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TTC video offers preview of new state-of-the-art streetcars

Exterior view of the new TTC streetcars. YOUTUBE

Transit users are getting their first look at the new bigger, safer, more accessible streetcars, which are set to debut later this month on the Spadina route.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rolled out a new video to help riders get familiar with the state-of-the-art fleet.

In the video, the TTC outlines many of the features that come with the new cars, including more doors for boarding, wheelchair ramps, air conditioning, and bike racks.

The new streetcars also have twice the capacity of the current ones and four doors for boarding and exiting.

The video shows passengers how to open the doors themselves at less busy stops.

In the video, TTC CEO Andy Byford said the news streetcars will get riders where they want to go faster.

“These vehicles feature four sets of doors, so customers will be able to board and exit the streetcar at any of those doors,” Byford said.

“That’s good news because quicker boarding and exiting means less time spent at stops and that means better, quicker service.”

The first of the new streetcars will debut on the 510 Spadina route on Aug. 31, Then, over the next five years, more than 200 of them will completely replace the older fleet.

Currently, around 250,000 riders take streetcars on a daily basis.

Earlier this month, the TTC proposed implementing the proof-of-payment (POP) system on all 11 streetcar routes as early as Jan. 1, 2015, in an effort to speed up commuting time for riders.

Originally, the TTC had planned to phase in POP gradually over the next five years with the rollout of the new fleet of streetcars, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

A city staff report concluded the top reason for delays on the busy King streetcar line is passengers taking their time getting on and off the vehicles.

The TTC board approved a new transit plan at their meeting Tuesday. It includes nine major recommendations for improving TTC service, including time-based transfers and adding more express bus routes.