LRT

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
Metrolinx
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

 

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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): http://bit.ly/BramptonLRTExtension [PDF avail on our website]. 7PM May 7 mtg. Meeting details here: http://bit.ly/FutureReadyMeeting

2) Brampton LRT Extension page on @CityBrampton website: http://bit.ly/BramptonLRTExtension

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

#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:

Chart

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:
Ridership
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.


Mississauga’s
 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;
Sheppard
3. Fully grade separated the Eglinton West LRT. It’s not needed. Star article here.