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City moving ahead with buses

Joseph Chin
Jun 3, 2006

The City of Mississauga isn't idling its engine waiting for Ottawa to come through with money for Mississauga's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
With $63 million from the Province already in the bank, City officials are moving ahead. They have created a BRT project team and are going to push the federal government for funding.

Hiring a project manager is the first step, and that person's priority will be to get Ottawa to loosen its purse strings, said Martin Powell, the City's commissioner of transportation.

City officials are banking on Ottawa kicking in a one-third share of the $185 million project price tag. Mississauga will pick up the final third of the cost. The City hopes to have the BRT running by 2011.

"Given the scale of (the) project and the time frames for completion, it is highly desirable that we begin work as soon as possible. There is considerable work to be done in obtaining federal funding as well as completing the land acquisition deals, obtaining the necessary approvals and procuring a contract for the design and construction of the BRT," said Powell.

"This work requires the dedicated resources of a project director and core team to be in place in order to advance these proposals."

Start-up costs for the City's BRT office are estimated at $640,000. The budget includes $250,000 for an environmental assessment, $150,000 for a business case and $100,000 in staff expenses for the balance of 2006.

The BRT would see buses-only lanes run from west Mississauga along Hwy. 403, Eastgate Pkwy. and Eglinton Ave. to Renforth Dr. In time, the BRT will offer links to Kipling subway station to the south and Pearson International Airport to the north.

The City will be responsible for management of the BRT along municipal roads, while the Province, through GO Transit, will oversee sections that run along Hwy. 403.

A study estimates that in five years the Mississauga portion of the BRT could attract nearly 10,000 passengers an hour during rush hour.

"The BRT is a key project conforming to the relevant urban and regional planning policies for the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel and the Province of Ontario, including the proposed growth plan for the Greater Horseshoe," said Powell.



Delay in federal funding leaves bus plan idle

Radhika Panjwani
Jun 18, 2006

The City's road map for a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route along Hwy. 403 and Eglinton Ave., currently is sitting idle pending federal funding.
In the meantime, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield reiterated a five-year plan for Southern Ontario highways, at a press conference June 16, which included $65 million for the development of Mississauga's transit way along the Hwy. 403 and Eglinton Ave., up to Renforth Dr.

Wendy Alexander, director of transportation and infrastructure planning for the City, said the provincial government had already paid its share of the funding which is being shared by all three levels of government.

"The BRT piece is essentially waiting for a signal from the federal government," Alexander said. "We were hoping to receive funding through the latest federal budget, which we clearly did not receive. We're talking with the federal government to see if we can get that process moving more quickly."

Alexander said an additional $2 million has been set aside to fund a feasibility study to look into the possibility of a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, rapid transit and other issues along Hurontario St.

"Without the federal funding, we would have to carefully consider how much of the project we can proceed with," Alexander said. "The project is stalled."

The council recently agreed to set up a dedicated BRT office with experienced staff in order to get the project up and running.

The Environmental Assessment approval, the funding from the province and the City and the basic blueprint are all ready and waiting, but without the federal money, which is a real road block, a dedicated bus line may will remain a vision on paper.

Cansfield said Ontario's five-year plan will help improve the quality of life for families, with the announcement of the Southern Ontario Highways Program (SOHP). It is estimated that in the next 25 years, an estimated two million vehicles will be on the roads and the time stuck in traffic could increase four times.

"This program (SOHP) will have a positive and lasting effect upon the lives of all Ontarians," Cansfield said. "Improving and expanding our highway system will address growing congestion, combined with our far-reaching investments in public transit."


Um, maybe not.


the BRT could attract nearly 10,000 passengers an hour during rush hour

Once it hits that leve they need to start looking at LRT.


From March 4, 2004

21.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The ridership between Ridgeway Dr and Sq One is currently very poor at present time. When all the redevelopment is completed in this area, there will be no real growth for the proposed BRT. The riders who will use MT in this area will travel to the Clarkson GO Station or too one of the station on the Milton GO line first before using the BRT.
22.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Using 60 riders per bus over 3 hours and based on 3,500 riders at peak time, there is a need for a total of 58 bus trips. This works out to 20 trips per hour departing every 3 minutes.
23.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Using 80 riders instead of 60, there would be a total of 44 trips departing every 4 minutes.
24.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp If ridership was at the propose 8,500 figure, this would work out to be 142 trips using 60 riders per bus and they would depart every 76 seconds.
25.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Using 80 riders there would be 106 trips departing every 103 seconds.
26.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Based on these figures, there is a need for 25 buses at the low end to 60 buses at the high end.
27.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Again the front end cost is look at when deciding between a BRT or and LVR/Subway or Monorail system without looking at the backend cost over 30-50 year cycle. Buses must be replaced every 12 to 15 years compare to the other system of 30 to 50 years. All systems need a rebuilt haft way through the life cycle.
28.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Current cost of a bus ranges from $430,000 to $700,000 based on size. The cost of the other system rangers from $1.2 million to $3 million.
29.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Current buses can only carry 70 to 100 in pack condition compare to the other system that can carry 125 to 500 riders.
30.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Labour cost to operate any system has to be look at as this is where the real operating cost comes in to play. To have 25 buses on the road, you will need 28 personal and will need 70 if using 60 buses.
31.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp If LVR/Subway or Monorail system was used instead of a BRT, there is no need to have these system operate under 3 minutes because of carrying capacity and the ability to add an second unite to the first one.
32.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Based on carrying 100 riders, you will only need 35 trips every 5 minutes at the low end to 55 trips every 3 minutes at the high end.
33.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp You will only need 13 LVR/Subway or Monorail unites and 16 personnel at the low end to 20 LVR/Subway or Monorail unites and 23 personnel at the high end.
34.&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The saving of personnel between a BRT and LVR/Subway or Monorail is between 2-1 and 4-1. If the system was automated, the saving will be higher.


the BRT could attract nearly 10,000 passengers an hour during rush hour

This is for the whole 407/403 system, not Mississauga section.

Love how transit systems skew the figures to make a case.

GO is only carrying just over 2,000 riders for all day service now on the 407/403 system.

To get 10,000 riders at peak time, it will mean GO will have to carry over 30,000 a day.

One has only to do the math as to the lenght of the route, speed, travel time, load factor and type of vehicle to see what is the better way.

Now GO is getting 14 Double Deckers in 2008, they will carry 82 riders seated and no standies at all. That is 25 more riders than today buses.

I find this interesting, as I call for Double Decker buses back in 2004 to service this BRT in the first place if buses were going to be used.


Funny, I read another article that claimed that the BRT project is stalled due to lack of federal funding.


^ Actually the article I think you're talking about is posted second on the page. I think you overlooked it.

I think the first article is referring to getting the personnel for the lobbying of funds from the Feds while the one about the delay is about the actual construction because there isn't any money from the Feds. Either way it's funny how the News contradicts itself.

Btw, the funding that the Province gave was only for the East section right or was it the entire network?



Bus project hits a snag

Joseph Chin
Dec 16, 2006

Mississauga's long-delayed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project may be sidetracked indefinitely.
And residents can blame Ottawa if that happens, say City officials.

They're running out of patience because, with another year almost gone by, they're yet to see a penny from the federal government to fund the project, despite Ottawa's promise to chip in $58 million of the cost.

"If we don't get the money, we won't be moving ahead," director of finance Rob Rossini told councillors during discussion on the 2007 budget.

The City has already received $62.8 million from the Province and it has set aside $64 million of its own money. All the funding is in place, except Ottawa's share. Without it, the project cannot proceed.

"We don't have that kind of money," Rossini told The News.

But it seems the funds won't be coming soon.

"We're in the process of reviewing the project," said Natalie Sarafran, an aide to Minster of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon, when contacted by The News.

Despite Ottawa's lack of cooperation, several initiatives directly related to the BRT are going ahead. These include a BRT office ($640,000 in start-up costs set aside), and a environmental assessment of the project ($250,000 approved). The City is also spending $150,000 on a business case.

But the City isn't giving up hope. Mayor Hazel McCallion has been persistent - and vocal - in her lobbying efforts. This may become easier with federal elections looming next year.

Decades in the planning, the BRT is envisioned to run across the GTA as a seamless service. Mississauga's segment, slated to be completed by 2011, would see bus-only lanes and stations run from south-west Mississauga along the Hwy. 403/Eglinton corridor to Hwy. 407. In time, the plan calls for BRT links to the Kipling subway station to the south and, possibly, Pearson International Airport to the north.

If the BRT is shelved, it would be a severe blow to transit planning in Mississauga: A study estimates that in five years the Mississauga portion of the BRT network could attract nearly 10,000 passengers an hour in the peak direction during rush hours.

"The BRT is a key project for the City of Mississauga, the Region of Peel and the Province of Ontario, including the proposed growth plan for the Greater Horseshoe," Martin Powell, the City's commissioner of transportation, has said.

However, there was one bit of good news on the transit front: After 15 years of lobbying, ground was broken Dec. 8 for the new GO Station in the northwest corner of the city. When completed next fall, some 800 riders will go through the station each day, taking pressure off the area's roads.

Rob MacIssac, newly-appointed chair of the Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA), which will set the transit agenda for the GTA for decades to come, hailed the new facility.

"In the next 25 years there will be nearly two million vehicles on our roads within the GTA," said MacIssac. "New stations like Lisgar will make it easier for people to leave their cars at home."

The BRT may be stalled, but other transportation initiatives are moving ahead. Between 2007 and 2009, the City plans to spend $5 million on feasibility and environmental studies on "higher-order" public transit along the Hurontario St. corridor, a thoroughfare that attracts nearly a quarter of Mississauga Transit's daily users. Ideas include a LRT (light rapid transit) system where dedicated rail lines are installed. Eventually, it will connect with Brampton's $280-million AcceleRide.

With Islington Subway Station slated to be vacated by 2009, the City has set aside $5 million to build a new facility at Kipling, envisioned as an inter-regional hub, for Mississauga Transit. Currently, MT carries 21,000 passengers to the subway every day.

The City is budgeting $98 million over the next decade to expand its fleet by 165 new buses. Another $162 million is earmarked to replace 242 aging vehicles. Commuters may ride in hybrid buses by 2010.


If Harper is non-confidenced today, maybe the project can start soon!

more realistically, however, hopefully the next federal government wont be as anti-transit.

On the other hand, I can't honestly see how, after 20+ years, the province/city weren't able to rake up another $68 million

EDIT: If VIVA counts as BRT, then the current mt technology used on hurontario should too. It has signal priority, express-ness and a high frequency, doesn't it?


If Mississauga really wanted to make it a priority they would pay the federal portion themseleves now and try to get it back later. For a city of Mississauga's size a capital expense of $65M is something they should be able to handle. I agree that the federal government should be coming to the table on this but they aren't so Mississauga needs to decide how important this is.


^Nice idea, but it ain't gonna happen. Once it is built, it is built and the feds are not going to pony up cash for a finished project. What should be done is to invest now and then hit the senior levels up for expansion cash.


Contract awarded for Erin Mills, Winston Churchill Park & Ride lots with heated shelters like Sq One.

Ramp to connect the P&R for west bound 403 only.

Funding in place for the Confederation BRT bridge to be built in 2007.

Design work for the BRT east of Hurontario is to start in 2007.

GO planning a 100 car parking lot on both sides of Station Gates Dr along City View Dr. There is about an 80 foot strip of land running from City Centre to Mavis Rd.

If the City allows GO to built the P&R at Sq One, it will sent a clear message that Mississauga does not have a transit system and GO is for the higher class who can afford paying the extra cost in the first place.

There should be NO!! PARKING at any GO/BRT stations period as they will only move gridlock from one location to another as well more GHG.

Time to beef-up LOCAL Transit.

15 artic's to be order in 2010 for the BRT as Hybrid?. This is on top of the 10 to be order that year to replace the 2001 ones. There are 35 to be order in 2007 to replace the 97's ones.

Maybe we will get the VanHool AG300 which are better than NFI. Nova's artic's are going to Quebec first with Montreal getting about 220 in 2009.

I love how GO skews its figures for things it wants.


If Mississauga really wanted to make it a priority they would pay the federal portion themseleves now and try to get it back later. For a city of Mississauga's size a capital expense of $65M is something they should be able to handle. I agree that the federal government should be coming to the table on this but they aren't so Mississauga needs to decide how important this is.

Thats what I suggest as well. Except, once the city and provincial money has run out, stop building and clamour about lack of fed money, to put extra pressure on them.


Using that logic Maybe Toronto should build a shit load of subways without funding from the Province and Feds too.