After a number of costly incidents where cars drove into the streetcar tunnel at Queens Quay, the TTC is making good on it’s promise to install a permanent barrier.
Work began Wednesday to install two ten-foot safety gates just outside the entrance of the tunnel.
TTC spokesman Stuart Green says the gates will be operational once they have been tested and the “timing of streetcar transponders is complete.” The process should be complete in around two weeks.
Installation of two 10-foot safety gates at #TTC Queens Quay tunnel has started. Will be operational after testing and timing of streetcar transponders is complete in a couple of weeks. Lights and gates and bollards. No excuses for cars entering the tunnel! pic.twitter.com/FNKFzNEaZ4
— TTCStuart (@TTCStuart) July 25, 2018
The TTC also installed additional bollards outside the tunnel back in April to make it obvious that the tunnel is a no-go zone for vehicles.
According to the TTC, each time a car drives into a streetcar tunnel, it costs thousands of dollars in time and money to remove the vehicle and fix any track damage.
Staff has to be paid overtime, service is delayed, detours need to be set up and shuttle buses have to be mobilized. In addition,expensive heavy machinery needs to be brought in to remove the cars.
The decision to install a gate came after two vehicles found themselves stuck in the tunnel less than a week apart in March.
At the time, TTC spokesman Brad Ross called the incidents “the tipping point” and staff began looking into a suitable gate mechanism.
Watch below: A blue BMW is removed from the streetcar tunnel on March 17, 2018.