Province to fork over $170M for BRT
There was no flashy fanfare when the province announced Monday that they would help fund the biggest infrastructure project in London’s history. Instead the announcement was made behind closed doors in the councillor’s lounge at City Hall.
Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca was joined by Mayor Matt Brown and MPP for London North Centre Deb Matthews to announce the $170 million towards the Bus Rapid Transit business plan also known as “Shift.”
The project would see the building of dedicated rapid bus transit lanes built along two L-shaped routes that run through the core of the city.
The estimated cost of the project is roughly $500-million with the City putting up a total $130-million. With today’s announcement that would leave $200-million to come from the federal government.
Construction is planned to start in 2019 and would take nearly a decade to complete.
The current business plan has undergone several revisions including looking at alternate routes after pushback from businesses owners downtown.
The biggest change to the business case was when council opted for Bus Rapid Transit over Light Rail or a Hybrid system.
Monday's announcement is welcomed news for Western University students.
“The USC (University Students Council) has been advocating for Bus Rapid Transit for the past four years, and it is great to see the Province prioritizing the City of London and the students that live here” said USC Vice President Landon Tulk in a news release.
“It’s great to see Bus Rapid Transit receiving Provincial attention, but now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on ensuring that BRT works for all Londoners, including students," said Tulk.