King Street is the busiest surface transit route in the entire City, carrying more than 65,000 riders on a typical weekday. But we recognize that King Street isn't working well. Streetcars are often stuck in mixed traffic, making it challenging to keep transit service running smoothly. This often results in bunching and gapping of vehicles, uneven utilization of capacity, and overcrowded vehicles. During rush hour, people are often unable to board the first streetcar that arrives.
King Street is also an important Downtown east-west spine, connecting many neighbourhoods with the largest concentration of jobs in the City, Region, and entire Country. The King Street corridor will continue to see significant population and employment growth in the coming decades, leading to further demand on these already heavily congested transit routes.
The City and TTC have recently been making operational changes to improve streetcar service, including: allowing all-door loading (to become more effective with the new low-floor streetcars); adding supplemental buses; extending turning and on-street parking restrictions; optimizing transit stop locations and route running times; adding route supervisors; and improving night service.
But a more significant change is needed to improve transit service on King Street. The pilot project(s) will test a range of options to determine what might further improve transit reliability, capacity, and efficiency.