The Mississauga Transitway, a $259m dedicated 18km bus-only roadway through the city west of Toronto continues to build towards its completion in Spring 2017. Twelve kilometers of the route have already been finished, with four of the twelve stations remaining to be built, three of them at the route's east end.

Mississauga Transitway route map showing stations being built in grey (source: MiWay)

When complete, the Transitway will run along Highway 403 and Eglinton Avenue between Winston Churchill Boulevard in the west and the Renforth Gateway in the east, connecting from there to highway 427 to take passengers onward to Islington subway station or Pearson Airport. UrbanToronto Forum contributor "drum118" visited the construction on June 3rd and has shared a number of pictures of the recent work on the east end of the route.

Being trenched along the north side of Eglinton Avenue, the land here has long been set aside for transportation improvements, originally reserved in the Province of Ontario's Parkway Belt West Plan for an eastern extension of Highway 403. 403 was eventually turned north to connect with the 401 at Highway 410, and this strip of land alongside Eglinton Avenue—lying between business parks in Mississauga to the north and Toronto's Centennial Park to the south—was saved for a public transit corridor instead.

Interior of the completed Etobicoke Creek MiWay station by UT Forum contributor drum118

Etobicoke Creek station, seen above, is the furthest east of the stations to be opened so far. Its clean, modern, yet warm aesthetic of expansive glass walls, wood ceilings, polished concrete, dark steel structure, and panels of colour glass, will be repeated in the stations still to come. Below, images of the trench, and Orbitor and Renforth Gateway stations (Spectrum station is not pictured) give an indication of the extent of construction at present. 

Mississauga Transitway Between Etobicoke Creek And Spectrum Drive stations, image by UT Forum contributor drum118

Mississauga Transitway Orbitor station by UT Forum contributor drum118

Looking down into Orbitor station by UT Forum contributor drum118

Transitway construction near Renforth Gateway Station by UT Forum contributor drum118

Bring built by Metrolinx, Renforth Gateway station will act as a transportation mobility hub for the west end of Toronto, and will serve GO Transit and TTC along with the MiWay buses. It is being constructed to allow for an interchange with the future West extension of the Crosstown LRT, connecting Toronto's East and Midtown along Eglinton Avenue with Toronto Pearson International Airport and Mississauga City Centre.

Rendering of Renforth Gateway station source: MiWay

Thanks to its dedicated right-of-way, the Transitway is expected to reduce travel time along its route from between 32 and 42 minutes presently to around 20 minutes. The project is part of the MiWay Five Transit Plan 2016-2020 which aims to increase transit ridership by 3% annually over the next five years. It will increase transit service levels by 16% over that period. According to MiWay, daily weekday ridership along the Transitway routes has already increased from 8,000 on opening day to 11,300 in October 2015.

As the maps below illustrate, the Transitway will help MiWay move bus routes from the current system which radiates from the centre of Mississauga and travels along many side streets to a grid-based one along major routes. While this may require some bus passengers to walk longer to get to their stops, it is designed to offer a more frequent, reliable service along the routes that remain, with 22 buses an hour along the transitway in peak hours.

Extract from MiWay's 2015 bus map source: MiWay

Extract from MiWay's draft 2020 bus map source: MiWay

Like many GTHA transit projects, the Mississauga Transitway has a long history—a similar route was envisioned in 1970 and several other subsequent studies have called for an east-west dedicated bus route—but the present project was not funded until 2010. The Winston Churchill station in the west end of Mississauga is expected to open by the end of this year, with the remaining east end stations slated to be complete in Spring 2017, six months after the original date set because of problems with utility relocations and the bankruptcy of one of the contractors. Real-time bus information, already available at Mississauga Transitway stations and the City Centre Transit Terminal is scheduled to be provided online by Fall 2016.

Other upcoming major transit projects in and around Mississauga include the $1.4bn Hurontario LRT running from Port Credit to Brampton, which is due to start construction in 2018, and a 150km-long transitway along Highway 407 from Burlington to Pickering which is in early stages of consultation.

Join the discussion on our forums about the Transitway and about the Hurontario LRT, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  City of Mississauga, IBI Group, Metrolinx