What’s happening now
Study complete and provincial funding announced
London’s Rapid Transit Initiative recently marked two key milestones, with the completion of the Environmental Assessment and a provincial funding commitment.
On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the City received a “Notice to Proceed” from Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, indicating the completion of the Environmental Assessment for Rapid Transit. The notice allows the City to proceed with any or all components of the Rapid Transit project in accordance with the Environmental Project Report. The statement of completion is here.
In Spring 2019, Council prioritized three components of the plan to submit for senior government funding consideration. Those components are the Downtown Loop, Wellington Gateway and East London Link, which are outlined in detail below.
On Tuesday, June 25, these three projects were included in a $103.5-million funding commitment from Ontario’s Infrastructure Minister Laurie Scott. In total, the Province pledged support for 10 transit and transit-supportive local projects, ranging from rapid transit to smarter traffic signals, intersection improvements and enhanced connections for cycling and active transportation. The full details of the announcement can be found here.
The next step is for the federal government to review the 10 projects – including the three rapid transit initiatives – and make final funding decisions. Most of the projects – which are part of the City’s Transportation Master Plan – are shovel-ready. With federal funding, construction could begin on some of the projects as early as 2020.
The three rapid transit projects prioritized by the City and included in the provincial funding announcement are:
This loop frames Dundas Place, as shown here. Existing vehicle lanes will be maintained and bus lanes will not be enclosed by concrete medians. It will formalize transit operations already in place, improving traffic capacity in general traffic lanes and revitalizing 2 km of streets surrounding Dundas Place. While rebuilding the roads, the project will address necessary underground work, including replacing aging sewers and watermains.
This work will revitalize 6.8 kilometres of Wellington Road, between downtown and a park-and-ride facility at Highway 401, as shown here. The work will include intelligent traffic signals, widening to establish continuous lanes for rapid transit, improving the alignment of the Wellington S-curve and adding dedicated turn lanes at signalized intersections.
East London Link
The route, shown here, will connect East London with improved transit, connecting more people to jobs in the industrial lands, linking Fanshawe College’s eastern and downtown campuses, supporting revitalization of Old East Village and encouraging development of the former London Psychiatric Hospital and McCormick’s lands. The project will coordinate necessary underground work, and add dedicated turn lanes at signalized intersections.
Environmental Project Report
As part of the Transit Project Assessment Process, the City has completed an Environmental Project Report.
The report is the heart of London’s BRT project. It contains designs, potential project impacts, proposed recommendations and all supporting studies and background materials.