A prototype of the new TTC streetcar made its first trip on Toronto streets toward Bathurst Station early morning Thursday Mar. 14.

A prototype of the new TTC streetcar made its first trip on Toronto streets toward Bathurst Station early morning Thursday Mar. 14.

Toronto’s new streetcar made its first journey on Toronto streets in the early hours of Thursday, March 14.

Only project team members were aboard the Bombardier-manufactured light rail vehicle (LRV) when it left the TTC’s Hillside facility, 1138 Bathurst St. around 4:30 a.m. and headed toward Bathurst Station and back. The trip took under an hour and during that time the crew successfully tested for a variety of factors including the near 100-foot vehicle’s ability to make tight turns, travel along an incline and maintain traction power, said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.

“We’re being extra careful,” said Ross who tweeted several pictures of the streetcar on its southward trip along Bathurst and entering the station. “The objective is to test the vehicle in the environment in which it is going to operate and not at the risk of hindering service if we run into a problem.”

The trip was supposed to start earlier in the night but the streetcar’s engineers wanted to ensure it passed all “static testing” before heading out, which caused a brief delay, Ross said.

“We don’t want to go out onto the street if we’re not confident we can do it successfully,” he said.

A second, longer test is planned for 2:30 a.m. Friday, March 15, which will see the vehicle travel south from Hillcrest to the Exhibition Place loop.

Ross said the plan is to see how the LRV runs in all conditions for longer times. Eventually, he said the vehicle will run for testing during daylight but did not specify when those tests would occur.

If all goes well, the new TTC streetcars will begin service on the 510 Spadina line in 2014. Ross said the line, which underwent track renovations last summer, is the perfect route to debut the new streetcars on.

“It is a busy route and it is a right of way,” Ross said. “There’s operational and service planning reasons that make sense to start on Spadina.”;