This is welcome news on the heels of the recent announcement that Windsor, Ontario, is losing its accessible cabs. While Toronto's accessible streetcars won't help people in Windsor, the disabled community community needed some good news about the direction of accessible transportation in the province. http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2012/10/25/72493/
Accessible Streetcars Are Another Step in the Right Direction
Toronto's transit system has made great strides toward accessibility in the past decade, but there is still a way to go. From the Toronto Transit Corporation (TTC) website:
Today, more than 60 per cent of the train fleet is fully accessible, and nearly half of all Subway/RT stations are wheelchair and scooter friendly. Delivery of the TTC’s next generation of accessible subway trains – the Toronto Rockets – continue to make subway service even more accessible. http://www.ttc.ca/TTC_Accessibility/Easier_access_on_the_TTC/index.jsp
The TTC also runs a Wheel-Trans system that uses accessible buses and contracted taxis. However, a 2011 investigation by the Auditor General revealed that Toronto's Wheel-Trans program has some of the same issues that New York's Access-A-Ride program does: Long wait times, and clients arriving late at destinations. The contracted taxi companies can't keep up with the demand on the program. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/17/toronto-wheel-trans-review.html
The accessible streetcars will replace 204 cars in the fleet, and the first ones will officially go into service starting in 2014. Each car has room for two bikes, wheelchairs or scooters.
It's definitely very encouraging news.