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I drive a car

Tackling gridlock

Part of a plan to manage future congestion

 

With upgraded road designs, smarter traffic systems and buses carrying thousands of riders in bus lanes, rapid transit is designed to help ease future gridlock.

Construction will happen in phases to minimize disruption, and will be coordinated with other major road improvements.

Did you know?

1. Rapid transit won’t add to congestion

By travelling in transit-only lanes, rapid transit buses will help keep general traffic flowing smoothly.

2. Smarter traffic systems are coming

Rapid transit is driving the transition to smarter traffic systems that can help prevent gridlock and improve traffic flow throughout London.

3. There will be minimal lane reductions

Most rapid transit corridors will keep the same number of general traffic lanes.

Rapid transit won’t have a big impact on parking downtown

Of 711 on-street parking spaces downtown, rapid transit is expected to remove 82 spots. There are about 10,000 parking spaces downtown in total.

London is growing Planning for tomorrow

London’s population could grow by 84,000 people in the next 20 years – that’s like adding 8.5 more Masonville communities. Under a business-as-usual scenario, the volume of car trips in 2035 will grow by more than 20 per cent compared to 2009.

Who rides the bus? London's ridership is higher than comparable cities

  • 59

    Riders per capita

    London

  • 47

    Riders per capita

    Waterloo

  • 45

    Riders per capita

    Hamilton

  • 21

    Riders per capita

    York Region

Part of a city-wide plan to improve roads

Other road projects – some already happening – will work with rapid transit to change the way traffic flows and ease congestion. In total, $1.2 billion is being spent over the next 20 years to improve London’s roads.

  • Widening Wharncliffe/Western Road from Oxford Street to Platt’s Lane, which started in Spring 2018, is expected to ease congestion by becoming a natural route commuters can use instead of Richmond Street.
  • Adding an underpass at the CP rail line on Adelaide Street will increase reliability on this main road running parallel to Richmond. As many as 20 trains cross Adelaide every day and some of them last up to 20 minutes (unlike Richmond, where the average train lasts about five minutes). Many people currently use Richmond to avoid these trains, when Adelaide would otherwise be a more natural route. City staff expect traffic on Adelaide to increase by up to 200 cars an hour once the underpass is in place. Construction is expected to start in 2021.
  • Replacing the CN rail overpass on Wharncliffe Road north of Horton is designed to improve car capacity on Wharncliffe.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I have no plan to give up my car. Does this plan impact me?

These are not just transit projects. They represent a city-wide transportation
infrastructure opportunity that impacts all forms of mobility, makes commutes
shorter and safer, relieves traffic congestion and builds better transit. All
Londoners – including those who drive – will have an enhanced experience,
thanks to the projects’ investments in intelligent traffic signals, road widening
and streetscape improvements, plus dedicated bus lanes that help keep traffic
moving smoothly.

Q: Is rapid transit reducing lanes for drivers?

Most roads will keep the same number of general traffic lanes. The roads will be widened in order to accommodate the dedicated rapid transit lanes and the same number of general traffic lanes.

Q: Why can’t we just widen all our roads?

One of the City’s goals is to maintain natural and agricultural lands by concentrating future population growth in existing built-up areas. As the City grows inwards and upwards, we will need more space-efficient ways to move people. Widening roads is not an effective solution on its own – creating a way to move more people with fewer vehicles is also needed.

Q: How will construction impact my drive?

To minimize traffic jams, construction won’t happen all at once. Like any city road project, it will happen in phases, with lots of advance communication and notice to residents and businesses in the area.

The project team will work closely with other City project teams to provide coordinated, advance updates about construction and road closures throughout the city. Every effort will be made to ensure Londoners are aware of construction zones and traffic detours resulting from road work, whether it be through online portals, media relations, citywide mail, or other forms of informative content.

Q: How will we make left-hand turns across dedicated bus lanes?

With centre-running rapid transit lanes, such as those planned for Wellington Road, additional protected left turn and u-turn lanes will make turns into businesses safer and more efficient.

Intersections will have dedicated left-turn traffic signals. This means drivers will make left turns or U-turns when the left-turn signal is green. To get to entrances that are between intersections, on the opposite side of the road, drivers should make a U-turn at the next signalized intersection.

Here’s how to make a turn on intersections along a rapid transit corridor.

Q: How will traffic be impacted?

The project team has extensively studied traffic along the corridors to predict traffic flow with rapid transit in place, and these studies show that in many cases, rapid transit will help ease future congestion – not add to it.

Q: Does investing in transit make sense with driverless cars on the horizon?

Prioritizing autonomous vehicles alone would lead to more traffic congestion in the long run. With or without drivers, the reality is 70 people in cars take up far more space than 70 people on a bus.

It is possible that other vehicle technology, such as driverless cars, can work together with rapid transit as first/last mile solutions for connecting to the network. Rapid transit is flexible enough to adapt to changing transit technology.

Q: How will downtown parking be impacted?

While some on-street parking spots will be converted into transit lanes, London will soon be moving forward with the implementation of the Downtown Parking Plan, which is expected to add between 200-300 parking spots in the downtown core.

Q: Is rapid transit expected to convert drivers into bus riders?

Many Londoners will never use rapid transit, but the goal is to provide Londoners with choice. London already has higher ridership per capita than other municipalities implementing rapid transit systems, including Hamilton, Waterloo and York Region.

Population and transit ridership in London are growing and are expected to continue to grow, highlighting a need for the expanded service that rapid transit will provide. Between 2006 and 2016, bus ridership grew by 20 per cent, from 18.7 million to 22.6 million. And 84,000 new residents could call London home by 2035.

Ridership analysis from the fall of 2017 shows around 25 per cent of LTC bus routes are totally full – with no available seats – during both morning and afternoon peak period service.

Q: Can emergency vehicles use the transit-only lanes?

Yes. Emergency vehicles will be able to use the dedicated lanes.

Q: How can service be ‘rapid’ when there are train crossings?

The project team has studied rail crossings in great detail and determined the impact of those crossings can be managed with minimal impact on rapid transit buses. Using the Richmond crossing as an example: the typical number of trains over the course of a 24-hour day crossing this location was 11, of which an average of two interruptions per day occurred during the a.m. and p.m. peaks.

Based on an average travel time delay of approximately five minutes, there will be potential queuing of two buses. This will be managed with real-time schedule notices at stops to inform riders of the short delay and when to expect the next bus. When the train passes, rapid transit buses will continue unimpeded in their dedicated lanes. The team is also looking at technology solutions to help anticipate trains and “catch up” buses after a short train-crossing delay.

Q: How many Londoners ride the bus?

London bus ridership is higher than comparable cities with rapid transit.

Annual transit ridership in London in 2016 was 22.6 million, compared to 11.9 million in 1996 (on the conventional service). London currently has more transit riders per capita than comparable urban areas such as Waterloo, Hamilton and Mississauga, which are already implementing rapid transit.