TTC tests its new lower-floored streetcar
By Tashae Haughton
One testing, two testings with more testing to come! The TTC took its new lower-floored streetcar for a second test drive Friday morning.
“There were no issues, everything went smoothly,” said TTC spokesperson Danny Nicholson.
The new streetcar started its short journey from Hillside Station toward the Exhibition loop and spent an hour driving at 40 km/h, testing its turns, said Nicholson.
The highly anticipated streetcar has two main new features; accessibility for those in wheelchairs and air conditioning.
“I like the fact that they will be wheelchair accessible,” said Sarah Nicholson, a first-year fashion student. “The TTC buses and old train system don’t have it so it’s time for the city to have this option.”
Bombardier spokesperson Marc Laforge for a group of engineers working close with TTC said in an email to Humber News, “From a manufacturer point of view, trains are being built nowadays that are aiming to be more inclusive possible for all passengers.”
Laforge said the reason they are keeping in mind a more accessible form of public transit is for people with disabilities and an rapidly aging world.
Humber’s Disability Services Officer, Alessia Di Virgilio lives around the Bloor area and relies on accessibility with TTC transportation. “I think it’s awesome and it’s about time that they come out with this,” Di Virgilio said.
Nicholson said in a section of the street car, a wheelchair accessible person will be able to press a button and a ramp will come out for them when they leave the streetcar.
After a few more testings regarding the streetcar being able to handle snowy conditions, going up hills and tweaking the breaking system, the low-floored streetcar will be available to the public in early 2014, Nicholson said.