Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TTC mulls 60 more Bombardier Flexity streetcars

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Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) CEO Andy Byford said Monday the agency is urging Toronto to order 60 more Bombardier Flexity streetcars to bolster the 204 Flexity cars already on order.

The observation came as TTC's Board of Directors reviewed ongoing tests of the first Flexity cars arriving on the property, and as options surrounding operations on King Street, using the new cars, were discussed.

The TTC board voted unanimously Monday to ask Toronto to assist in studying the idea of banning cars on King Street during the morning rush. Alternately, a designated streetcar lane could be identified on the street.

Either proposal, or similar item, is likely to be met with skepticism from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has repeatedly expressed open disdain for streetcars in Canada's largest city.

The TTC Board also moved to delay approval of an implementation plan for the new low-floor Flexity streetcars, saying it needed more information on the cost of maintaining current service levels. Byford recommended that headways be extended once the new cars roll in between 2014 and 2019, citing the new cars' larger capacity and better reliability as mitigating factors.