Streetcar is King of the Road

King Street Transit Pilot has Toronto drivers seeking alternative east-west routes.

To curb traffic congestion on Toronto’s busiest TTC surface route, the city’s King Street Transit Pilot kicked off November 12, 2017 and is now in full swing. The pilot will run for one year and will affect all areas along King between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street.

For the estimated 20,000 drivers who previously used King as part of their regular commute, this pilot will likely require that they plan a new route, as motorists on King can now only travel about a block before being forced to turn. Drivers who fail to make the turn run the risk of a traffic ticket which may later affect what they pay for auto insurance.

For the 65,000 transit users who use the 504 King streetcar every weekday, it’s hoped that the pilot will improve transit reliability, speed, and minimize overcrowding.

What drivers need to know about the King Street Transit Pilot

With the King Street Transit Pilot there are a few notable changes that drivers will need to heed to avoid a $110 ticket that also comes with two demerit points:

  • At Bathurst and Jarvis, and all intersections in between along King, through traffic is not allowed, except for TTC vehicles, emergency and road maintenance vehicles, and bicycles.
  • In general, left turns off King Street are not being allowed; drivers must turn right. However, if you’re at the Bathurst or Jarvis intersection make sure you check the signs because depending on which way you are travelling you may have the choice of which way you turn.

In the early days of the pilot, police handed out thousands of warnings to drivers who did not follow the new rules; however, the one-week grace period is over and police are now issuing tickets.

Skip the ticket and watch for the signs

Love it or hate it, it’s expected that the King Street Pilot Project will run about a year and if you regularly travel downtown you’ll want to choose your route wisely. And, if your travels take you to King Street specifically, you’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on the signs, like this one found at King and Peter Street near Kanetix.ca’s offices.

As Const. Clint Stibbe, with Toronto's police traffic services, is quoted as saying to theglobeandmail.com, "if you're at a light, make a right." Words to consider if you want to avoid a ticket and keep your car insurance premiums in check.

Streetcar is King of the Road