The last thing the TTC needs is the closure of a major arterial route during high season.
That’s exactly what happens every September, when the City of Toronto closes King Street to vehicle and transit traffic as TIFF rolls into town. The 65,000 daily passengers who ride the King streetcar – the busiest in the city – are diverted to surrounding routes.
Every year, the TTC makes a fuss about the situation with the hope to persuade the city to keep the streetcar route open – to no avail. The issue was brought up again at a TTC board meeting yesterday, which saw TTC CEO Andy Byford continue his fight against the city.
“We have been absolutely consistent in opposing this absolute imposition on hundreds and thousands of riders per day,” said Byford.
We have argued long and hard not to have King Street closed … but we have been overruled.” He concluded his remarks on the matter by rhetorically asking, “Guess who gets the blame?”
The answer, of course, is the TTC.
TTC staff have pitched several proposals to the city, which includes moving the majority of TIFF activities to the soon-to-be John Street cultural corridor. They’ve all been rejected to date.
This year’s closure will go ahead from University Ave. to Charlotte St. from 5 a.m. on Thursday, September 14 to 5 a.m. on Monday, September 18. That covers three weekday rush hours, which the TTC was able to reduce from four in 2016.