King Street Transit Pilot - March Update
The King Street Transit Pilot is about moving people better on King Street, and making the street work for everyone. Working together, we're able to make improvements as we go to continue to build a street that works for all.
Data continues to show the pilot’s success
Our bold move to improve King Street, the year-long King Street Transit Pilot, is now 4 months in. The fourth round of data, collected during the month of February, was released last week, and shows us that the early successes of the pilot are not only continuing, but things are getting better and better.
Last month’s update an a significant increase in overall ridership has jumped to 84,000, from 72,00 before the pilot. Travel times continue to improve, both on average and for the slowest trips. And, reliability remains at 85% - 85% of the time, streetcars are coming on time, and are moving faster across the corridor. Vehicular impacts have been minimal and pedestrian counts are on par with Queen Street just a block north. And, last month’s data showed that business transactions are in line with seasonal spending pattern over the last years.
To continue to build streetcar capacity, the TTC has added 25% more capacity on the street, which is now carrying 12,000 more passengers than before the pilot.
I am also continuing to strongly advocate to bring "two-hour transfers" to King Street as soon as possible, in advance of the city-wide launch later this year. This means that each time you pay your TTC fare, you would be able to hop on and off the streetcar as much as you like within two hours. By getting it on King Street now, transit riders could hop off the streetcar, grab a coffee or run an errand, and hop back on to continue to their final destination. The larger number of riders on King Street will have an easier time patronizing local businesses on King Street.
Click here for full details on all the data that has been released so far. Updated data and additional metrics will be published every month during the Pilot. For more information on past updates and our efforts to continue to build a street for all, click here (link to February King update).
King Street is Open for Business
As I mentioned above, the King Street Transit Pilot must work for everyone. The data released last week, secured by the City from Moneris solutions - who holds the largest market share of debit transactions in the country - shows that business transactions are in line with seasonal spending patterns over the last few years. However, we continue to work together to ensure that this pilot continues to work for everyone.
After hearing some early concerns from local business, we came together to make improvements. After multiple meetings with myself, the Mayor and local businesses, we put in place a number of initiatives to ensure the pilot could work for everyone. We introduced 2 hour free parking adjacent to the pilot area. We launched Everyone is King, the public realm design competition to animate the new public spaces on King. These new public spaces will be launched in the coming weeks, and I’m very excited to see how public realm on King Street will continue to be reimagined.
We've commissioned electronic signage to improve communication, and are continuing to review more improvements. We launched a Toronto-wide advertising campaign, reminding people that King is still accessible to all, and indeed open for business. And, the City is working to secure additional economic data from additional point of sale outlets to continue to inform the review of the pilot.
And, we launched Food is King - a partnership with Ritual, a local King Street business with a high concentration of businesses and customers in the pilot area. The partnership provides a King Street pilot discount to new and existing users visiting a King establishment they’ve never visited before. A two week promotion, you can use the Ritual app to order online and skip the line when you pick up your meal.
For more information on the 2-hour free parking promotion, public realm competition and more, click here.
Your feedback and comments to my office at [email protected] and to the project team at [email protected] is important, along with the data we are collecting, for ensuring that we can make the King Street Pilot work for everyone. I appreciate hearing about your experience.