Around 500 warnings issued to drivers in King Street transit project

Toronto police say they have issued around 500 warnings to drivers over the past two days for breaking the rules in the King Street Transit Pilot project.

The year-long project, which went into effect on Sunday, prioritizes streetcars on King between Bathurst and Jarvis streets. Drivers are only allowed to travel one block before being forced to turn right. No left turns or through traffic is allowed.

City-licensed taxis are exempt, but only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Cyclists are able to travel in the curb lane.

Since Monday was a government employee holiday for Remembrance Day, Tuesday is the first day of regular weekday traffic.

On Monday, which was the first weekday commute since the project launched, several drivers continued to drive through King, unaware of the changes.

Drivers will not be penalized this week, but will be given warnings and provided with pamphlets explaining the new rules. Police will start issuing fines next week and rule-breakers could face a $110 fine and two demerit points.

More than 65,000 people use the King streetcar each day during the work week. The TTC says streetcars often slow down to a crawl due to traffic congestion.

The pilot project aims to keep that stretch of road virtually car-free, allowing streetcars to move unhindered.

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