It’s official, the King Street Pilot will continue well into 2019. Following a vote by city council on Thursday, the TTC pilot project was extended another seven months.
The pilot project which started in November 2017, will now run until July 31, 2019.
The controversial transit project was introduced to improve conditions for transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians. It restricts vehicles from turning left on King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis streets, right-turns are permitted. East-west through traffic is also restricted at major intersections.
City council voted 19 to three in favour of extending the pilot after city staff recommended the extension to allow for more time to prepare a report on the project’s impact.
With an overwhelming 19-3 vote, City Council has voted to extend the King Street Pilot. The big debate to (finally) improve it and make it permanent will take place early in 2019. pic.twitter.com/vZ7hFwTsma
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) December 13, 2018
Councillors Mike Ford, Stephen Holyday and Jim Karygiannis voted against extending the pilot.
“The King Street Transit Pilot demonstrates that we can move a larger number of people on the city’s busiest surface route, quickly and reliably, while managing the impact on drivers and local businesses,” Don Peat, a spokesman for Mayor John Tory said in a statement on Monday. “The city is continuing to carefully measure this pilot to make sure that it works for more than 80,000 daily riders of the King Street streetcar and everyone who enjoys this part of our city.”’
Throughout the year-long pilot period, multiple studies have shown transit users are in favour of extending the project, but several business owners have complained that vehicle restrictions on King Street have led to a decline in business.