Um, Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… | Toronto Cleaning Service Reviews

Um, Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St…

Um, Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… | Toronto Cleaning Service Reviews
December 11, 2017

Um, Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… | Toronto Cleaning Service Reviews


My first reaction to the transit pilot: um, Toronto just cleaned up King St…


After a four-hour debate, the King St. pilot project was authorized by the Toronto City Council in a vote of 35 to 4. This gave the green light for the experimental transit plan to go into effect November 12, 2017. Though banning private vehicles on busy streets is not a revolutionary idea around the world, this transit project is the first of its nature to grace the City of Toronto. In fact, it’ only been one month since kick-off and we’re already able to form some opinions.




Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… StreetCar
Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Streetcar


If you’ve never commuted on King St., you may not know that the route transports 65,000 Torontonians everyday. The issue was, that those 65,000 transit commuters would get stuck behind 20,000 private vehicles during rush hour. As an experimental solution, the project prioritizes streetcars and completely bans private vehicle- with one controversial exception. So, while confused drivers struggle to wrap their heads around the change of schedule, we’re going to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.


Toronto King Street Off Limits:



King St. & Truth Ave


In a last minute amendment under pressure from the taxi industry, Mayor John Tory motioned to exempt taxis from the King St. prohibition on private vehicles. However, the exemption only applies between 10pm and 5am. This represents a big win for the taxi industry, whose presence has become diluted by the popularity of ride-sharing apps like Uber. In a speech to the City Council, John Tory sided with the taxi drivers when he said, “the cab industry does represent an important part of the overall transportation system to get people around, especially at that time of night in that part of town.” The Toronto City Council’s decision on the matter was near unanimous, with the motion passing 38 to 1.


Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Taxi
Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Taxi


Allowing taxis access to King St. will be key on nights when it’s 2 a.m and you’re just trying to stay warm until you get home. However, you’ll have to walk around the block if you want to catch an Uber! But it’s not just Uber that’s been thrown under the bus by this decision. The TTC CEO Andy Byford strongly advised against the exemption, arguing that it could “water down” the transit-first objective of the pilot. Nevertheless, taxis will roam free after 10pm. Will this lead to a slippery slope of allowing more private vehicles (like Uber) onto King St? Did taxi’s just find a leg-up, or is this going to be the start of a private vehicle war?


King St. & Good St.


If you take personal issue with the King St. experiment, try adjusting your balaclava and picture the scene in summer. Do you see it now? How King St. is going to become a fabulous pedestrian-oriented space? Not only will the change be good for cyclists, but also patio lovers and clean air enthusiasts alike! With all the extra space and cleaner air due to the lack of cars, you can expect to see sidewalk cafes, curbside seating and extra bike parking popping up. All of this along with the unbelievable fact that cyclists are being given refuge from the sea of cars they endure everyday.


Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Pedestrian
Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Pedestrian


So not only is the project producing many positive side-effects, it seems to be achieving its goal of prioritizing TTC commuters. To test the transit times, CBC Toronto timed an eastbound trip along the course of the pilot. They found that it was just over two minutes faster than the same trip timed a week before the project began! Though ‘just over 2 minutes’ may seem like a small victory, it’s a big win coming from an area where it was quicker to walk than take the streetcar! A fact TTC CEO Byford rightfully calls “embarrassing”.


King St. & Problem Rd.


Though Torontonians are saying their commute is undoubtedly faster and more efficient, they still say there’s an overcrowding problem. In fact, a month into the pilot, the King street cars are still so crowded, they continue to reach capacity. The unfortunate reality is that even in ideal conditions, King St. is one of the busiest routes. So even when the street is completely clean of cars, commuting may be faster- but it won’t be more comfortable.


Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Inside Car
Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Inside Car


That’s not to say that the TTC did not anticipate the continued over-crowding issues. After all, overcrowding affects 50 TTC transit routes. In preparation of the pilot, the TTC added seven new street cars to the King route. However, seven street cars might not be enough. But it’s all we’ve got for now.  “Right now, we’re at the cost of the whole fleet. We’re using every streetcar we have available to use,” said Byford. Hopefully, if this project is deemed a success we can expect to see more of those clean, new streetcars on King St. in 2018!


King, the TTC’s Jewel


Revolutionary as this project is to the City of Toronto, it’s conservative relative to the rest of the world. Hopefully the City Council gives the TTC enough time to collect the proper data that will help determine whether the pilot will be deemed a success or merely an experiment. Because, not only does the pilot promise higher efficiency, it is the first major transit project that excludes private vehicles in Toronto! What could be more green than that?


Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Streetcars In Motion
Um Toronto Just Cleaned Up King St… Streetcars in Motion


Progress is about change, and something had to change to quell the traffic on King St. However, Toronto will only be able to gage the true success of the project over time. The TTC says it’s measuring the pilot’s success by examining transit times, ridership and reliability. So while they do that, you just keep doing you, and we’ll see how it goes! In the meantime, enjoy King St. while it’s still clean of cars.


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Written by Savannah Binder, Maid4Condos

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