I take the bus
Better bus service
More buses, in more places, more often
BRT is part of a 35% increase in bus service hours, city-wide. The plan is designed to boost bus service, not just along BRT corridors, but across London.
Travelling in their own dedicated lanes, BRT buses will avoid traffic congestion and offer frequent, reliable service. Transit users can count on BRT buses coming every five or 10 minutes during peak hours, as well as improved frequency on many local routes.
Did you know?
1. BRT fare is the same as LTC fare
You’ll pay one fare to ride any of the buses in London, whether on the BRT network or on a local LTC route. If you’re travelling on a combination of BRT 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 BRT buses running every five or 10 minutes and real‐time information at BRT bus 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 for BRT stops. Buses will be modern, accessible and comfortable.
How could your ride change?
I'm on the BRT route
BRT buses will run every five or 10 minutes 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 BRT stops will say exactly where the next bus is and when it’s arriving.
- North-east: On this route, between Masonville Place and Fanshawe College, a BRT bus will arrive every five minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes during off-peak hours.
- South-west: On this route, between Oxford & Wonderland and White Oaks Mall, a BRT bus will arrive every 10 minutes.
Frequencies are based on ridership levels. They can be changed as ridership changes.
I'm not on the BRT route
Even if you’re not within walking distance to the BRT line, you may still see increased bus service at your stop. The bus frequency of many local routes will improve, and in some cases it will double.
That’s because, with new BRT buses operating, local buses will be redeployed to neighbourhoods, increasing the frequency of local bus service in many areas. The BRT routes are designed to work with existing London transit routes, making it easy and convenient to board a local bus and transfer to BRT.
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/.
of Londoners will live near BRT stops
will be able to walk to work
Why not just add more buses?
Adding more buses would add more traffic to already-congested roads. In London, delayed transit is caused by traffic congestion, not bus incapacity.
BRT buses will arrive every five or 10 minutes. This reliable frequency is possible because BRT buses will travel in dedicated lanes, separate from general traffic.
Stop locations and amenities
The 38 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 BRT stop a unique local twist.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How much will bus fare cost?
Because both BRT and LTC buses will be operated by LTC, riders will pay one set fare to ride any bus in London.
Bus fares will not increase specifically as a result of BRT.
Q: Will there be a separate bus pass/fare for BRT and LTC buses?
No. Passengers will pay one fare to ride any bus in London, whether it’s on the BRT network or on a regular LTC route. Passengers travelling on a combination of BRT buses and regular buses within a single trip will use transfers, just as they do today.
Q: Will the same discounted rates apply for BRT buses as they do for LTC buses?
Yes. Passengers who are eligible for discounted rates will receive the same rates on BRT buses as they do for LTC buses.
Q: Will the buses go faster than regular buses?
All buses must comply with posted speed limits. BRT buses will be able to travel the same corridor in a shorter period of time due to dedicated lanes and less frequent stopping.
The “rapid” part of BRT comes from two key features:
- Dedicated lanes (bus lanes that can also be used by emergency vehicles, but not general traffic), which allow the buses to bypass general traffic. Buses won’t be waiting 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 – every five or 10 minutes on BRT routes – that makes it easier for riders to reliably catch their bus and make their transfers.
Q: What will happen to my existing local route(s) when BRT starts running?
Because BRT construction will take place from 2020 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.
By building a strong spine of rapid transit service across north-east and south-west corridors, BRT will enhance London’s overall transit system. Many local bus routes will see more frequent service, and some routes will be extended into other areas where service isn’t as strong now. Along the BRT corridors specifically, some local bus routes – such as Route 90 – may become redundant with BRT, but their riders will instead be fully served by BRT.
LTC has already developed a strategy for how local bus routes and stops will integrate with BRT, and they will review this framework on a yearly basis to maintain a high level of service across the whole network.
All of this means the growing number of Londoners who use public transit can count on more efficient, reliable service to get where they need to go, on time and with ease.
Q: What will happen to my existing bus stop when BRT comes into play?
The short answer is, it’s too early to say for sure. London Transit Commission 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. BRT is not expected to be complete until 2028, so it’s too soon to say how every bus stop might look by then.
Q: How will I get bus schedules for BRT?
You’ll be able to find BRT bus schedules where you find LTC bus schedules – on the LTC website and on the app. Additionally, all BRT stops will have real-time bus information so riders will know exactly when their next bus is coming.
That said, during peak times, BRT buses will arrive every five or 10 minutes along the north-east and south-west corridors, so riders won’t need to check schedules to know when the next bus is coming.
Q: What happens when the BRT bus gets stopped by a train?
We can manage the impact of the Richmond St. train crossing on BRT. Here are the facts:
- About 11 trains pass through the Richmond Street crossing during a 24-hour period – and only about two per day pass Richmond during peak times.
- On average, the trains last about five minutes, which means there is potential for two buses to queue in their dedicated lanes during the crossing.
- In the case of a train, people waiting at upstream bus stops will know about the slight delay and when to expect the next bus, thanks to real-time schedule updates at the bus stops.
- When the train passes, BRT buses will continue in dedicated lanes.
- To gather even more data on rail traffic in the city, the City is setting up a system that will measure train traffic at rail crossings.
- The system will average rail traffic over a period of time and forecast how long it will take to pass the crossing – so the City will have even more ability to accurately forecast rail traffic and delays, posting it to the signs.
Q: How will the City ensure BRT stops will be clear of snow and properly maintained?
Winter maintenance has been an important consideration when developing the BRT designs. The BRT network will have a dedicated operating budget for maintenance.
From a snow-removal perspective, centre-running BRT lanes (which make up the majority of the BRT 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. The vast majority of the BRT network is built on these centre-running lanes.
BRT corridors are already designated a priority in the City’s Winter Maintenance Program, and it is anticipated that BRT 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 BRT corridors.
As the BRT project progresses through the detailed design phase, the team will strive for designs that minimize the need for snow removal operations, especially for BRT stops and areas where the corridors are constrained.
Q: Will all BRT bus stops and buses be fully accessible?
Yes, all BRT stops and buses will be fully accessible, in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA 2005).
Accessibility features on the new BRT buses 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 BRT corridors will also improve accessibility:
- Sidewalks will be continuous on both sides of the streets along BRT 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 BRT 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 BRT stop?
40% of Londoners will live near BRT stops, and 60% of Londoners will be able to walk to work from the nearest stop.
Here’s a map of the BRT network, which shows where the 38 stops are located.
Q: How do I get to a bus stop in the middle of the road?
The median BRT stops are designed with pedestrian safety in mind. BRT stops are located at signalized intersections. Each median 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 BRT buses be electric?
In September, 2018, City Council endorsed in principal the electrification of London’s BRT system.
Electric vehicle technology holds great promise for London’s BRT system, 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 BRT plans in order to determine if ditching diesel is feasible for the fleet.
They’ve determined that electric buses could be charged in less than four minutes for both of London’s planned rapid transit corridors. That fits in with the schedule that includes a five-minute turnaround time at the end of each route. Four charging stations would be required – one at the end of each route.
With the City, CUTRIC is also continuing to explore and provide recommendations on the following:
- whether it is feasible to bring on 60-foot, articulated electric buses for the initial rollout of BRT
- whether it might be possible for London to be part of a pilot program for electric buses, in order to reduce costs
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 BRT emerged as the recommended rapid transit technology, Council explored a range of options for London, 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, is 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, giving the green light to BRT and defining the BRT network.
Q: When will construction start?
Construction for BRT is scheduled to begin in 2020. 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.