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St. Clair Streetcar Rapid TransitThe

St. Clair Streetcar Rapid Transit

The TTC has released an interesting report detailing what it would take to transform the 512 St. Clair streetcar route into a major public transit corridor serving midtown Toronto and the vibrant neighbourhoods enroute.

Not much, as it turns out. The TTC already has to spend much of 2004 rebuilding the bulk of the trackwork from Yonge Street in the east to Gunns Loop in the west. For a few million more, a Spadina-like private right-of-way could be built, cars could be removed from the streetcars’ path, passengers could get across St. Clair quicker and more reliably and ridership would increase. The TTC would save $600000 in operating expenses per year.

Worth it? You betcha! Over 30000 passengers travel the St. Clair streetcar every day. While that’s 20000 fewer passengers than take the 504 King streetcar, St. Clair is a shorter route, and the passengers per route mile average is second only to 510 Spadina.

The report even examined the possibility of extending service west of Gunns Loop, to either Runnymede or Jane.

The upgrade and extension of the St. Clair streetcar is an opportunity whose time has come. Roadwork is needed on St. Clair between Keele and Runnymede, which could mesh nicely with a track expansion project. The St. Clair Business Association is looking at ways to improve the street, and could be a part of a public-private partnership to renovate St. Clair into an even more vibrant public transit corridor.

The report has been saved on the Transit Toronto website here, but is also available here.

Do you want this to happen? An official with the TTC stated “Over the next few months, a strong show of support from transit customers and supporters will be crucial in making the improvements happen”, so the rest is up to you. If you want to see St. Clair turned into a pedestrian friendly transit corridor, phone or write your local councillor, write letters to your community newspapers, tell your neighbours that you support this project. Be vocal so that the TTC’s vision can come true.

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