Councillors propose more 'flexible' transit plan for west London
LONDON, Ont. -- City hall's plan to bring Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to west London may soon face a detour.
Three city councillors want a new plan to be developed that would improve transit in the west end without BRT's controversial bus lanes.
Councillor Steve Lehman drafted the motion along with councillors Josh Morgan and Anna Hopkins.
“The last plan handcuffed us. I want to see us move into the 21st century, and I think this gives us the flexibility to be a little more creative," Lehman says.
The new motion going to the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee includes a list of possible transit improvements to be explored including; extending bus service further west, “queue jump” lanes that let buses get a head start at intersections, and a park and ride location in the west end.
Lehman adds the intent is not to rehash the BRT system’s west route, “Instead of just being good for a 2.5 kilometre stretch of Oxford Street, it could be expanded through all the major corridors.”
Earlier this year council advanced only the south, east, and downtown BRT routes for funding. The decision created uncertainty about the future of the west and north routes.
London received funding for 10 transit projects in the summer, leaving $150.5 million of senior government funding for BRT or other transit projects.
City engineer Kelly Scherr says the cost of work outlined in the new motion could be accommodated within the existing consultant's contract.
“That could include a review of the implementation of the previously proposed west leg. We could also look at some interim solutions.”
Council will reopen the transit debate when the motion is tabled next week.
A revised transit plan for west London would have to be completed by spring to qualify for the next application period for senior government funding.