LRT Mythbusting: The Facts on Light Rail Transit

Many people think LRTs are the same as streetcars but that’s not quite the case. 

It’s like being mistaken for your twice-removed cousin.

Yes, you both pronounce ‘bagel’ oddly and are both allergic to black, wool socks, but that’s really where the similarities end.

 As Metrolinx works on expansive and remarkable light rail transit (LRT) projects – including in Mississauga, Hamilton and Toronto (Finch West and Eglinton Crosstown) – we often find ourselves answering the same question – “Isn’t an LRT just another streetcar?”

We have nothing against streetcars, but the two vehicles are more rail cousins than transit twins.

One of the biggest differences between an LRT and streetcars is that LRTs are run on their own dedicated right of way and have priority signaling at intersections. LRT is rapid transit, and won’t get stuck in traffic or compete for space with cars.

An LRT line might look similar to the streetcars you see whizzing down Queen Street in Toronto, but there are other key differences to keep in mind.

So we’ve created a new infographic to help illustrate the facts and dispel myths associated with LRTs like the ones currently being built.

Click here to compare the two.