After a very bumpy start, the King Street pilot project that was implemented in Toronto almost a month ago is finally paying off.
A new study out of the University of Toronto released Monday found that TTC commute times along 2.5 kilometres of the King St. pilot project have consistently decreased during rush hour. The researchers found that on average, commute times for TTC riders were four to five minutes shorter.
Using GPS data collected from the TTC both before and after the project started, U of T researchers found huge improvements in the commute times along the King St. corridor between Bathurst and Jarvis St. where the pilot has been in place since November.
And if this improvement seems minor, Steven Farber, the co-director of the Spatial Analysis of Urban Systems lab at U of T, says it isn't. "The four minutes seems like a small amount of time but actually, in the aggregate, that is a really big time savings for commuters in this city when we look at changes in commuting time for the entire region going up by about a minute or two in a 10-year period."
Researchers also believe that shorter commute times will now encourage more people to use transit regularly.
And while this particular study was only able to evaluate the impact the pilot project has for TTC riders, U of T researchers told CP24 News that the City of Toronto will be conducting independent research to see how these changes are impacting drivers' commute times.
Either way, it looks like the pilot project is here to stay, at least until it hits it's one year mark next December.