Artist's rendition of BRT on Wellington Rd at Baseline Rd. E. Courtesy of city of London.

Bus-Only System Gets The Green Light In London

London City Council has approved a $500-million plan to move ahead with a rapid transit system that includes buses, but no light rail.

Council had supported a light rail/bus hybrid system last November, but city staff recommended the Full Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system at the end of April.

The city has already committed $129-million to the project and now it’s going to ask the federal and provincial governments for some help to cover the costs associated with implementing the system.

If the early reception is any indication, they could be receiving some support from both.

London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews is calling the move “exciting news for the City of London” adding that she is looking forward to working with all three levels of government to improve transit in the city.

In the meantime, London West MP Kate Young says she is “encouraged” to see city council arrive at a transit plan, while London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos says the federal government is “committed to working with cities by making an historic investment in infrastructure across Canada.”

City officials say the system will “reduce transit travel times, relieve overloaded local transit routes, improve air quality, and produce both short and long term economic development.”

The Full BRT system will run from White Oaks Mall to Masonville Place and from Fanshawe College to the corner of Oxford St. and Wonderland Rd. It’s also expected to feature “modern stations” and a rapid transit tunnel under the CP rail tracks at Oxford St. and Richmond St.

Construction could begin as early as 2018 with a fully-operational system in place by 2027.