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“It’s not all about the trains,” Metrolinx studying Bus Rapid Transit for Durham, Scarborough

 

“It’s not all about the trains,” Metrolinx studying Bus Rapid Transit for Durham, Scarborough

John Best

Metrolinx is considering building a 36-kilometre bus rapid transit corridor between Oshawa and Scarborough.

The transit agency says the multi-year project is currently in the preliminary design phase.

They’re looking at implementing dedicated, centre-running bus lanes through Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Scarborough. Those lanes would give buses the priority at intersections.

The rapid transit corridor could connect with the Scarborough Centre, the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus and the TTC’s Line 2, Line 3 and future Scarborough subway extension.

Other considerations for the project include smart traffic signals, new sidewalks or cycling facilities and improved accessibility features at intersections.

A virtual event for Whitby residents and business owners will be held on Tuesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Another round of public consultations will be launched over the spring, where the broader community will be able to share feedback or suggestions.

Bus Rapid Transit increasingly becoming an option

On its website Metrolinx notes that Bus Rapid Transit is increasingly becoming an option for transit operators. Writing, “It’s not all about the trains. Bus rapid transit (BRT) is one of lesser-known heroes of the public transit world. Buses are one of the most cost-effective ways of moving people around the world. BRTs are roadways or lanes that are dedicated to buses and gives priority to buses at intersections. BRT projects exist right here in Ontario, including Mississauga and Ottawa. It doesn’t stop there either. Another one is in the works on the east side of the Greater Toronto Area.” Meanwhile Toronto council has ordered two studies into possible Bus Rapid Transit to replace the Scarborough RT which is at the end of its useful lifecycle. The first study will look at converting the elevated SRT structure into an above-grade Bus Rapid Transit. The second would consider the feasibility of removing the elevated SRT infrastructure altogether and operating an at-grade Bus Rapid Transit.

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