Bus Rapid Transit - it's a hotly debated project in London, in fact it will be the most expensive capital project city hall has ever tackled.

Such a big project requires big discussion and that will come in the form of a public input session on May 3 at London's biggest venue -- Budweiser Gardens.

The BRT system comes with $560-million price tag and has its backers along with detractors.

One of the most contentious issues lies with its routes, namely where to put the estimated 24 km string of them.

The routes would form an "L" and a "7" shape, operating north-south and east-west. The north-south would use the Richmond-Wellington corridors and the east-west would use Oxford-Dundas corridors.

Although, nothing is more controversial than a proposed 900-metre tunnel that would run underneath Richmond Street. It has many downtown and Richmond Row merchants upset, even forming a grassroots organization dubbed "Downshift London." It claims construction of the tunnel will in effect kill local businesses.

Proponents of BRT, including the group "Shift London," claim it will make transit a more attractive choice, reduce congestion on streets, create jobs, attract talent and investment.

On April 4, city council approved a review of two alternative route options in the downtown.

King Street Two Way Corridor

  • One eastbound general traffic lane, one eastbound BRT lane (local transit as well) and one westbound BRT lane

 

King Queen Couplet System

  • Two eastbound general traffic lanes and one eastbound BRT lane (local transit as well) on King Street
  • Two westbound general traffic lanes and one westbound BRT lane (local transit as well) on Queens Avenue