After strutting its stuff this weekend as part of Doors Open Toronto for the general public, the new Toronto Rocket train along with 69 of its fellow counterparts will finally enter service next month — possibly as soon as next week, I’m told. The new Rocket was parked at Davisville Station for media to tour last week and then for everyone else over the weekend, in the same place the mock-up was parked close to FOUR YEARS AGO when the idea was first announced.
Yes, it’s taken almost half a decade to get these new trains built and delivered and finally Toronto transit users are getting to see what millions of dollars buys them. In short,they are trains where passengers can walk from one end to the other without having to leave the train, handrails that supposedly repel germs and a whole bunch of flashy lights on the system maps inside and over the doors.
I’ll admit I’m not much of a transit user, despite having a station near my house. I still find that the system is overcrowded and doesn’t extend to where it really needs to go. Mayor Rob Ford talks a good talk about expanding subway service to much needed areas, but really, how long will that take? And when it’s finally finished, will we be caught up to where we need to be or still behind?