What's RT?

What is Rapid Transit?
Rapid Transit means the movement of many people, at the same time, and at higher speeds using vehicles such as buses or trains. 

RT_1_400.jpgRapid Transit creates vibrant livable communities
Rapid Transit creates great places to live and work by bringing people and places closer together. It is a permanent approach that focuses on access and mobility for everyone; supports smart, sustainable growth; and provides viable, greener options for transportation in the Forest City.

Picture2.jpgRapid Transit gets people where they want to go faster
Riders will enjoy a faster, more reliable and comfortable service that will carry more people on larger, modern vehicles because they will travel in a lane dedicated mostly for Rapid Transit. More transit riders will create opportunities to reshape our roadways and public spaces creating opportunities to connect cycling lanes and improve pedestrian spaces.

RT_3_400.jpgRapid Transit is more than trains and buses
Rapid Transit is a combination of elements including vehicles, stations, right-of-ways, fare collection systems and smart technologies. They make the system faster to access and more enjoyable to ride. Vehicles may include bigger, high quality buses that hold more people more comfortably, light rail vehicles that accomplish the same, or a combination of both. Either way, it’s about a complete system that offers a modern or state of the art service to passengers.

Picture4.jpgRapid Transit is of interest to everyone
Rapid Transit offers transportation choices that will help shape London's future. It will influence how pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks move in all parts of the city. An improved, faster, reliable service will attract increased ridership as residential and commercial buildings and spaces increase along the line. Greater ridership on Rapid Transit will reduce the impact of population growth, providing a greener choice for the Forest City. This will help create opportunities for improved streetscapes, new cycling lanes and better pedestrian spaces making London a more liveable city.



Benefits of Rapid Transit

Whether you are a current transit rider or die-hard car lover, investments in Rapid Transit could benefit you. Here are some potential benefits:

  • Make transit a more attractive choice- Transit trips will be up to 50% faster with Rapid Transit;
  • Reduce congestion on streets- By 2030, 25% more cars will be on London roadways. Rapid Transit can move people more efficiently, comfortably and reliably;
  • Increase people activity in business areas- Pedestrian activity will increase around transit villages, Rapid Transit stations and downtown;
  • Create jobs, attract talent and investments- Rapid Transit is a catalyst for urban regeneration, community building and economic investment. Over 77,000 new residents and 43,000 more jobs will call London home by 2035;
  • Encourage compact and walkable communities- mixed-use, transit-oriented development will enhance the public realm;
  • Reduce emissions and create a greener London- reducing the per trip greenhouse gas emissions  will improve air quality across the city;
  • Increases the carrying capacity of our roadways- A Rapid Transit lane can carry three to eight times as many people as a general purpose vehicle lane; and,
  • Save households income- Families can save $7,500 per year for each extra vehicle they can avoid.


Foundation Information 

Background Information and Key Documents

Shift is building on a strong foundation on which to build the Rapid Transit Master Plan. Here are some of the documents that have influenced our plan so far:

The London Plan: The London Plan identifies a city structure that is, to a large extent, built around Rapid Transit. Direction #5 of the plan: Build a mixed-use compact city, includes a bold policy to implement a city structure plan that directs high intensity mixed-use development to strategic locations - along Rapid Transit corridors and within the Primary Transit Area. The London Plan is a key guiding document for Shift because it outlines where and how the City will grow.

Smart Moves 2030 Transportation Plan: Completed in 2013, this plan outlines a number of strategies to provide more attractive travel choices for those who live, work, and play in the City. It sets a target for transit to accommodate 20% of all trips by 2030 and Rapid Transit is key to achieving this target. Two corridors are recommended for prioritization:

  • Richmond Street / Wellington Street Corridor, forming a key north/south route
  • Dundas Street / Oxford Street West / East Corridor, forming a key east/west route

Smart Moves is the starting point for our Rapid Transit initiative.

The Way Ahead: London’s Bus Rapid Transit Strategy – Business Case: The business case is a broad-based assessment of the benefits and costs of a new BRT service and enhancements in associated transit services. It provides an understanding of how the BRT Strategy will improve the standard of living for City of London residents and improve the competitiveness of businesses in the region. The business case concludes that the BRT strategy as proposed in the TMP would be expected to generate $1.80 of benefits for every $1 investment in the net capital and net operating costs required to deliver the transformation of London’s transit service.

Other documents that will inform the plan include: