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You can comment on Dundas bus rapid transit project: Virtual open house until April 30



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^ Proposed Dundas bus rapid transit corridor. Image: Metrolinx. Click to enlarge.

Metrolinx is working with the cities of Burlington, Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto, the Town of Oakville and the regions of Halton and Peel to evaluate a proposal for a bus-rapid transit corridor on a 48-kilometre stretch of Dundas Street between Highway 6 in Hamilton through to the Kipling Transit Hub in Toronto. Through more than 20 kilometres of the corridor, buses would operate in bus lanes or in a dedicated right-of-way, separate from other traffic, Metrolinx says, “allowing faster and more reliable transit connections.”

Previous municipal planning studies and the Metrolinx initial business case (IBC) (.pdf) confirmed the need for better bus-transit infrastructure on Dundas Street. Metrolinx is now advancing plans for the Dundas Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

Starting Monday, April 19, you can comment on plans for the project during a virtual open house. Visit the Dundas BRT page of the Metrolinx Engage site to review the plans and offer your feedback until April 30.


In September 2020, Metrolinx completed and published the IBC to assess the need for the Dundas BRT. According to the regional transit agency, the document provides “an evidence-based assessment of the case for investment in the new rapid transit corridor.” The IBC provides the necessary information for decision-makers, stakeholders and the public as an important part of the transparent and evidenced-based decision-making process. This document:

  • confirms the problem or opportunity and identifies a set of investments that could address them;
  • provides a high-level range of varying investments that could be implemented; and
  • gives insights and recommendations for future work.

The authors of the IBC identify Dundas as a major east-west corridor, formerly provincial Highway 5, that connects hundreds of thousands of people in major urban centres. With the Dundas BRT, Metrolinx and the municipalities aim to solve a series of problems, including:

  • Providing faster, more reliable public transit: Expanding east-west transit service on Dundas would allow for more frequent and reliable services between key centres and reduce travel times. This would improve transit’s role as an alternative to automobile trips along the corridor and alleviate congestion.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions - A Dundas BRT will encourage sustainable travel behaviour change by increasing access to reliable and convenient public transit and making it a viable competitor to the personal vehicle. Less vehicles sitting in congestion also means less harmful pollutants in our atmosphere.
  • Improve connectivity - Trips within municipal borders represent 84 per cent of the daily travel demand along the corridor. Low inter-municipal travel demand suggests phasing better transit service along the corridor, linking several urban centres and key destinations and developing a rapid transit network.
  • Aligning investment to support growth** - The Dundas BRT will facilitate transit-oriented communities (TOC) around the Dundas Corridor to accommodate projected growth in population and employment. Better transit services along the corridor have the potential to support growth plans, local businesses and the development of mobility hubs.

The IBC evaluated the early-stage feasibility of the Dundas BRT by examining the strategic, economic, financial and deliverability and operations cases. The IBC found that the BRT could:

  • accommodate more than 30,000 new net daily transit riders;
  • benefit traffic flow, resulting in 345,000 to 555,000 hours of decongestion benefits per year;
  • decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 to 600,000 tonnes per year;
  • unlock economic and regional development by connecting rapid transit to 230,000 to 465,000 jobs within two kilometres of the catchment area (about a 10-minute walk);
  • offer frequent rapid-transit service to 600,000 to 1,000,000 people living within two kilometres of the corridor; and
  • reduce transit commute times along the corridor by about 14 minutes on average.

Metrolinx will incorporate information from previous efforts to study the Dundas corridor into this project. The IBC defines the preferred BRT strategy and will guide the early designs to address challenges (or “pinch points”) along the route.

Mississauga City Council completed and endorsed the Dundas Connects Master Plan in 2018. The master plan identified several issues, which Metrolinx will further explore, as part of the current work:

  • the type of transit suitable for the corridor;
  • opportunities to enhance connectivity along the corridor;
  • streetscape design and active transportation facilities; and
  • initial design solutions to constrained sections of the corridor.

Service concepts

Metrolinx proposes three possible service concepts for the Dundas BRT.

  1. Through-running service

    • A set of east-west BRT services that typically originate north or south of the corridor, but all services end at the Kipling Transit Hub:
  • Dundas / Highway 407 carpool lot (Burlington) - Kipling;
  • University of Toronto Mississauga campus - Kipling;
  • Bronte Road (Oakville) - Kipling; and
  • McMaster University (Hamilton) - Kipling.

Dundas BRT - service concept_1.png

^ Image, Metrolinx.

  1. Segmented service

    • A set of east-west BRT services that typically originate north or south of the corridor, but only some services end at the Kipling Transit Hub.
  • Highway 407 carpool lot - Sheridan College Trafalgar campus (Oakville);
  • University of Toronto - Kipling;
  • McMaster University - Highway 407 carpool lot; and
  • Sheridan College - University of Toronto - Renforth Transitway Station.

Dundas BRT - service concept_2.png

^ Image, Metrolinx.

  1. Overlapping service

    • A combination of Concepts 1 and 2, with some services running the entire length of the corridor and other services connecting the corridor to locations north or south of Dundas Street.
  • Sheridan College - Kipling;
  • University of Toronto - Kipling;
  • McMaster - Kipling;
  • Bronte Road - University of Toronto - Renforth; and
  • Highway 407 carpool lot - Sheridan College - Oakville GO Station.

Dundas BRT - service concept_3.png

^ Image, Metrolinx.


Pinch points

Metrolinx has identified several sites along the route that require further study. These locations or “pinch points”, are areas of special interest where necessary road widening is constrained by the environment or where other design challenges are present (for example, integrating BRT service into and gaining access to, a transit station). The study of each portion of the route includes analysiing the pinch points. This will consider and assess a variety of environmental factors to identify a plan balancing impacts and project needs.

Toronto

  • The East Mall to Aukland Road; and
  • Kipling Transit Hub / Aukland Road east terminus.

Dundas BRT - Toronto section.png

^ Image, Metrolinx. Click to enlarge.

Mississauga

  • Cooksville - between Confederation Parkway and Jaguar Valley Drive; and
  • Erindale / Credit Valley area.

Dundas BRT - Mississauga section.png

^ Image, Metrolinx. Click to enlarge.


What happens next

Metrolinx is completing studies to identify the baseline conditions, determine any potential for impacts and propose measures to mitigate potential negative impacts for Toronto and Mississauga, as part of the transit project assessment process or TPAP. The Government of Ontario requires municipalities and transit agencies to complete this process before the project can proceed.

Various municipalities have previously studied much of the corridor in Halton Region and Hamilton. The corridor in this area is wide enough (or soon will be) for bus rapid transit. In Halton Region, the curb lanes can accommodate potential high occupancy vehicle or bus-only lanes in the future.

After completing the TPAP and receiving Ontario’s approval to proceed, Metrolinx will develop a preliminary design business case (PDBC). The PDBC will build on the Dundas BRT initial business case that Metrolinx developed in 2020. Typically, by completing the PDBC, Metrolinx can secure funding from the Province for procurement and construction. In the PDBC, Metrolinx staff will compare the BRT corridor against a “business-as-usual” scenario (meaning, without the project). The staff will espcially focus on a more detailed service plan and stop locations•The PDBC will also identify risks or barriers that may impact the project and infrastructure and policy measures which may support implementing it.

Dundas BRT - Preliminary_design_business_case.png

^ Image, Metrolinx. Click to enlarge.


Also note

The City of Hamilton has proposed a BRT line - the “L” line - between the village of Waterdown on Dundas Street to downtown Hamilton as part of its BLAST network of rapid-transit routes.

Metrolinx, the City of Hamilton and McMaster University proposed building a major transit hub on the university campus as part of the Hamilton light rail transit project. That project is now in limbo.

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^ Image, City of Hamilton.