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TTC ready to listen to complaints about 501 streetcar

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 | 12:51 PM ET
CBC News

Toronto transit officials will hold a public meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the 501 streetcar and how to make it more reliable.

The streetcar route, which runs along Queen Street and Lakeshore Boulevard from the border of the old city of Scarborough in the east to the Mississauga border in the west, is the longest transit route in the city. But it is also a continuing source of rider complaints.

Most days, during rush hour, the 501 is standing room only. Because of traffic delays and other problems associated with city traffic, the streetcars are often turned around before they reach their final destination and sent back in the opposite direction.

For riders, being required to get off the streetcar at Greenwood Avenue or at the Humber Loop is a regular complaint.

TTC riders Nancy Roy and Robin Marwick said sometimes they wait as long as 45 minutes for another 501 streetcar to take them to the end of the line.

“It’s just so unpredictable. You don’t know when it’s going to show up. They [the TTC] seem to jumble them all together, [then] there’s a huge gap in between, Roy said.

Riders have also complained about street car drivers taking coffee breaks and about long waits when the streetcar arrives at the Connaught barns, east of Leslie St., and they have to sit on the streetcar waiting for a change in drivers.

Mitch Stabler, a TTC planner, acknowledged that service on the 501 route needs to improve. He says one idea the TTC will consider is dividing the 501’s long route into shorter sections.

Municipal politicians and transit advocates will also attend the meeting. The TTC hopes to come up with some ideas on how to improve service early in the New Year.




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