I take the bus
Better bus service
More buses, in more places, more often
Rapid transit is part of a city-wide plan to enhance bus service.
Travelling in their own lanes, rapid transit buses will avoid traffic congestion and offer frequent, reliable service.
Did you know?
1. Rapid transit fare is the same as LTC fare
You’ll pay one fare to ride any of the buses in London. If you’re travelling on a combination of rapid transit buses and local buses within a single trip, you’ll use transfers – same as you would today.
2. You’ll spend less time waiting for the bus
With rapid transit buses running frequently and real‐time information at rapid transit stops, you’ll know exactly where your bus is and when it’s arriving. Miss your bus? The next one will arrive soon.
3. You’ll have a comfortable wait – and ride
Covered platforms, technology charging stations, comfortable seating, lighting and heating systems are some features being considered. Rapid transit buses will be modern, accessible and comfortable.
How could your ride change?
I'm on the rapid transit route
Rapid transit buses will run frequently during peak times. They will travel in their own lanes, separate from general traffic, which means they will reliably run on schedule. Real-time information at stops will say exactly where the next bus is and when it’s arriving.
Frequencies will be based on ridership levels. They can be changed as ridership changes.
I'm not on the rapid transit route
Even if you’re not within walking distance to a rapid transit stop, you may still see increased bus service at your stop. The bus frequency of many local routes will improve. The rapid transit buses are designed to work with existing London transit routes, making it easy and convenient to board a local bus and transfer.
The London Transit Commission is reviewing its service plans city-wide and you can help determine where bus service needs to be improved by joining the conversation. To join LTC’s consultation process, you can visit http://www.londontransit.ca/.
Stop locations and amenities
The stops are still being designed, but they will be well-lit, covered structures, with comfortable seating and emergency call buttons. Bike parking, off-board fare equipment and public art will be included. The project team will be looking to Londoners to help give each stop a unique local twist.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Will there be a separate bus pass/fare for rapid transit and LTC buses?
No. The same fare will apply to every bus in London, whether it’s a rapid transit bus or a regular LTC bus. Passengers travelling on a combination of rapid transit buses and regular buses within a single trip will use transfers, just like today.
Q: Will the same LTC discounted rates apply for rapid transit buses?
Q: Will the buses go faster than regular buses?
No – all buses must comply with the same posted speed limits. What makes rapid transit “rapid” is the fact that buses will largely travel in dedicated lanes, allowing them to bypass general traffic. Buses won’t have to wait behind a long line of cars at each intersection, and won’t have to merge in and out of the curb lane to serve transit passengers. Frequent, dependable service will make it easier for riders to reliably catch their bus and make their transfers.
Q: What will happen to my existing local route(s) when rapid transit starts running?
Because construction is expected to take place over several years (up to 2028), it’s not possible to pinpoint exactly how every existing local bus route will look that far down the road.
LTC is updating its Post-2019 Service Framework, which will identify required service improvements – both system-wide and route-specific – from 2019 to 2035. The framework will form the basis for service changes each year over the period.
Q: What will happen to my existing bus stop when rapid transit comes into play?
The short answer is, it’s too early to say for sure. LTC is currently reviewing stop placement along all existing routes, with the goal to have stop spacing between 200 metres and 400 metres along arterial routes while still ensuring access to service.
Q: How will I get bus schedules for rapid transit?
You’ll be able to find bus schedules on the LTC website and on the app. Additionally, all rapid transit stops will have real-time bus information so riders will know exactly when their next bus is coming.
Q: What happens when a rapid transit bus gets stopped by a train?
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 will the City ensure bus stops will be clear of snow and properly maintained?
Winter maintenance has been an important consideration when developing the designs, and there will be a dedicated operating budget for maintenance.
From a snow-removal perspective, centre-running rapid transit lanes (which make up the majority of the plans) are the most efficient design. That’s because salt trucks with plows work from the centre lane out, and the natural runoff of salt and brine towards the curb helps clear the general traffic lanes as well, progressively pushing snow to the outside. Rapid transit corridors are already designated a priority in the City’s Winter Maintenance Program, and it is anticipated that rapid transit platforms will require work by hand to maintain. The project team will continue to work with the City’s Roadside Operations team to establish service standards for the corridors.
As the project progresses through the detailed design phase, the team will strive for designs that minimize the need for snow removal operations, especially for stops and areas where the corridors are constrained.
Q: Will all bus stops and buses be fully accessible?
Yes, all stops and buses will be fully accessible, in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA 2005).
Accessibility features on the new buses will include:
- Low floor
- Wide aisles
- Automated signage
- Audio annunciation for stop announcements
- Dedicated priority seating
- Spaces allocated for mobility aids, such as walkers
The design of rapid transit corridors will also improve accessibility:
- Sidewalks will be continuous on both sides of the streets along rapid transit corridors.
- To comply with the AODA, a minimum clear width or clearway of 1.5 m will be provided in constrained areas.
- In most areas, a clearway width of at least 2.0 m will be provided.
- Other accessible sidewalk design elements include maximum slopes of 1:20, a slip-resistant surface and curb ramps at intersections with tactile warning strips and high tonal colour contrast.
All intersections along the corridors will meet AODA standards. Pedestrians will access median platforms by using crosswalks at signalized intersections.
Tactile plates will be included at all intersections and on station platforms.
Q: How do I know if I live or work near a rapid transit stop?
Here is more information on the planned routes.
Q: How will I get to a bus stop in the middle of the road?
Median stops are designed with pedestrian safety in mind. They are located at signalized intersections, and each stop will be on a platform that is about 3.5 metres wide and protected by a reinforced concrete protection wall. When waiting for a bus, or after exiting one, transit users will be safe and protected at all times. They are expected to cross to their desired side of the road using clearly marked pedestrian crossing areas once the traffic light signal gives them the right-of-way.
Q: Will London's rapid transit buses be electric?
In September, 2018, City Council endorsed in principal the electrification of London’s rapid transit system.
Electric vehicle technology holds great promise for London, both from a cost and an environmental perspective, according to the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).
CUTRIC, which promotes low-carbon and smart transportation technologies, has studied London’s rapid transit plans in order to determine if ditching diesel is feasible for the fleet.
CUTRIC presented its findings to the Rapid Transit Working group at a meeting July 5, 2018 and to the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee on September 17, 2018.
Q: Why not light rail for London?
Before buses emerged as London’s recommended rapid transit technology, Council explored a range of options, including light rail. Ridership needs, cost, construction-related impacts and economic benefits were among the factors considered.
Light rail requires a higher ridership level, and, with a tunnel required to bypass the train tracks downtown, would be more expensive than other transit options. There was also community concern about disruptions and business impacts.
In July 2017, Council approved the Rapid Transit Master Plan, which green lighted a bus rapid transit system and defined the network.
Q: When will construction start?
Construction is expected to begin in 2021. During construction, local routes may be temporarily diverted as needed. We will communicate these changes to bus riders and members of the public well in advance and during the construction period.
View the anticipated timeline here.
Q: Will this impact service to the industrial areas of the city?
Rapid transit will serve as the backbone for critical improvements connecting Londoners to employment opportunities and jobs.
For example, the Wellington Gateway will serve as the primary node in the south to extend transit service to the nearly 19,000 jobs in our southern industrial areas along the Highway 401 corridor and Wilton Grove Road. In association with frequency enhancements to local transit services in the industrial areas, it will provide increased opportunities for more Londoners to use transit to get to work in a more reliable manner.
In the east, the terminus of the East London Link will serve as the primary node to extend transit service to major industrial employment lands along the Veterans Memorial Parkway Corridor, to the Sovereign Road industrial area and the Innovation Park industrial area.