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Transit passengers face more than a year of construction
near Square One and the Mississauga City Centre Terminal

Starting this May, GO Transit and Mississauga Transit passengers will be spending more time on buses operating into and out of the City Centre and Square One terminals.

Transit Toronto reader David Fisher reports that construction for the Mississauga bus rapid transit project is about to get underway on Rathburn Road. (The City of Mississauga and Mississauga Transit hosted an open house on this phase of the project on Thursday, January 28.)

The City will build a $5 million bus-only right of way in the middle of Rathburn Roads East and West and reduce traffic lanes reduce to single lane in each direction between Duke of York Boulevard and Shipp Drive.

It will also move the bus bays that currently serve passengers on the south side of Rathburn at the City Centre Terminal one lane south of where they are today.

During the project, the City will convert the current off-ramp from Hurontario Street to Rathburn Road to a transit-only route and build a new ramp onto City View Drive. Motorists will have to use City View to drive to Square One mall.

Motorists traveling along Rathburn will not be able to turn left except at Duke of York Boulevard and at City View Drive / City Centre Drive. The City will also reduce Station Gate Road — home to GO’s Square One bus terminal — to a single lane for traffic.

During the construction, Mississauga Transit will re-arrange its route network so that buses operating along a number of MT routes no longer serve stops at the City Centre Terminal. Some passengers may have to transfer to other routes to reach Square One, or walk from Burnhamthorpe Road or Hurontario Street. MT has not yet revealed which routes it will revise.

Building the bus rapid transit right of way along Rathburn will likely congest traffic for motorists wanting to turn from Hurontario Street onto Rathburn Road or onto Highway 403.

Passengers riding buses operating along all routes near the Square One / City Centre area should expect detours and delays at least until March, 2011 or even later while construction is under way.

And, more disruptions may follow if the City proceeds with its plans to build a light rail transit line along Hurontario Street between the City Centre and Port Credit GO Station. (The light rail vehicles would likely also operate along the centre lanes on Rathburn.)

The Province of Ontario identified the bus rapid transit line as one of the priority projects in its MoveOntario 2020 plan.

Metrolinx also identified the line as one of 15 top transit priority projects in The Big Move, its regional transportation plan.

The Government of Canada’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is supporting the City of Mississauga’s plans to improve transit along Rathburn Road by funding $1,390,000 of the cost of the project. The Province of Ontario and the City each also contributed $1,390,000.

You can find out more about the current Mississauga bus rapid transit project here.

The Transit Toronto archives contains an article by Peter Drost on earlier proposals for bus rapid transit in Mississauga here.