WATCH: King Street pilot project underway

There could be some confusion Monday on the first weekday commute of the King Street pilot project that gives priority to streetcars.

Drivers are being forced to turn right at nearly every intersection between Jarvis St and Bathurst St, making way for streetcars on what is the busiest surface transit route in the city.

65,000 riders use the corridor on an average weekday. So do 20,000 vehicles which will now be pushed onto neighbouring routes like Richmond, Adelaide, Queen and Front.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross spoke with our sister station CP24 about enforcing the new rules.  He said police will be out in full force in the next week to help educate drivers about the changes.  They will be at key intersections handing out brochures to educate and inform drivers before they start handing out tickets.

The city has put up a lot of signage to make sure drivers understand the changes.

NEWSTALK 1010 producer Ed Elyahky was out on King Street near University Avenue Sunday afternoon.  He said drivers were not following the new rules, but there were TTC information volunteers on the streets to help people.

This video shows apparent motorist confusion with the changes:

TTC Chair Josh Colle said at a launch event Thursday, "At times, sadly, walking has become faster than public transit."  "The King pilot is about improving transit reliability, speed and capacity."

The pilot project will last at least a year and Colle says they will collect data on transit speed and ridership, traffic speed and counts, parking, and pedestrian and cyclist counts among other things.

He contends that vehicles will move to adjacent routes and says the impact will be studied as part of the pilot. There's also the hope that it will increase TTC ridership and decrease the number of cars in the area. 

There will be no parking in the pilot area, which will mean a loss of 180 on-street parking spaces, though the city notes that there are at least 7,800 on and off-street spaces within a five minute walk.

Dedicated police officers will be on hand in the area during the first two weeks for education and enforcement.

The city has posted a map of the pilot area on its website.