Transit advances for Peel Region – Initial business cases released for Queen Street-Hwy 7 and Dundas BRT

Two business cases show Queen Street-Hwy 7 and Dundas Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects would provide more reliable and seamless bus service to residents in Peel Region and beyond.

The end of the year is seeing continued future transit advances for travellers in Peel Region.

Two important initial business cases have recently been released – for the Queen-Hwy 7 and Dundas Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). As they point to more reliable and seamless bus journeys, let’s dig into some of the points found in the reports, as well as how they both fit into a wider call for improved transit options, even beyond Peel.

One of the key strategies of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan is the implementation of the Frequent Rapid Transit Network (FRTN); establishing rapid transit on a number of key corridors across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Included in the FRTN are bus rapid transit projects along Queen Street in Brampton and Highway 7 in York Region, connecting to the existing Viva Network, and along Dundas Street between Kipling Station and through Mississauga.

There is a demonstrated need to provide rapid transit connections within the Peel Region, and adjacent regions, in order to meet current and future demand, while supporting a shift to more sustainable modes of transport.

The Metrolinx business cases help assess the benefits, costs, and impacts of a range of potential transportation investments. The initial business case compare investment options and selects a preferred option for further refinement and design. They are also typically used to secure funding for planning and preliminary design.

QUEEN STREET – HWY 7 BRT

The IBC for the Queen Street-Hwy 7 BRT project identifies a 24 kilometre bus rapid transit corridor from the current YRT Viva infrastructure terminus at Helen Street in York Region to Mississauga Road in Brampton. The results of the IBC showed significant benefits from extending the frequent transit network through York Region and Brampton, including travel time savings, increased transit ridership, shaping growth, and improved quality of life.

Like many important corridors in the region, the Queen Street – Highway 7 corridor has seen increased levels of residential  and mixed-use development. The Queen Street – Highway 7 corridor is a crucial transportation route connecting people through the cities of Brampton and Vaughan, to and from key transportation stops such as York University, downtown Brampton, and downtown Toronto, namely by the TTC subway Line 1 at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station.

Bus rapid transit has a proven track record in the region and the future Queen Street – Highway 7 BRT will build on this by integrating with the existing York Region Transit (YRT) Viva rapidway network on Highway 7. This corridor will connect communities and provide a link between Brampton and Vaughan to support long term growth and development.

DUNDAS BRT

Image shows a route map.

The scope of the Dundas BRT IBC evaluates the options for a Bus Rapid Transit corridor along a 40 km. section of Dundas Street between Kipling Subway Station, in Toronto, and the village of Waterdown in Hamilton, referred to as the Dundas Corridor. The corridor is forecasted to see significant growth and development, making it one of the key areas of the GTHA for living and working.

By 2041, six per cent of all employment in the GTHA and eight per cent of the region’s total population will be living along the Dundas Corridor. It will also contain nine per cent of all population growth and six per cent of employment growth across the GTHA. The Dundas BRT will address existing and future challenges in the transit network and ultimately support community integration and improve the quality of life of those living and working along the corridor.

The IBCs are just the first step. Metrolinx is working with partners in Brampton and Mississauga on the planning and design of the two BRTs. Throughout the planning process, Metrolinx will be engaging with residents living, working and travelling along the corridors to share information, better understand local impacts and discuss a design that works best for the communities involved.

To read the initial business cases, click here for the Queen Street-Hwy 7 BRT and here for the Dundas BRT.

Story by Aman Gill, Metrolinx senior advisor – Public Engagement