Toronto’s King Street transit pilot project aims to improve transit reliability, speed and capacity, along with a number of other measures included in a comprehensive evaluation and monitoring program. For a team of researchers, it also presents an ideal opportunity to study the effects — both direct and indirect — of traffic changes on air and noise pollution, public health and commuter decision-making.
The pilot project, launched in November 2017 and running for one year, involves altering traffic patterns on the stretch of King Street from Bathurst in the west to Jarvis Street in the east to prioritize through-traffic from streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians. Cars must take their first available right turn off the street, with through movements prohibited at eight of the 12 signalized intersections. The 504 King streetcar route is the busiest surface transit route in the city.
The multidisciplinary team, including members from the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR), is collaborating with both the City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to gather data and share their findings and analysis. The team began taking measurements along King Street and surrounding area as early as summer 2017 to set a baseline before the launch of the pilot. Read full U of T Engineering News story.