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The King Street Transit Pilot Project Considered A Success Among Torontonians

The Campaign Research Poll is an online public opinion omnibus survey conducted among 683 Toronto voters between December 3 and 6, 2017.

Debate continues over whether the King Street Transit Pilot Project (“Pilot”) has been a success. Three weeks after the Pilot was implemented, we wanted to research whether the public thought commute times increased or decreased as a result of the Pilot, how they felt prior to the Pilot beginning, and how they feel three weeks after the its launch.

Overall, 48% of Torontonians had a positive impression of the Pilot, while 19% had a negative opinion. 33% had no opinion or were not sure how they felt.

61% of Mayor Tory’s supporters thought the project was beneficial while only 12% had a negative view of the Pilot. Doug Ford supporters were split as to its success. In fact, 35% had a positive impression, while 33% had a negative impression, and 32% had no opinion or were unsure.

Interestingly, 58% of Ontario Liberal Party supporters had a positive impression, while only 11% had a negative impression. PC supporters were more divided with 42% viewing the Pilot a success and 31% having a negative opinion. 49% of NDP supporters had a positive impression compared to 16% who did not believe that the Pilot was successful.

When assessing the Pilot project’s impact on commute times, 47% of Torontonians believed that commute times decreased for transit users; meanwhile, 19% believed commute times increased. 14% thought that the Pilot neither increased nor decreased times, and 19% had no opinion or were unsure.

Among Mayor Tory supporters, 55% believed that commute times for transit users decreased, 19% thought it increased and 11% believed it neither increased nor decreased. 42% of Doug Ford supporters believed that travel times for transit users decreased, while 27% believed that it increased. 18% thought that there was neither an increase nor a decrease in travel time for transit users.

Overall, 45% of Torontonians opined that commute times for drivers increased since the project’s implementation. 15% thought it decreased for drivers, while 16% believed that it neither increased nor decreased. 23% of Torontonians had no opinion or didn’t know.

Campaign Research subsequently asked “forced choice” questions, designed to better understand public opinion before and after the Pilot’s launch.

Overall, a resounding 71% of Torontonians believed that the City of Toronto had to try something different to improve public transit downtown. 79% of Mayor Tory supporters wanted the City to improve the flow of people in and out of the downtown core. 21% of Tory supporters thought the Pilot would not work and would only target car drivers. Again, Doug Ford supporters were split, as 54% wanted the City to try something to alleviate traffic and 46% believed car drivers were being targeted by this measure.

Overall, 25% of Torontonians believed that the King Street Pilot works well but requires some minor improvements. 50% believed that the Pilot is not as bad as they initially expected but they suggest that it requires some changes. 26% believed that the Pilot is not working for anyone and should be cancelled.

Among Mayor Tory supporters, 30% believed the Pilot was effective. 55% thought the Pilot should continue with significant improvements, and 16% believed that the Pilot was not working and should be cancelled. 21% of Doug Ford supporters thought the Pilot was working well. 38% believed it should continue with significant improvements; meanwhile, 41% said it was not working and should be cancelled.

So far, a significant number of Torontonians believe that the King Street Transit Pilot has been successful in improving how people commute in and out of the downtown core. The majority of Torontonians support the continuation of this Pilot, but with significant improvements.

“This Pilot Project has proven to be a more sensitive issue for Doug Ford than Mayor Tory. It is Doug Ford’s supporters that are more divided between supporting the Pilot and wanting to cancel it. As a result, Ford must carefully consider his stance on this issue lest he disappoints a sizeable portion of his base.” – Eli Yufest, CEO of Campaign Research. Eli may be reached at or at (647) 931 4025, ext. 109


This online poll was conducted by Campaign Research as part of its monthly omnibus study between December 3rd to 6th 2017, The study was conducted among a random sample from an online panel of 683 Toronto voters whose incentives for participation were handled by the panel provider and who were selected to reflect Toronto’s age and gender distributions in line with 2016 Statistics Canada census data.

A probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8%, 19 out of 20 times. Data was weighted by the age and gender of Toronto according to 2016 Statistics Canada census data. If you require more information, please contact us as it is available upon request.

The following screening question was asked in order to determine eligibility for participation in the study

"Are you 18 years of age or older and eligible to vote in federal elections?"

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