Five years ago former mayor DAVID MILLER and City Council approved $834-million as TORONTO’s share in purchasing 204 air-conditioned LRV streetcars from Bombardier Canada. The Province of Ontario kicked in another $417-million.
Two of them are now in service on Spadina Avenue. The other 202 will be phased in over the next five years, and all of the old models will be retired.
DAVID MILLER and Toronto Transit Commission CEO ANDY BYFORD can take much of the credit for delivering these state-of-the-art vehicles to the people of TORONTO. LRV highlights: fast acceleration, bike racks, 70 seats with room for 181 standees, ramps for wheelchairs and bundle buggies, and four doors for quick boarding.
The “skunk at the party” is Mayor ROB FORD, who has no use for streetcars. In fact, he wants to dump them all. “I know one thing. I won’t get on a streetcar,” Ford has proclaimed. “If I have an option, driving or streetcar, I’m going to get in my car. I just want to eventually phase them out . . . People want subways, folks. They want subways, subways. They don’t want these damned streetcars blocking up our city. That’s what they don’t want.” Says he.