The King Street Transit Corridor should be made Permanent

2 April 2019

TO: Mayor John Tory, Councillor Paul Ainslie,
Councillor Ana Bailão, Councillor Gary Crawford,
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong,
Councillor Frances Nunziata, Councillor James Pasternak, Councillor Michael Thompson
RE: Executive Committee Agenda Item
EX4.2: The Future of King Street – Results of the Transit Pilot

“the King Street Pilot is a model for transit improvement and should be made permanent immediately”

To the members of the Executive Committee:

CodeRedTO supports better transit options for more residents across the city and region, using all the tools available to improve economic and personal mobility. This includes mass transit expansion, better performance for existing transit, integrated active transportation infrastructure, and dedicated reliable funding to support community and business transportation needs.

The King Street Pilot program took Toronto’s busiest surface transit route, and converted it from an unreliable, slow, mockery of transit into a rapid, dependable artery which is 81% more reliable for business and community members. Tens of thousands more transit riders began using King Street, and now over 80% of people traveling King Street in the core use transit as part of their journey.

Now that the King streetcar is significantly more reliable and consistent for riders, more hop-on and hop-off decisions can be made to visit local retailers, even during short timeframes like a short employee lunch break. In fact, 76% of King Street users in a survey indicated they’ve visited local retailers just as much or even more since the pilot began.

While personal cars on and near King Street are a minority of road users, the side-effects of transit network development are important to monitor. City Staff measured personal car travel times in nine locations nearly twice daily across two months, and in only one location did travel times increase more than 90 seconds on average, on Dundas. In three of nine locations car traffic was more than 30 seconds faster!

When we consider the increased transit ridership, the increased transit reliability, the limited impact to other road users, the reduced carbon emissions, the improved active transportation potential, and the extremely low capital expenditure, it is clear that the King Street Pilot is a model for transit improvement and should be made permanent immediately. There is insufficient justification to reverse or limit any of the modifications made in the pilot, and CodeRedTO strongly urges City Council to maintain enforcement and to make King Street our permanent model for future transit corridor prioritization.

Sincerely,

Cameron MacLeod
Executive Director, CodeRedTO

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