Update — Monday, July 16, 3:38 p.m.: Thanks to eagle-eyed Transit Toronto reader Gilbert Vesleño, who reminded us that Highways 401 and 403 are not the same (!), we’ve now corrected this post from an earlier version.
The LRT system is a key part of the two cities’ vision for the Hurontario - Main corridor, which stretches from the lakeshore in Port Credit to downtown Brampton.
Project staff intend that the LRT would be more than a transportation route, but also a way to increase economic and residential development and improved the quality of life throughout Mississauga and Brampton.
Staff say that the line will help transform the two cities from suburban to urban. It supports growth and positive change by connecting people with destinations using sustainable transit, addresses congestion and improves traffic along the corridor.
During the recent meetings, project staff presented their early plans for the route of the line, which would mostly operate along Hurontario and Main Streets.
In the south end, LRT vehicles would start their trips near the corner of Port Street and Elizabeth Street on the waterfront, then operate mostly in mixed traffic along Port and Hurontario Streets to the Queen Elizabeth Way.
North of the QEW, trains would operate on a separate right of way in the centre of Hurontario, until Burnhamthorpe Road.
Mississauga plans to revise its road network in the City Centre / Square One area. The planners of the line would use some of the revised roadways to serve the area. They also plan to split the route in two.
One route would continue northward along Hurontario, then divert onto a new City Centre Drive, which leads off of Hurontario, then follow the current north-south route of City Centre to Rathburn Road. North of Rathburn, LRT trains would operate cross Highway 403 over a new, LRT-only, bridge, before returning to Hurontario just north of the 403.
A second route would operate westward along the centre lanes of Burnhamthorpe Road West, then proceed northward along Living Arts Drive, then westward along Rathburn Road to rejoin the main north-south route at City Centre Drive.
(The planners have not made clear whether every second train would use each of the two routes in turn, or, if they plan to short-turn some trains from the north or south in the City Centre area.)
The LRT would continue along exclusive lanes along Hurontario and Main Streets until Nanwood Drive, when they would again operate in mixed traffic.
The project team propose revising the route in downtown Brampton. The 2010 Master Plan proposed northbound LRT cars operating along Wellington Street West and George Streets South and North, then under the GO Transit tracks to Church Street West, stopping on Church beside Brampton GO Station. Then, southbound cars would operate along Church and Main Streets North and South to Wellington, where cars would again operate in both directions.
The latest plan foresees the LRT vehicles operating in both directions along Main north of the tracks, then along a separate right-of-way to serve the GO Station. The new plan sees two options for the future of Main Street North — in one plan, Main would become a transit- and pedestrian-only mall between Queen and Nelson Streets; in another plan, Main would still be open to traffic.
The plan proposes stations:
- on Port Street at Elizabeth Street,
- on Hurontario Street beside the Port Credit GO Station and at Mineola and North Service Roads, Queensway, and Dundas Street, beside Cooksville GO Station, at Central Parkway and Matthews Gate / Burnhamthorpe Road,
- on City Centre Drive north of the new access road from Hurontario Street and at Rathburn Road West,
- on Burnhamthorpe Road West at a future street (current plans identify this roadway as Main Street),
- on Living Arts Drive at Princess Royal Drive,
- on Rathburn Road West at the City Centre Terminal and at City Centre Drive (forming part of the Rathburn station),
- on Hurontario Street at Eglinton Avenue, Bristol Road, Matheson Boulevard, Britannia Road, World Drive (in a later phase), Courtneypark Drive, Skyway Boulevard / Superior Drive (in a later phase), Derry Road, Highway 407, Ray Lawson Boulevard and Sir Lou Drive,
- on Main Street South at the new Gateway Terminal on the southeast corner of Main and Steeles Avenue West, beside Shoppers’ World, at Charolais Boulevard and Nanwood Drive.
If the City of Brampton approves the plan for a transit and pedestrian mall on Main Street North between Main and Nelson Streets, another station would be just north of Queen Street, serving cars in both directions. If the City decides to keep Main North open to traffic, a station for northbound trains would stand just north of Queen Street East, while a southbound station would rise on Main Street South at Wellington Street West.
The plan also proposes that the cities build a maintenance and storage facility east of Hurontario Street, just south of Highway 407.
You can view various presentation materials from last month’s meetings here.
The project team propose to hold more public meetings before finalizing the project:
- in November, 2012 to build on the design outcomes of the June information meetings and to recommend provide the final LRT alignment, stops, the complete system and its integration; and
- in April, 2013 to finalize the transit project assessment process, which builds the first two series of meetings. During these meetings, staff will present the draft environmental project report, which summarizes engineering and environmental studies and details how to proceed with the project and remedy any negative environmental impacts.
The cities have consulted members of the public several times since 2008 on developing rapid transit along the corridor.
By March, 2010, the project team had recommended light rail transit as the best way to serve the needs of present and future transit riders along the two streets.
By January, 2011, the two cities had completed the first phases of a master plan for the project and invited members of the public to comment on the plant.
In July, 2011, the Canadian Institute of Planners awarded the project team top honours for the Hurontario / Main Street Corridor Master Plan during the organization’s annual conference in the category of transportation and infrastructure.