The City of Toronto’s monthly King Street Pilot data has been released, and it has included customer spending in the area since the project began.
According to the City’s data, “preliminary findings indicate that customer spending since the pilot began is in line with seasonal spending patterns over the past three years.” The value of customer spending for the pilot area increased 21% from October 2017 to December 2017, which the City said is in line with the seasonal growth for the City as a whole at 20%.
The data may be surprising to some, especially after John Tory’s latest push for businesses in the area.
While the King Street Pilot may be working in terms of improving transit, businesses may not have been thriving as much.
In December, a month into the Pilot Project, the City of Toronto began giving out a parking discount for the pilot area. “This parking discount will help local businesses get the word out that this vibrant area of our city is as easy to access as ever, no matter how you travel,” said Mayor John Tory at the time.
And to further help the downtown business community, in January, Tory announced that the city would be introducing warming stations, ice sculptures, fire performers, and art installations along the street, all to attract more visitors to King Street.
But as a transit project, the numbers indicate that it’s already working.
The City data shows that ridership on the King streetcar is up 16% on weekdays, and morning commute eastbound is up 25%. Additionally, peak demand westbound has gone up 27%.
“To meet this growth in demand, the TTC has significantly increased the capacity of streetcar service delivered on routes that serve the pilot area,” states the City report. “The scheduled passenger capacity of streetcars running on King Street was 2,047 passengers per hour before the pilot and on January 24th, 2018, a peak delivered capacity of 2,892 passengers per hour was achieved.”
Throughout the course of the pilot, the City says it will also be measuring or reviewing data on cycling volumes and parking utilization, which will be made public as they become available.