More than Just Buses.
A Growing London Needs BRT
In the next 20 years, London will grow by an estimated 84,000 people. That’s like adding the population of eight Masonville neighbourhoods to our city by 2030 – meaning a lot more gridlock on our roads. As our city grows, BRT will help traffic flow smoothly for everyone, carrying thousands of transit riders in dedicated bus lanes and improving cycling paths to encourage more people to commute on two wheels. With ridership numbers climbing by 20 per cent between 2006 and 2016, BRT will give our growing population the range of efficient transportation options we need to get where we need to go.
Enhanced Bus Service
BRT is part of an overall 35 per cent increase in bus service hours across the city’s entire system – which means more buses, in more places, more often. The most important element of a BRT system that improves frequency and reliability and saves time is dedicated lanes. If we simply add more regular buses to the road, those buses would still be mixed with regular traffic, and would experience delays from congestion. With BRT, riders can count on buses coming every 5 and 10 minutes along 38 stops throughout the north/east and south/west corridors, and will enjoy more frequent service from existing local LTC feeder routes in their neighbourhoods.
A Plan Developed by Londoners Uniquely for London
Over the past year, the BRT project team has held hundreds of hours of consultation in meetings, stakeholder sessions, and public workshops. But consultation with Londoners on rapid transit has been ongoing for nearly a decade, through some of the city’s largest-ever public engagement exercises, including SmartMoves 2030, the London Plan and the Rapid Transit Master Plan. Before landing on BRT as a vision to meet London’s transit needs, City, staff and Councillors consulted with thousands of citizens, businesses, and neighbourhood groups during those planning processes – and that will continue through design and implementation of the BRT system.
BRT doesn’t just add dedicated bus lanes. With the improved road design and smart traffic signals that will be paid for through the BRT project, everyone will have a better commute -- transit riders, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicle drivers alike. It will repair and revitalize the full road width surface including general traffic lanes, sidewalks and streetscaping, and it will do this with other levels of government contributing 74 cents on the dollar. The majority of the BRT corridors are overdue for reconstruction, and without BRT, the cost of those road improvements would be fully funded by local tax dollars.
A Smart Investment for London
London’s BRT plan has one of the lowest costs per kilometre and one of the best returns on investment of any rapid transit project in the province. The total capital investment in London’s BRT plan is $500 million, with the City’s share set at $130 million. What’s more, the project includes a 50% contingency budget built in to protect against cost overruns, not to mention that the construction of BRT will defer many major, necessary road expansion projects, helping to keep development charges down and housing in London affordable.
BRT Builds Businesses and Encourage New Investment
Once BRT is operating, it will bring more customers to more businesses, more frequently and more reliably. More shopping. More dining. More tickets sold. More people in seats. More money in tills. In addition, the construction alone will provide more than 4,000 person-years of jobs, and more than $270 million in wages for Londoners. Already, Kitchener-Waterloo’s rapid transit system has attracted about $3 billion in investment, before it has even begun service.
A Greener City
Carrying thousands more transit riders in dedicated bus lanes, BRT will improve our air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions, helping to reduce the threat of climate change which is already affecting the health of our urban forest. Cars are our city’s greatest source of greenhouse gas, estimated by ReForest London to be two times that of industry. And rapid transit will balance how our city grows, promoting inward and upward development along with outward growth, which has been responsible for the loss of over 230,000 London trees in the last 10 years.