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What is BRT?

A rapid transit plan for London

 

In the next 20 years, London is expected to grow by 84,000 people. Rapid transit is part of a city-wide plan to give every resident choices for convenient, safe, accessible transportation.

What’s included in the plans

Road upgrades

Most roads along the routes are due for necessary upgrades. That means they’ll be under construction soon – with or without rapid transit. As part of the budget, the project will widen streets and modernize major corridors. Like any city road project, construction will happen in phases, with lots of advance communication.

Better bus service

Rapid transit is part of a larger overhaul designed to improve bus service across the city. With rapid transit, Londoners will have access to more service, system wide. Many local bus routes will see more frequent service, and in some neighbourhoods, LTC bus frequency will double. In others, routes will be extended into areas where service isn’t as strong now.

Smarter traffic systems

These are a key part of the plan . Beyond prioritizing lights to help rapid transit buses get where they’re going on time, they’ll spot traffic patterns throughout London, so signals can be altered when necessary to ease congestion for commuters across the city.

Dedicated bus lanes

Travelling in dedicated lanes, rapid transit buses will be predictable and reliable for London’s increasing numbers of transit users, because they won’t mix with general traffic. Dedicated lanes are also designed to benefit drivers and ease congestion, because they keep buses separate from general traffic lanes.

Reliability

Rapid transit buses will be reliable, because they will travel in transit-only lanes, separate from general traffic. 

Modern stops

Rapid transit stops will have protected shelters and benches. They will be accessible and equipped with updated bus schedules and real-time information so you’ll know where your bus is, and when it will arrive.

Demand for bus service

London has one of the province’s highest bus ridership rates per capita outside of Toronto. Londoners take more than 22.6 million rides on buses each year.

Chart showing the LTC ridership

Download a PDF version of the graphic.

Connecting our city

Rapid transit will connect many key London establishments – from post-secondary institutions, hospitals and shopping centres to banks, manufacturing firms and businesses that fuel London’s rapidly growing high-tech industry. The business plans highlight these connections as a way to help London employers recruit and retain skilled talent.

Expand the menus below to learn more about some expected impacts 

Since every transit trip starts and ends with active transportation (such as walking or biking), the plans prioritizes pedestrian and cycling connections near rapid transit stops. London’s Cycling Master Plan, London ON Bikes, will focus on improving these connections.

The London Plan envisions a city that grows in a compact way – taking advantage of existing infrastructure, lowering energy costs, reducing emissions, encouraging healthy lifestyles and minimizing intrusion into our agricultural lands. Rapid transit is designed to support and stimulate this shape of growth. It aims to pave the way for urban regeneration and support the vision to strengthen London’s downtown.

Rapid transit is expected to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Why not light rail for London?

Before bus rapid transit 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 a bus rapid transit system and defining the network.