Find out how Metrolinx is bringing more rapid transit to Durham Region

Metrolinx is working to bring new rapid transit options to the region of Durham. Learn how you can get involved in the newest rapid transit project in the works – the Durham-Scarborough BRT.

Bus rapid transit (BRT) is one of lesser-known heroes of the public transit world.

It’s not all about the trains.

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.

The Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a 36-kilometer bus rapid transit corridor that would serve Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Scarborough, and connect with Scarborough Centre, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and the TTC’s Line 2, Line 3 and future Scarborough subway extension.

Dedicated centre-running bus lanes are recommended, where feasible, to improve travel times and increased reliability for the TTC and DRT buses that will use the lanes.

The project is currently in the design phase and local residents can find out more by attending the next round of live virtual engagements on Tuesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. specific to the Town of Whitby to present updated plans to residents on the  proposed transit project. To find out more details or to register for the event, click here.  

The Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit project is part of Metrolinx’s 2041 Regional Transportation Plan.

With transit ridership expected to rise across the region, a BRT line will increase the reliability of the existing PULSE service and reduce travel times.

The project, currently in the preliminary design and environmental assessment phase, would include dedicated transit lanes, smart traffic signals, and improved accessibility features at intersections, new sidewalks and cycling facilities.

The last consultation from November 2020 to January 2021 allowed Metrolinx to gather feedback on the proposed bus project.

An artist’s rendering shows what the Durham-Scarborough BRT project would bring to downtown Whitby. (Metrolinx rendering)

During that consultation, residents and businesses in the Whitby downtown area expressed concerns around the loss of on-street parking and potential traffic impacts. Metrolinx has a new design concept that includes relocating parking spots through downtown Whitby while maintaining one eastbound traffic lane.

The new design concept responds to these concerns, balancing transit priority, business access and traffic operations.

Metrolinx will host the fourth round of public consultation in Spring/Summer 2021 where the community again will be able to share thoughts and feedback on the new bus rapid transit line.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications senior advisor