Tonight I saw one of Toronto’s new streetcars cruising down King Street. They’re still in test mode and the first batch won’t go into operation until this August, but every now and then you’ll see one circulating around the city. This was the first one I’d seen in person.
If you’re a transit geek or urbanist, you’re probably excited about the arrival of these new streetcars. But I know that there are a lot of people who aren’t. They hate streetcars and they think of them as basically rolling stop signs on our congested downtown streets. And since these new streetcars are even longer than our existing ones, they’re worried they’ll just make the situation worse.
Personally, I think that streetcars mixed into traffic is generally pretty inefficient. But I know that surface light rail has the potential, when executed properly, to be a cost-effective and sustainable way of efficiently moving lots of people around a city. When I lived in Dublin I took the Luas every day. It was great.
So I’m curious to hear from you. What do you think of Toronto’s new streetcars? Let me know in the comment section below.