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Tory meets with business owners upset over King Street pilot

Last Updated Jan 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory met with business owners concerned about the effect the King Street Transit Pilot has had on their bottom line.

Businesses along the stretch of King between Jarvis and Bathurst streets say the pilot project, which gives priority to streetcars, is negatively affecting sales.

Tony Elenis with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association said 26 restaurants have reported a significant revenue loss.

“From Bathurst all the way Simcoe (is) where the main issue is,” he explained. “We found that the revenue declines are 41.2 per cent in December — in the busiest month of the year.”

The association wants to see private vehicles allowed to drive on the stretch of King on weekends and after 7 p.m. during the week.

Mayor Tory said he’s open to making adjustments but adds the pilot project is working to ease congestion.

The city has announced it will offer up to two hours of free parking around King Street. A $10 discount will be available to anyone using the Green P app for Green P pay and display lots and on-street parking within the pilot project area.

On Friday, the City of Toronto released the most recent data on the pilot project. The report showed an increase in streetcar ridership during the morning rush by almost 25 per cent.

The slowest streetcar travel times during the afternoon rush have also improved by about four minutes in each direction.

The report found vehicle traffic times on neighbouring streets remain only “marginally affected.”

This is the second set of data released on TTC ridership since the project began. To read the full report, click here.