King Street. Where T.O. business goes to die.

Did you hear the exciting news? The streetcar pilot project on King Street in Toronto is moving people faster. What for, we are not quite sure. It seems that in the evening rush hour, you can potentially get home for dinner five minutes earlier. For whatever it is worth, you can also get to work up to five minutes earlier.

But this bonanza of time you are now enjoying comes at a cost. It seems others have cottoned to this wealth of time savings and those street cars seem more crowded than usual. If your business is on King Street, you might want to give tips to visitors on where to park on Queen Street. And if they take a taxi, warn them they will have as much as a three-block walk from where ever the taxi manages to deliver them.

That leaves the most serious problem: deliveries. Have you ever counted the number of deliveries your company receives each day? For some firms, it is a constant flow. And you can hardly get everything by bicycle courier. Think of the number of snow days per year that your employees might as well be taking if everything came by bicycle. Here’s a tip: find a delivery service that uses streetcars. You will appreciate those five-minute savings then.

The Toronto Transit folks are as pleased as punch that their service is showing improvement. Who would have thought redirecting all those autos and delivery vehicles was such an easy solution? They still feel challenged though that they have been unable to show any improvement at four am.

Mind you, they would also be showing improvement on the less used Queen Street line if it were not for all the autos and deliver vehicles who now have to use Queen St. and other alternative east-west routes.

The additional police service on King Street has been an unpaid bonus since the experiment started. They only warned drivers who were confused by it all in the first week. In the second week, the police got serious and started ticketing the confusion. More than 500 tickets were given out that week. (Confusion costs $110 and two demerit points.)

It seems to me that this is another example of downtown councillors making decisions that chase businesses out of downtown Toronto.


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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