Despite our best efforts, and the efforts of new friends such as OneBrampton, Bramptonist, and 4CornersBrampton — who through our combined efforts were able to retrieve years of reports and plans, discover that 73% supported the Main St. alignment for LRT, and twice encouraged an overwhelming number of people to appear before Council to express their support — Council instead voted against the Main St. alignment permanently. For the foreseeable future, The LRT will stop at Steeles Ave. in Brampton.
Obviously, this outcome disappoints us. In spite of sound planning practices and evidence, council decided to reject the Metrolinx $400 million offer of superceding the 502 ZUM route with higher order transit into downtown Brampton. We are certain that this will pose significant challenges as alternate routes now need detailed study [PDF], which has not yet begun. Brampton is back to the drawing board, circa 2009. Meanwhile the city’s population and transit ridership continues it’s upward growth.
We are disappointed, but not discouraged. Brampton Council must show leadership on its vision for transit infrastructure for downtown.
The value proposition of any proposal needs to be well understood and articulated. The loss of efficiency needs to have a reasonable compromise for added cost to taxpayers and value for its ridership. We expect that all routes considered are given the same careful consideration and analysis as the Main St surface alignment. Transit building isn’t fast, easy, or simple, and we expect the highest standards from Council. We expect evidence-based planning and good urban planning and transit principals around connectivity and easy transfers.
Brampton: Your council representatives will need your help. Presently, the Queen Street Master Plan is in the procurement stages. It will be years before before the study and Environmental Assessment is complete. The study on electrification of the Kitchener corridor is also underway, but not ready.
GO Transit will soon be launching an Environmental Assessment for a third track between Mount Pleasant and the Etobicoke Creek. This will allow more GO trains through Brampton, building on phase one of all-day, two-way service that we now have. There will be public meetings associated with this EA. Also, a Mobility Hub Study might start soon for the Brampton GO Station and Brampton bus terminal. There are lots of opportunities to enhance the connection between GO Transit, Brampton Transit, cycling, walking, and carpooling.
Fight Gridlock will track these projects, and continue advocating for best practices and fact-based decisions. We’ll be reorganizing the site a little bit to better track them all, and present what we know to the public.
Thank you for your support. Stay tuned.