Today I went shopping for shoes on Corso Italia, and I took the St. Clair Streetcar, which is finally operating for most of it's length. The extreme western portion is still being operated with shuttle buses to Oakwood.
Anyway I have to say, that I was pretty impressed with the ride, except for a couple issues I will get to. The ride was smooth, I really like the stations, which are simple, but stylish.
There are only a couple problems I would fix, which are the following.
-The TTC like on Spadina, is not using the transit signals which are installed. Streetcars have to wait for left turning cars, who get their own signal before the streetcar is allowed to cross the intersection. This is in contrast to cities like Phoenix, Seattle, etc where LRT trains get the go through the intersection, and left turning cars have to wait.
-The stops are much too close, for this line to be considered streetcar rapid transit, which is what the TTC is marketing it as. In some cases, stops are only a block or two apart, and it seems like a waste of money to have had to build these more fancy stations so close together. The close stop spacing, means the streetcars never gain enough speed to make the right of way, worthwile.
Coupled withe almost no transit signal priority, and the route is just as slow as before.
Other than that, great job on the line.
Click on the following link to see a map of the St. Clair route.
Listed on this map are all the stops on the line.
Under my plan, only the blue and purple stops would be kept, and the red ones would be taken out of service. My idea would have stops spaced about 600 meters apart on average.
The stops in purple, would be the only stops kept, if the St. Clair Streetcar moved to the station spacing of the Bloor-Danforth subway. The Bloor-Danforth subway is known for close stop spacing, which still allows easy walking access to all neighbourhoods along the route.
So check out the map and let me know if you agree with the stops I would take out of service.
With less stops, and proper transit signals, I think the St. Clair Streetcar would be a great route.
Sheppard Subway, approx 6 km long.
St. Clair Streetcar, approx 6 km long.
Sheppard subway: End to to end travel time, 7 minutes.
St. Clair Streetcar: End to end travel time, 30 minutes.
Sheppard subway: 5 stops.
St. Clair Streetcar: 26 stops.
Bloor subway along a 6 km stretch: 11 stops.
Bloor subway travel time along a 6 km stretch: 13 minutes.