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Toronto Cleared Cars Off Its Biggest Transit Street, and Ridership Soared Almost Overnight

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It’s been just a few short months since Toronto cleared most of the car traffic off King Street, giving the city’s busiest streetcar route an unimpeded path.

But already, the impact of the project is clearly transformative. Faster, more reliable service has helped boost ridership dramatically, report local transit officials.

Before Toronto banned through traffic on King Street, the streetcar carried 65,000 daily trips. Ridership is now up 25 percent at peak hours, according to the Toronto Transit Commission [PDF]. The city will have to run more streetcars to keep up with demand.

“The rationale to do this is to move transit more quickly and get people on transit, and this shows that in spades,” TTC chair Josh Colle told the Globe and Mail.

The new transit trips have not been siphoned from other routes. TTC told the Globe and Mail ridership has held steady on nearby Queen Street.

The redesigned

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