Kitchener Line Updates #brampoli #gotransit #onpoli

Our group follows the Kitchener Line closely as members of our group use the line each day for commuting, to attend medical appointments, or to catch sports games in Toronto. Also, there’s a municipal election happening right now in Brampton (and a recent provincial election), and more GO train service has been raised and discussed by candidates and residents.

We also want a Kitchener Line that brings people to Brampton for live-work-play-school. So here are some recent updates on what’s happening for the Kitchener Line. Metrolinx also hosts a dedicated page for the Kitchener Line here.

  1. Media article: “Overnight [Guelph] track improvements to continue until the end of the year, says Metrolinx.”
    • This article notes that track improvements will improve the speed on the Line through Guelph. Specific work includes upgrading two level crossings, replacing ties and ballasts and adding fencing.


  2. September 2018 Metrolinx Report
    • In this report, it notes: “Strategic passenger & freight rail: A Quality Based Selection (QBS) tender was released in June 2018 to study options for journey time and service frequency improvements on the Kitchener Corridor. Some of these options anticipate the construction of a freight bypass to facilitate the separation of passenger and freight rail traffic on the Halton Subdivision.”


  3. Bramalea Station Interim Control By-law Extended for another year
    • The City of Brampton is doing planning work for the area around the Bramalea GO Station. As part of this work they passed a by-law and have now extended it until October 11, 2019. Metrolinx is also doing construction to upgrade the Bramalea Station and work continues.


  4. Metrolinx town hall Q and A
    • Metrolinx held a recent question and answer session with their senior management where they took questions online, from social media, and from audience members. A Kitchener Line commuter asked about the status of the Kitchener Line service improvements and discussions with CN Rail who own the tracks between Bramalea and Georgetown. Here is a video timed to the question and response from Phil Verster, CEO of Metrolinx. Worth a watch.



Letter to the Metrolinx Board Highlighting Brampton Topics

Metrolinx allows for written deputations for their Board meetings and in the past we’ve submitted feedback on issues that matter to Brampton residents. The Board met today and as we’ve done in the past, we submitted a letter to highlight topics important to Brampton residents. PDF version of our letter is available here. Text version below.

The letter notes a number of staff reports before the Board and you can see a copy of those reports here. The meetings are livestreamed and then available on Metrolinx’s YouTube channel.

Let us know if you have any feedback on the letter. Also, we’re always looking for volunteers to advocate for transit and active transportation so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Donald Wright, Chair
97 Front St W, 4th floor
Toronto, Ontario  M5J 1E6

September 13, 2018

Dear Mr. Wright,

We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide feedback on a number of items before the Board at your September 14, 2018 meeting.

First, congratulations on being appointed Chair of the Metrolinx Board. Fight Gridlock in Brampton is a Brampton-based group of residents who volunteer to advocate for more rapid transit investment, transit service improvements, and active transportation for our city.

We’ve reviewed the agenda package for the meeting and provide the following comments:

Item No. 8 RTP/”Making it Happen” Update, page 5

“Strategic passenger & freight rail: A Quality Based Selection (QBS) tender was released in June 2018 to study options for journey time and service frequency improvements on the Kitchener Corridor. Some of these options anticipate the construction of a freight bypass to facilitate the separation of passenger and freight rail traffic on the Halton Subdivision.”

It’s encouraging to hear that progress is being made for more GO train service west of Bramalea Station. We continue to encourage Metrolinx, CN Rail, the Province, the Federal government, and the City of Brampton to work collaboratively on increasing capacity and service.

Item No. 12 Quarterly Reports, 12.4 Capital Projects

Page 2 – it’s always helpful to see Table 1: Program Overview which outlines the budget – including the $2.25B for the Kitchener Bypass – of the Metrolinx Capital projects.

Page 3 –  Hurontario LRT – it’s great to hear the RFP is “in-market” and we hope a decision and the awarding of the contract can be done soon.

Page 7 – Highway 401/409 Tunnel – this is an important project for the Kitchener Line and we’re pleased to read that design is nearing 60% completion. Also on this page, there is a reference made to work taking place at the Bramalea GO Station. We sincerely hope that active transportation is being taking into consideration for the Bramalea Station revitalization. Particularly, people walking and cycling from the streets fronting the property should have a safe and dedicated way to get to the station building. Please pass this comment to the design team.

Page 9 – Kitchener Extension – our feedback is that we think this heading should be called the “Freight Bypass for the Kitchener Line” in the future to add clarity.

Also, it’s great to hear that 12-coach trains will finally be added to the Kitchener Line. Our observation is that ridership is increasing on the Kitchener Line and 12-coach trains are very much needed.

Thank you to Metrolinx staff for all their hard work at expanding transit for our region and for Brampton.

– Members of Fight Gridlock in Brampton

cc: Mayor Jeffrey

Brampton’s MPPs

Minister of Transportation

Chris Duyvestyn, P.Eng., Director, Transportation Special Projects, City of Brampton

Darshpreet Bhatti, P.Eng., Director, Hurontario Light Rail, Metrolinx


Two important links for #brampoli to be aware of

Two important links for #brampoli to be aware of:

1) Future Ready report (our comment on it is pending): [PDF avail on our website]. 7PM May 7 mtg. Meeting details here:

2) Brampton LRT Extension page on @CityBrampton website:

We’ve asked for an ETA on display boards being available online.

Concept Released Images for the Ryerson Brampton Campus, Centre of Innovation #brampoli #Ryerson #onpse #cdnpse #onpoli

The City of Brampton has added concept images for the new Ryerson University campus at the Brampton GO Station, and for the Centre for Innovation.

*important to note that these are concept images and may not show everything to scale, or all infrastructure details*


MR 18_038 Rendering- NorthWestMR 18_038 Uni MapMR 18_038 Uni Rendering- SouthView

#brampoli Federal Transit Money for Brampton: Formula and Clarification on Mississauga’s Allotment

Last week there was a federal announcement for transit funding for Ontario. The Province provided matching funding and we assume municipalities have the option to contribute an amount they choose to.

There was some discussion in the #brampoli hashtag on how the funding was calculated for Brampton. First, here’s what was announced:


And here’s the specific Brampton reference:

Chart 2

How was the money for Brampton calculated?  We contacted the Minister of Infrastructure office and received the below reply.

“Allocations for public transit for Phase 2 were developed from the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s (CUTA) 2015 Fact Book for conventional ridership, as this is the most recent data available. Specialized transit figures were also included, where applicable. These numbers were complemented with data provided by the provinces for non-CUTA recognized systems.

The calculation for the province [Ontario] was based on 70% ridership and 30% population formula. Within the province, allocations to each system were done on a 100% ridership basis.”

We thank the Minister’s office for their reply. Further, they got back to us quickly and we simply used the email address on the news release. We would encourage people to send an email and ask for specific details if they are required because it can sometimes be helpful at getting a complete picture.

What was Brampton Transit’s ridership in 2015? This blog post by Sean Marshall provides the response:
Sean notes that this is from: “GTHA transit agency annual growth rates, 2013 to 2015. Adapted from TTC 2016 Ridership Update, page 5.
We’re posting this for information purposes and are not suggesting that this is a good or not so good formula. We simply hope it addresses the question raised.

 Allocation: Did they get $800 million from the federal government?

In addition to the formula discussion above, there was some in #brampoli who suggested that the City of Mississauga received $800 million from the federal government. This is not correct as shown in the chart below (total column added by us).Media preview

Further, in this news release by the City of Mississauga.

“Today’s investment will see over $800 million in dedicated funds – including matching funds from the province and the City of Mississauga – flow to the City of Mississauga over the next decade. This is good news for our community, our residents, and our future growth as a city. Mississauga is home to almost 800,000 residents from every country, and over 88,000 businesses. We are a city in demand and a place where the world comes to work. High-quality infrastructure allows us to compete on a global stage, attract new business, and most importantly, create jobs for our residents.

The key words in the news release are “including matching funds from the province and the City of Mississauga” (emphasis added)

To be clear, the City of Mississauga did not receive $800 million just from the federal government. The City itself made a contribution to get the number to $800 million. So, we look forward to seeing what the City of Brampton decides to do.

 Providing this information isn’t meant as a comment on the broader issue of regional transit funding fairness. In fact, our group is very clear that we think several projects in Brampton would be a better use of provincial and federal funding on an evidence-based basis rather than:
1. The one-stop Scarborough subway, which has seen its ridership projections drop, capital budget go up, bus travel times increased and route shortened. There’s a great article in the Star here explaining the situation.
2. Converting the planned Sheppard LRT to a subway. Our fellow transit advocates at CodeRedTO have provided the below graph;
3. Fully grade separated the Eglinton West LRT. It’s not needed. Star article here.

Public Transit vs. Private Car Costs

I (Kevin, Co-Founder of Fight Gridlock) was recently asked about transit costs compared to the cost of private car ownership.

“We ought to be looking for ways to make the costs of public transportation as near to free as we can. If we calculated all the costs of having someone drive a car versus taking transit – It probably cost society far more for the car driver – that the car driver doesn’t pay themselves. We all do. And this is without putting a cost on the environmental impact.”

Fight Gridlock fully acknowledges that nothing is “free”. Like anything else, transportation funding is always about “how much does it cost”, and “who’s going to pay for it”. That said, this is an interesting enough topic to dive into to better understand how transportation is funded and value for money.

This article will look at the topic in two ways:

  1. What is the out-of-pocket cost for these trips?
  2. What is the cost to society to enable trips by public transportation vs. private automobile.

Internalized (Out-Of-Pocket) Costs

Private Automobile

Generally, the variables in private automobile transportation are what kind of automobile, whether it is new or used, how many automobiles, and how much mileage is applied. This could be influenced by lifestyle stages such as whether a person has a partner or not, and whether children are being transported regularly. This article will explore a few scenarios, with all costs cited from CAA Driving Costs Calculator, Province of Ontario. Annual mileage of 20,000km on a new automobile is assumed.

Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 10:19pm

Scenario Car Ownership Annual Cost
One Adult, No Kids Compact Car $7,534.81
One Adult, Two Kids Van $9,874.18
Two Adults, No Kids Two Compact Cars $15,069.62
Two Adults, Two Kids One Compact Car,
One Van


Public Transit

Let’s build out the same scenarios using public transit. There is some overlap in variables, but there are also unique differences. For example: Committing to owning a van accumulates costs whether the van is used to full capacity of not. While monthly public transit passes are available for children, they are not always the best use of money if a child does not need public transit every day. This article will assume the purchase of Brampton Transit monthly passes.

Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 10:35pm

Scenario Monthly Passes Annual Cost
One Adult, No Kids One Adult $122 * 12

= $1,464
One Adult, Two Kids One Adult
Two Child/Youth
$122 * 12 = $1,464
$105 * 12 = $1,260

$1,464 + $1,260 + $1,260

= $3,984
Two Adults, No Kids Two Adult $122 * 12 = $1,464

$1,464 + $1,464

= $2,928

Two Adults, Two Kids Two Adult
Two Child/Youth
$122 * 12 = $1,464
$105 * 12 = $1,260

$1,464 + $1,464 + $1,260 + $1,260

= $5,448


Externalized (Socialized) Costs

The tricky thing about public transit is that some of the cost is recovered at the fare box, and the rest is paid for by taxes — which every Brampton resident pays into. Further confounding the matter is that cost recovery is not limited to Brampton residents. This brings us to the second part of this article: What is the cost to enable trips by public transportation vs. private automobile?

2017 Brampton Transit Costs

Operational Costs Source:
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:43pm

Capital Costs Source:
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:43pm

Item 2017 Cost
Operations (Drivers, Staff Wages) $136,909,597
Capital (New Buses) $71,421,000
Total $208,330,597


This total cost does not take into consideration any grants received by the provincial government, or any cost recovery from the fare box.

Factoring In Census Data

Census Source:
Last accessed: February 24, 2018, 11:59pm

Census data suggests that Brampton’s population was 593,638 people in 2016, and that an estimated 13.96% of the population uses public transit as their main mode of travel. This works out to be an estimated 82,872 people.

The same census data suggests that 75.89% of Brampton’s population is a driver of a car, truck, or van as their main mode of travel. This works out to be an estimated 450,512 people.

What Are The Costs?

A cost of $208,330,597 to provide transit to approximately 82,872 people amounts to a full cost of approximately $2,513.88 per person annually.

If an estimated 450,512 people each pay $7,534.81 per year to drive a compact car, this amounts to a total of $3,394,522,322.72 — that’s over 3 BILLION DOLLARS — being paid into a system to support private automobile transport.

Even with no cost recovery at the fare box, a fully subsidized transit system costs 3 times less per person than what it costs for the public to pay for private automobile ownership.

The total contribution being paid to support private automobile ownership is more than 16 times higher than the total cost of the entire Brampton Transit system.

The Province Decides Not to Proceed with GTA West/Highway 413

We received this email:

“Good afternoon,

As you may be aware, in 2007, the Ministry of Transportation began the Greater Toronto Area West Corridor Environmental Assessment (GTA West EA) to identify and address transportation needs in this area, with a focus on developing transportation projects.

In December 2015, the Minister of Transportation suspended the GTA West EA, and the ministry committed to a review of the project with the assistance of an advisory panel.

On February 9, 2018, after reviewing the advice of the panel, the Minister of Transportation announced that the province will not proceed with an environmental assessment for a proposed highway in the GTA West corridor. The news release of the announcement can be found at:

However, the Ministry of Transportation and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), initiated a joint study to identify a smaller corridor that will be protected for future infrastructure needs, such as utilities, transit or other transportation options. The goal of the study is to ensure that lands are protected so that infrastructure required to support future growth and development in the region can be accommodated without more significant impacts to the environment and the Greenbelt.

The study area for the new joint study is approximately one-third of the size of the area covered by the focused analysis area from GTA West EA, and will be protected as the study moves forward over the next 9-12 months.  Information on the new study, including a map of the study area can be found at This study is not conducted as an environmental assessment, and any infrastructure development in the area would require the completion of an applicable environmental assessment.

For more information on the Northwest GTA Corridor Identification Study, please contact the study team by email at, or by phone at 1-877-663-7167.


Michael M. Casey
Manager, Provincial Planning Office
Ministry of Transportation
(416) 585-7255″