Toronto To Get New Streetcars

Toronto's new LRV streetcarToronto is getting 204 new streetcars.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) says riders wanted better streetcars. They wanted more seats and better accessibility for people who are physically challenged.

The new streetcars have a floor that is lower, so they are easier to get on and get off, especially for people with physical challenges.

They have more seats, larger windows and wider doors, including a third door for bicycles. They are about twice the length of the current streetcars, and can handle 251 passengers.

In the new streetcars, the driver will be in a glass booth. Passengers can talk to the driver using an intercom.

The new streetcars are called LRVs, which stands for Light Rail Vehicle. Other countries have LRVs, including France, Spain and Germany. In Brussels, Belgium, the LRVs have an “art nouveau” style. In France, the style and colours of the LRVs are reminiscent of ships and the sea.

In Toronto, the LRVs will be red; TTC vehicles have long had the nickname “The Red Rocket.”

Old Toronto streetcars (last one 1995)
One of Toronto's old "PCC" streetcars. The last PCC streetcar was retired in 1995.

The LRVs cost about $1 billion.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) wants the public to check out the new vehicles before they are put to use, sometime in 2013. People can see – and board – a mock-up of the front half of the new streetcar. The mock-up will be in the TTC Hillcrest facility at 1138 Bathurst St. from Nov. 12 to 15.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What is the pubic transit system like where you live?  Do you think it works well?  Do you think it adequately serves all people?  What would you do to change and improve it?

Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words
There are some tricky words in this article.  Read through the article and circle all of the words that you found difficult to read and/or understand.  What strategy did you use to solve these words?  Did you try several strategies?  Which was the most useful?

Primary and Junior
Predict the meaning of and quickly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including: semantic, syntactic, graphophonic (OME, Reading: 3.2).

Grammar Feature: Acronyms
An acronym is a group of words that are shortened.  People usually create acronyms by taking the first letter of each word.  For example, the acronym, TTC, is short for Toronto Transit Commission. Similarly, LRV stands for Light Rail Vehicle.

What acronyms do you know?  Does your school use any acronyms?  Write out all of the acronyms you can think of, and the full word(s) next to each one.