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Mississauga considering light-rail system like Ottawa's


A light-rail system would alleviate some of the congestion along Mississauga's Hurontario Street/Highway 10 corridor.
Photograph by : Peter Redman, National Post
Kelly Patrick, National Post

Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Could Mississauga residents ever find themselves riding a sleek and comfortable light-rail train through their city?

It's possible. This year, the city will launch a study of so-called "higher-order" transit along its Hurontario Street/Highway 10 corridor, a thoroughfare that already attracts nearly a quarter of Mississauga Transit's daily users.

Martin Powell, Mississauga's commissioner of transportation and works, said the study will consider several options to quickly move passengers along the corridor, including signal priority, bus-only lanes and a light-rail link.

"I would say that we're not there today but we could be in the future, depending on how development actually occurs along Hurontario," Mr. Powell said.

With Hurontario acting as a magnet for development -- especially in the city centre -- the idea would be to move residents living near the street quickly within Mississauga and Brampton and connect them to other transit options, like Go Transit bus and rail services.

In Ottawa, an eight-kilometre light-rail link through Carleton University has proven so popular, the capital has decided to add another 28 kilometres to the system.

"It's actually been very successful," said HeIen Gault, the acting director of transit services for OC Transpo. "In terms of ridership, the O-Train has exceeded expectations."

Ms. Gault said the O-Train carries about 10,000 passengers a day. Ground is expected to be broken on the expansion in September, with an opening date slated for sometime in 2009.

"The O-Train captured people's imagination," Ms. Gault said. "It's beautiful, it's comfortable and there's something very special about it."

Mississauga rapid transit plan on the fast track

Mississauga rapid transit plan on the fast track

City believes province is on the cusp of funding its bus-only lanes

From the glass-walled cafeteria atop Mississauga's City Hall, planner Jim Doran points out the sparkling new highrises recently erected in the centre of his city.

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Otherwise, you have to pick up today's Post, page A12

Re: Mississauga rapid transit plan on the fast track

Great stuff, FM! Although, I have to wonder if the City has some inside track on funding announcements by the Province, or if they are starting the ball rolling without funding in the hope that the province will be pressured into getting on board.
Hazel works sometimes in mysterious ways!:)
Re: Mississauga rapid transit plan on the fast track

What's happeneing with the plans they unveiled earlier last year for BRT? And Brampton's Acceleride? LRT would be nice. Where would it go though?
Why can't they just get regular streetcar light-rail like the rest of us?
Why bother with light-rail? Mississauga will always be a car-dependant suburb. It would make more sense to widen Hurontario street, or build a north-south highway.
Do they actually mean a streetcar when they speak of light rail?
I don't think so because OC Transpo uses actual trains.
(They're designed to be used as trains in Europe but can't be used as such here because of North American safety standards (train are not heavy enough) so they are used for local public transit purposes.)
Clarification: they're not technically light-rail but are used as such.
^In regards to safety standards, I believe the issue is that the train sets cannot be run on the same tracks that freight and VIA's current passenger rail fleet are run on. They could be used with other trains on a mixed passenger network if the other train sets used werent so large. There are also various version of what often appears to be the same train set which offer a range of options from being run as a more urban tram or as a regional commuter train that can run on the same tracks as other, often larger passenger train sets.

I would imagine that Mississauga would use something a little lighter than the Bombardier Talent they use in Ottawa, but I could be mistaken.
I think they mean light rail as in trams which can cross intersections at grade and don't require much infrastructure as stops like many street trams in Europe but with more of a dedicated ROW.
Mississauga `praying' for transit funds

Mississauga `praying' for transit funds
Mar. 1, 2006. 01:00 AM

Mississauga wants to get commuters out of their cars and onto public transit — all the city needs is about $265 million to do it.

The city has had plans for a bus rapid transit system (BRT) along the Highway 403 corridor, a key link in a proposed Greater Toronto BRT network, since 1989, but never the funding needed from provincial or federal governments to build it.

"We're ready to go. We've got the environmental assessment done," Mississauga planning commissioner Ed Sajecki said in an interview yesterday. All that's needed is the money.

He's optimistic a provincial growth management strategy to be released this spring is a prelude to major announcements on infrastructure funding, including public transit projects like the Mississauga BRT.

"We're hoping and praying for it (funding)," Mayor Hazel McCallion said in an interview at a transit conference in Mississauga yesterday.

"I did talk to the premier about it in January. As a result of that, there has been some movement on it, but nothing definite. I'm encouraged, though. Once you get to the premier, things start to happen.

"The province has said it needs federal funding for one-third of the cost. I'm meeting with Mr. (Federal Finance Minister Jim) Flaherty next week and will be making every effort to get his government on board," McCallion said.

The Mississauga BRT "will be a key component of our future transit strategy in the Greater Golden Horseshoe," Ontario transportation minister Harinder Takhar told the conference, but didn't offer any timetable on funding.

It's vital that the rapid transit route be built to ease current traffic congestion and prevent it from growing worse as more development occurs in the Mississauga city centre, immediately south of Highway 403, McCallion said.

Her city has ambitious plans to develop a vibrant downtown, but efficient public transit is needed to keep people out of their cars. The city has approved 30 highrise condominium projects that will bring about 12,300 more people into the city centre in the next 10 years.

GO Transit and municipal transit authorities in Halton, Peel, York and Durham support a broader plan for a $1 billion bus rapid transit system from Oakville to Pickering, with major connections at the Mississauga city centre, Pearson International Airport, York University and the Markham Town Centre.

There would be links to subway stations at Kipling, Downsview, Finch, Don Mills, Castle Frank and Scarborough Town Centre.

Mississauga is also looking at developing some form of rapid transit (bus or light rail) along the Hurontario St. corridor that would provide a major link with the BRT at Highway 403. A study will be launched this spring. Hurontario is Mississauga's busiest and fastest-growing transit corridor.

Re: Mississauga `praying' for transit funds

Hey FM, any word on the Kipling station redevelopment? Everything in Etobicoke seems to have been in limbo for the last couple of years awaiting funding for this project.
Re: Mississauga `praying' for transit funds

Currently Ottawa plans to dump the Talent trains in favour of a Minniapolis/Dallas et al type of electric light rail system.

Comments on the ability to run the Talents with heavy rail (VIA or freight) are correct.
Re: Mississauga `praying' for transit funds

It would be pretty amazing if Mississauga were to get money for both systems. The first system could benefit more voters since it covers lots of areas. However it would be expensive to operate and probably be more harmful than positive for urbanity and discouraging car use.

The Hurontario right-of-way is transit however, and would help people get around the area as well as encourage smart growth. The only disadvantage is that it only helps out one city unless it can be linked to Brampton. Bus lanes along Hurontario if given priority would cost little and would be a good first step towards strengthening transit on the corridor.

The main advantage of buses would be cheapness and easy extension to Brampton. The Province has not been very eager to fund transit for many years and this or even more the 403 busway would fit in with their transportation strategy.
A true lrt down Hurontario would really help Mississauga, but it could not be extended to Brampton cheaply. Takhar is from Mississauga but thus far roads and GO (regional transit) have been his thing. I would give it over 90% chance that buses (not lrt) are chosen and that some form of 403 busway goes ahead. Express GO trains- express buses-car based regional transit as well as regional highways has been the approach thus far.

They would have run the highway 7 buses along the 407 'transitway' from parking lot to parking lot as planned, but found out that the contract said that the company didn't have to, which is why VIVA is instead using highway 7. Ironically the 407 is still labelled as a transitway on Official Plans. The 407 would allow them on the roadway but they would have to pay the bus rate and would be charged high rates if they tried to build their own stops and parking lots along the highway (think GO on CN rail lines) Bus or rail priority would be pretty expensive to come by on the 407.
Re: Mississauga `praying' for transit funds

Currently Ottawa plans to dump the Talent trains in favour of a Minniapolis/Dallas et al type of electric light rail system.

They finally decided? This project seems to operate much of the time in semi-top secret mode.