Apr 18, 2024
 1.6K     3 
News   Apr 18, 2024
 404     0 

TTC: Flexity Streetcars Testing & Delivery (Bombardier)

Going around how? On the wrong side of the road? On the sidewalk? Through parked cars? Where it matters, the buses greatest advantage is nullified. You can't g around right turning cars because you have to pull up to the stop on the corner. You can't go around anything when traffic is bumper to bumper, which it often is at rush hour. I can't see how buses could reliably operte downtown. The Bay bus is awful and gets short turned frequently.

By switching into the lane that isn't blocked. I took the 501 every day for two years from Queen Station to Leslie Street. The Downtowner bus was always the faster option along Queen as it got to go around slow streetcars and left turning vehicles.

I live at Front and Spadina, and my new job is up at Don Mills/Eglinton. Believe it or not, my commute to Don Mills and Eglinton takes the same amount of time as my commute to Queen/Leslie, despite it being much further. If Queen had its own ROW it would probably take way less time, but until that day, the bus will always be faster.
 
Last edited:
The main reason streetcars are so ineffective in Toronto is the design of our downtown streets. To travel quickly, one must constantly change lanes, because the right lane is blocked with parked cars and the left lane is blocked with left-turning cars. The streets are effectively a single lane per direction, but because they are marked as if they were two, streetcars are constantly held up because they are stuck in the left lane. Either we avoid the problem by changing to buses, reducing capacity and comfort, or we can actually adress the problem directly.

Our streets need to be redesigned so that the driving/streetcar lane avoids obstacles, eliminating the need to change lanes to do so. It just means that we spread the streetcar tracks apart at some intersections, to accomodate a left turn lane. This change alone would pretty much set the speed of streetcars on par with any other vehicle downtown, while making driving far more comfortable and freeing up space for bike lanes and/or platforms. And contrary to what one might think, making the streets officially one lane per direction would actually increase capacity by reducing lane changes and merging and allowing more throughput at intersections while streetcars are loading.

These streetcars are a key piece in making our undeniably ineffective streetcar network competitive, practical, fast and valuable. Combined with relatively small changes to our streets, they will make a huge difference in transportation downtown.
 
Last edited:
Well then ban parking on downtown streets and left hand turns at major intersections. Cars should have to go a few interesections before they can make a lefthand turn. It should be difficult to drive car downtown not easy. At least until 6pm. Its the cars that cause the traffic. No cars no traffic and the streetcar can run freely.
 
Well then ban parking on downtown streets and left hand turns at major intersections. Cars should have to go a few interesections before they can make a lefthand turn. It should be difficult to drive car downtown not easy. At least until 6pm. Its the cars that cause the traffic. No cars no traffic and the streetcar can run freely.

Streetcars will not run freely until the Presto card comes on line as well dealing with riders who don't have their fare, card or transfer ready to board them. At the same time, riders trying to squeezed on an overcrowded car and refusing to wait for that next car doesn't help.

Until or if TTC gets the new cars, loading by the front door is going to delay the car and time TTC moves to the POP system on other lines as well various bus routes. There will be freebies ride, since there is no enforcement now.

Traffic has added at least 20% extra running time as well adding excess vehicles to maintain current headway in the last 10 years along if not more on various routes. This hits the bottom line very hard for operation cost.

Since the city doesn't stop residential complexes from having more than one car per unit as well allowing business to use excess land for free parking, traffic is only going to get worse until they put an end to this practices. Now charging $1-$2 a day per spot will add millions of dollars to the city budget revenue.
 
Once again, no followup in the press on the alarming comments reported by The Star, though it is a lomg weekend. While I am trying to remember 'this is preliminary, the budget process has barely begun' etc, these things get floated for a reason and Stintz appears serious.

I am pretty worried that this potential 'delay' will be a prelude to an overall attack on the streetcar system. Yet again, the Fords making a huge effort and risking massive expense to move us backwards, not forward.
 
I am pretty worried that this potential 'delay' will be a prelude to an overall attack on the streetcar system. Yet again, the Fords making a huge effort and risking massive expense to move us backwards, not forward.

Of course: yet another legacy of the Miller-led Socialists gets to be smashed like a pinata. Rob Ford's Tea Party-inspired culture war rages on.
 
Traffic doesn't just mean bumper to bumper. If a car is stopped to make a left or right turn, or one lane is busier than another, a bus has the option of going around.
Have you ever seen a bus do this gracefully in downtown traffic on a street like Queen West? Let alone if we're talking a 60-foot artic as commonly proposed. Watching even a regular bus trying to turn onto McCaul is painful. I doubt an artic would even be able to make the corner in rush hour traffic.
 
Have you ever seen a bus do this gracefully in downtown traffic on a street like Queen West? Let alone if we're talking a 60-foot artic as commonly proposed. Watching even a regular bus trying to turn onto McCaul is painful. I doubt an artic would even be able to make the corner in rush hour traffic.

An artic can make a sharper turn than a 40ft bus. So it will be easier for a 60ft bus.
 
Well then ban parking on downtown streets and left hand turns at major intersections. Cars should have to go a few interesections before they can make a lefthand turn. It should be difficult to drive car downtown not easy. At least until 6pm. Its the cars that cause the traffic. No cars no traffic and the streetcar can run freely.

I agree that cars need to be made less of a nuisance, but I disagree with the method of doing so.

I think people overestimate the traffic impact of on-street parking. When you're driving or riding a streetcar you might imagine that if all the parked cars disappeared the extra space would help move traffic along. However, that "freed" traffic would just get held up at the first intersection, moving just as slowly as before, except that the queue would be spread across two lanes rather than one. The gain doesn't really seem worth the hassle of picking a big fight with the businesses.

The capacity of a road is dictated by its pinch points, which are the intersections. We don't allow parking in intersections anyway, so banning parking wouldn't do much to help traffic flow. I think the best road layout for our roads is the one present on Sherbourne, with a 4 lane cross section at intersections (2 bike lanes, 2 car lanes and a left turn lane), and an effectively 3 lane midblock cross section (2 bike lanes, 2 car lanes and a parking lane).

As for left turns, I would go the other way around, banning them at minor intersections more than major ones. There are relatively few major intersections, so it's easier to build a left turn lane there than at countless minor intersections.

I spend a fair amount of time on Lakeshore Ave. in Etobicoke, and I constantly see streetcars getting stuck behind left-turning cars while automobiles and bikes pass without any issue. In most locations it would be impossible to ban left turns because there is no alternative route. We could take out a lane of traffic in each direction freeing up space for a left turn lane and widened sidewalks, separated bike lanes, parking or whetever else the area desires. There is never much traffic on that stretch anyway so the traffic impact would only be positive.
 
In case you missed them, The Star has two articles on the new streetcars.

New streetcars mean more face time
at this link:

fc71de574fbabe383837c9ea77bb.jpeg


Leave the nail clippers at home and create a personal space bubble with headphones or your smart phone.

That is GO train rider Cindy Smith’s advice to TTC commuters, soon to be confronted with a dramatically different seating plan on the city’s new streetcars — one that will afford them a closer, more direct view of their fellow riders.

The new downtown streetcars (also called LRV or light-rail vehicles), which are supposed to begin arriving in 2013, will incorporate GO-train-style seating that groups two pairs of facing seats into a cozy foursome. That will make it difficult to avoid eye contact with someone clipping their nails or enjoying a garlic sausage on a bun, says Smith.

The former stand-up comic chronicles her Oshawa GO train commute on a blog called, Ride this Crazy Train. It calls out GO riders — a relatively staid group compared to the TTC — for clipping their nails, grinding their dirty feet into the seats and picnicking on smelly snacks.

Putting TTC riders knee-to-knee?

Well, says Smith, “It’s going to get ugly. It’s a totally different calibre of people.â€

Kevin Seto, the TTC’s superintendent of LRV engineering, concedes the new arrangement will be a departure for the TTC and might take some getting used to.

The foursomes don’t so much save space as allow for the LRV components underneath the new low-floor vehicles, he said.

“It is certainly different to any TTC vehicle we have now but (it) is familiar in a GO train arrangement and it is familiar in other European light rail applications,†said Seto of the recently finalized seating plan for the streetcars.

The design also includes some new “family style†seats, about 25-and-a-half inches (64 cm.), or one-and-a-half-times the standard 17-inch (42.5 cm.) seat width.

“We had comments throughout our (public) consultation that we should have wider seats. There are some practical aspects that don’t allow us to do it everywhere,†said Seto. So those have been added where possible.

Some initial grumbling about the new face-to-face seating is to be expected because the four-seat grouping “does put you in more proximity with people you might not want to share a seat with,†acknowledges etiquette expert Louise Fox.

She recommends commuters do their grooming at home, pick up their trash, avoid knocking people over with backpacks and keep their knees no more than 15 cm. apart — “Maybe you do have more than your share of the family jewels but we don’t want to see them,†she wrote in her newsletter.

“We all live together in confined spaces so you just have to block it out and not sink to their level,†said Fox, who doesn’t advise confronting rude people.

Transit riders will encounter people with mental health and other challenges, just as they do on the street, said city Councillor Joe Mihevc, former TTC vice-chair.

“Deal with it creatively. They might need help. They might need a gentle word,†he said. “We all know folks in our neighbourhoods that struggle.â€

Mihevc notes that the four-seat configuration affords opportunity for a pleasant nod and greeting and he notes, there’s plenty of evidence people find love on the GO and the TTC.

Milton GO commuter Louroz Mercader agrees that the groupings are great if you’re travelling with family or friends. The downside is that it can be awkward for a fourth person to be stuck listening in on a three-way conversation.

GO commuters also tend to sit on the aisle blocking access to the window seat. Even if those people are working or sleeping, Mercader doesn’t hesitate to ask them to move aside so he can sit. Maybe it’s time for GO to launch a campaign to encourage people to take the window seat, he said.


and Facts about the new fleet at this link:

While the city figures out how to finance more than $800 million it committed to buying a new downtown streetcar fleet, the TTC is finalizing the design details for the light-rail vehicles on order from Bombardier. Bigger and more comfortable, the new streetcars will feature a radical new seating plan, based on engineering requirements and public consultations. The first vehicles hit the streets in 2013.

Length: Thirty metres with five sections separated by four articulations. The current streetcars are about 15 metres long and the articulated are about 23 metres.

Passengers: Can carry 200 people with a crush load capacity of about 270 versus 132 in today’s regular cars and 204 on the articulated models.

Speed: Up to 70 kilometres per hour.

Seats: Sixty-nine and the configuration will differ from the existing streetcar seating plans. Each new car will have six sets of GO-train style seating where a pair of seats faces another pair. There will also be three wider “family-style†seats that can accommodate a parent and child or two children. Those count as one seat each among the 69. A series of flip-up seats will allow room for wheelchairs, strollers and other mobility devices.

Accessibility: Because the streetcars are 100 per cent low-floor, riders won’t have to step up to step in. The operator presses a button to activate the wheelchair ramp that slides out of the side of the vehicle from underneath the floor at the double doors closest to the operator where there are two nearby wheelchair positions.

Fare payment: Because riders will be able to board from all four doors, there will be two machines from which riders can collect a fare proof-of-payment slip and four Presto or electronic payment stations. Operators will no longer handle transfers and fare boxes. Transit officers will check for proof-of-payment.

Drivers: Operators will sit in a closed cab at the front of the vehicle. They will have multiple screens allowing them to see down both sides of the LRV through closed-circuit cameras. Cameras also are positioned on the right-side of the streetcar to afford a good view of riders entering and exiting through all four doors. There are speakers throughout the inside of the vehicle as well as an external speaker near each door. The operator can make announcements to just the inside, just the outside, or both simultaneously. Passengers can speak to the operator through the glass door of the cab which has perforations or through one of six emergency intercom units throughout the interior.

Comfort and convenience: They will be air-conditioned and equipped with emergency intercoms, wider doorways, bright LED destination signs and larger windows. They will also include bike racks inside the vehicles.

Sources: TTC Superintendent of LRV engineering Kevin Seto and Toronto Star files
 
I am not a big fan of the 2+2 seating because of the bottleneck it creates but I guess there's no way around it given the low-floor design. It should be mitigated somewhat by the arrangement of the doors and all-door boarding.

Given the amount of complaining in the usual newspaper columns, I'm surprised there isn't more moaning about how the fare machines are taking up valuable space for seats.

I really need to see one of these in person. First prototype is supposed to arrive sometime next year is it not?
 
I am not a big fan of the 2+2 seating because of the bottleneck it creates but I guess there's no way around it given the low-floor design. It should be mitigated somewhat by the arrangement of the doors and all-door boarding.

Given the amount of complaining in the usual newspaper columns, I'm surprised there isn't more moaning about how the fare machines are taking up valuable space for seats.

I really need to see one of these in person. First prototype is supposed to arrive sometime next year is it not?

A mockup was supposed to have been displayed in the spring of 2011. Didn't hear or see anything. I waited until the CNE, thinking they might put the mockup up during the Ex, no such luck. Wonder if the Ford's hands is causing the delay?
 
A mockup was supposed to have been displayed in the spring of 2011. Didn't hear or see anything. I waited until the CNE, thinking they might put the mockup up during the Ex, no such luck. Wonder if the Ford's hands is causing the delay?

Nope.

I understand that the new fleet is going to be 6-9 month late on being delivery due to ACAT.

Based on the number of issues that ACAT had with the proposed mock-up, it had to go under redesign, that has push everything back to the point that the real mock-up will not be here until the fall. The 2011 prototype is to show up in the 2 or 3 quarter of 2012 with the possibility of a 2nd one by year end. The 3rd one will follow as soon as possible after the 2nd one. They are going to try to get back on schedule with the prototype being built faster if they can.

We may see the first production cars late 2013 or early 2014 at this stage.
 

Back
Top