COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Toronto, Ontario – September 19, 2018
TTC streetcar service on Toronto’s Queens Quay was shut down for several hours after a light rail vehicle was knocked off of the tracks in a collision with an ambulance.
Daily Hive Toronto, The Star, and BlogTO report that the collision and derailment, which occurred at 9:55AM eastern time, caused damage to the streetcar as well as several traffic backups in the area.
While no one was hurt in this incident, TTC service alerts reported that passengers were required to disembark trains and board shuttle buses. Service was not restored until 12:17PM eastern time. In total, streetcar service was disrupted for more than 2 hours as a result of this incident.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) September 19, 2018
The incident brought out comments from several critics of a recent project which redesigned the streetcar tracks on Queens Quay, with one critic reporting that accidents on Queens Quay happen “all day, every day, 365 days a year”.
That Queens Quay changeover has been a very expensive public works project that just keeps giving. The best part is that this is a self insured accident ( city hit city) so the city has to pay for everything that was damaged + workers comp. 🤪 My tax $$'s at work!— W (@warreng81) September 19, 2018
One critic has suggested that streetcars should be slowed down further on Queens Quay.
Streetcars should drive slower on Queens Quay, I'm living in this area for the summer and see them go by way too fast through this intersection. Pedestrian safety not considered. @WaterfrontTO @TTChelps— dasymetric (@dasymetric) September 19, 2018
Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway.
Incidents like this where LRT trains are involved in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians can prove fatal for those who are hit, and generally necessitate complete shut downs of that segment of the LRT system.
A recent video posted by a reporter in Toronto highlighted that the tracks on Queens Quay, despite being completely separated from traffic in dedicated lanes, were frequently being driven on by mistake.
Even professional drivers are making the mistake of entering the #TTC streetcar right of way at Queens Quay and Lower Spadina. #oops The pavement was painted red Tuesday but it’s already smudged with tire marks. pic.twitter.com/cAxLOZfDql— Kevin Misener (@Misener680NEWS) September 7, 2018
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]