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 Frequently Asked Questions

 

  

 
expandWhy do we need an LRT?

Hurontario-Main is an important corridor for the future of Mississauga and Brampton. An effective transit system through this corridor will be a means to effective, sustainable economic and residential growth. The LRT will meet north-south transportation needs – promoting development along its route – as well as providing connections to inter-regional links such as Bus Rapid Transit corridors and GO Transit.​

expandWhat is the LRT going to cost?

One of the objectives of the Preliminary Design/TPAP Phase is to determine what will be required to ensure a successful, sustainable, affordable LRT system. Until those design calculations have been determined, as part of the outcome of this project phase, it is premature to estimate the current/future cost of construction and operation. As this phase of the project progresses, further information will be available about future costs and funding sources.​

expandWho will pay for it?

Metrolinx has identified the Hurontario-Main LRT project as a high priority, and the cities are working with Metrolinx as part of funding discussions. In addition to municipal funds, both the provincial and federal governments will be asked to contribute funding once the preliminary costs have been determined.​

expandWhat will happen to traffic?

The Hurontario-Main corridor is a heavily travelled thoroughfare, and is currently facing congestion challenges. Without an effective public transit system this will only get worse as the population grows. One of the key benefits of LRT is that it will provide a reliable, attractive alternative to driving. Building the LRT is estimated to reduce the number of vehicle lanes, but with fewer cars on the road to help increase mobility and transit-orientated development and connectivity. ​

 

 Project Background

 
expandWhy do Mississauga and Brampton need improved public transit along the Hurontario-Main corridor?
As our population increases, as development continues and as opportunities to expand the road network are limited, moving more people using high capacity rapid transit is the best option to meet the increasing transportation needs of our cities.
 
The Cities of Mississauga and Brampton are designated Urban Growth Centres (UGC) within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and currently have a combined population of close to 1.5 million people and an employment base of nearly 587,000.
 
In the next 20 years, the Region of Peel will need to accommodate over 300,000 people and approximately 150,000 jobs, much of which will be in Brampton and Mississauga. Nearly a quarter of that growth is expected to live in the area immediately surrounding the Hurontario-Main corridor.
 
With the current traffic levels along the corridor and the projected growth in development, traffic and population, the corridor would approach or exceed traffic capacity along many of its sections.
expandWhat improved public transit has been investigated, and what is proposed?

From 2008 – 2011, the cities undertook a Corridor Master Plan Study and Directions Report to research and develop a coordinated vision for the corridor that integrated land use, urban design and transportation. This work sought to inform and guide development of the most appropriate rapid transit solution for the corridor.

The Master Plan Study looked at a range of rapid transit technologies including:

          • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

          • Light Rail Transit (LRT)

          • Automated Guideway Transit

          • Monorail

          • Subway

From these technologies, BRT and LRT were identified as the most appropriate for the corridor because of their lower costs, ability to operate exclusively or in mixed traffic and the ease of integration with other systems.

BRT and LRT were then investigated further, including looking at whether a mixed option of LRT for part of the corridor and BRT for the remainder was the best solution. The study concluded that an urban style LRT is the best solution to pursue because it would best meet ridership demands, provide a higher level of service and better quality of service to passengers and attract Transit Orientated Development (TOD).
expandWhat is Transit Orientated Development (TOD)?

Transit Orientated Development (TOD) is development located within walking distance of transit stations, integrated with transit use, and is generally characterized by:

     • Compact development that is relatively dense compared to its surroundings;

     • A mix of uses including, where possible, transit origins (housing) and transit destinations (employment, 
       institutions, or retail), with pedestrian-supportive uses at street level;

     • A safe, attractive and interconnected public realm, featuring ‘complete streets’ that invite pedestrian and 
       bicycle access; and

     • An approach to parking that includes less supply than in non-transit locations, a pedestrian-supportive design, 
       and shared use of facilities.

TOD is one of the most effective planning strategies to support an improved quality of life and sustainability of a city.​

expandWhat is ‘urban style’ Light Rail Transit (LRT)?
Urban style Light Rail Transit (LRT) is designed to be fully integrated with the surrounding streetscape. At the heart of this approach is a modern styled, low-floor, light rail vehicle (LRV). Low-floor LRVs allow for stops and stations that require very little additional infrastructure. For instance, a stop can be created using only a raised curb and sidewalk. The low floor of the vehicles means that doors are aligned at street-level to allow for step-free boarding so passengers can access directly from the low LRT platform into the vehicle. Because steps are not needed, it is easier to integrate stops and stations with local surroundings, as well as provide better pedestrian connections and fewer barriers to accessibility.
 
Urban style LRT generally runs in its own dedicated lanes to ensure it is not held up by other traffic and it is given priority to go through signalized intersections. This provides a very reliable service with passengers knowing exactly how long their journey will take. The dedicated LRT lanes can be separated from other traffic lanes by a white line or a curb. In addition, the area between rails on the segregated lanes is filled in, usually with concrete, pressed concrete to resemble cobblestones, or other material such as grass. This provides a level surface and enables the LRT to be blended into the surrounding street. In some cases for the Hurontario-Main Street project, the LRT will run in shared lanes with traffic over short stretches where considerations outweigh the need for LRT reliability.
expandWhat are the benefits of LRT?
LRT vehicles have higher capacity than bus transit systems, and provide fast, reliable, convenient service by carrying passengers primarily in reserved transit lanes separate from regular traffic. LRT is electrically powered, with no emissions at street level, and offers passengers a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride.
 
LRT in other cities have also spurred significant Transit Orientated Development (TOD), which is less reliant on the private car and has helped improve connectivity and long-term community sustainability.

LRT along the Hurontario-Main corridor seeks to:
 
     • Provide a high capacity, high quality, reliable, modern transportation system to connect the cities of Brampton 
       and Mississauga;
     • Connect with regional rail services (e.g. Go Transit) at Port Credit and Cooksville in Mississauga and in 
       downtown Brampton;
     • Be integrated into the local transit network (MiWay, Züm and other transit services);
     • Help accommodate current and future travel demand;
     • Help to stimulate enhanced streetscapes and transit oriented development along the corridor;
     • Reduce reliance on the private car by offering a viable, attractive alternative;
     • Help our cities grow and develop in a more sustainable way.
     • Transition the cities from ‘suburban’ to ‘urban.’​
     • Improve transit travel time along the corridor.
 

 Light Rail Transit In Our Community

 
expandWhat is the difference between LRT and streetcars?
The main difference between LRT and streetcars is that LRT vehicles run in their own segregated lanes for the majority, if not all, of their route and do not stop as frequently. They also have priority through signalized intersections. In combination these two components ensure that LRT provides a reliable service with journey time certainty.
 
Because Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) are in their own lane when they stop to pick up passengers, they do not delay other road traffic in the way that streetcars do. LRTs also have dedicated stops with platforms whereas streetcars often stop in the street with passengers then walking into the road in order to board. Finally, LRVs are generally longer than streetcars and so can often carry more passengers.
expandWhat is a Light Rail Vehicle (LRV)?
A Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) is an electrically operated transit vehicle that carries passengers as part of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The specific LRV for the Hurontario-Main system has not yet been selected and will be tendered as part of a future Vehicle Procurement Strategy for the project. LRVs can operate as a single unit, or can be joined to operate as multiple passenger LRV units.
expandCan a LRT system operate in cold weather?

Yes. Systems around the world operate in many different weather conditions, including extreme cold in places such as Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany and in North America including Edmonton, Calgary and Minneapolis.

expandWill LRT be noisy?
Light Rail Vehicles create less noise than two medium sized trucks. Existing and future noise and vibration levels from the LRT system will be examined as part of the current study. Noise barriers and vibration isolation will be recommended along the alignment where required. The work will be included in the Environmental Project Report (EPR).
expandHow fast will LRV travel?
Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) are capable of reaching speeds of approximately 80 km/h. However, LRV’s in this corridor would be governed by similar speed limits as other motor vehicle traffic.
expandWill the Hurontario-Main LRT line be accessible for persons with disabilities?
The best proven accessibility systems and technologies will be applied throughout the Hurontario-Main LRT system. The system will be designed to ensure that passengers with restricted mobility will be able to move safely and comfortably through the system from vehicles to stops with ease.
 

 Future Funding and Construction

 
expandHow is Metrolinx involved in the Project?
Metrolinx is leading the project with the cities of Mississauga and Brampton on the planning and design work to prepare the project for procurement and construction.
Metrolinx has been involved as a major stakeholder throughout the preliminary planning and feasibility stages of the Huronario-Main LRT project. Metrolinx joined the municipalities of Mississauga and Brampton as a co-proponent for the TPAP phase of the Hurontario-Main LRT project which involves a larger role. 
Metrolinx identified the development of the Hurontario-Main Light Rail Transit (LRT) as a priority project in The Big Move, and the project was subsequently included in Metrolinx’s Next Wave of projects recommended for funding through the Investment Strategy.
The Metrolinx Benefits Case Analysis indicated that this project will generate positive net benefits for the region.
expandWho will be responsible for delivering the project? Will Metrolinx build and operate it or will it be run through the local transit agency?

​At this stage, delivery of the project has not been determined. Metrolinx will work with the municipalities to determine which delivery and operations plan are most suitable.

expandWhen will the LRT be built?
Construction can be expected to start in 2018. A detailed schedule will emerge through the project procurement process; however, the project can be expected to be in revenue service by 2022.
expandWhat will it cost to ride the LRT?

​Fares collection options are being examined as part of the project, and further information will be available once the analysis is completed. Fare levels have not yet been determined but, in line with the objective of meeting the people moving needs of the corridor, are expected to be consistent with fares charged elsewhere on the Mississauga and Brampton transit systems.

 

 LRT System Design

 
expandHow will traffic along Hurontario and Main Streets be impacted by the implementation of the LRT?
The Hurontario-Main corridor already experiences congestion during peak travel times. With a growing population, and limited capacity for expanding the road network, congestion will get considerably worse in the future. Flexible parallel routes and a finer grid of streets in intensification areas will distribute traffic more effectively, with a focus on ensuring that access is maintained via auto, rather than adding more through capacity. However, over time, journey times along the corridor will increase significantly. LRT will increase the people-moving capacity of the corridor and will provide a reliable alternative to the private automobile.
 
The impacts of the project on traffic movements have been fully assessed using industry standard models. The results of this are then being used to minimize impacts on traffic and local access where possible.
expandWill properties be impacted along the corridor as a result of the implementation of the Hurontario-Main LRT?
Designing a rapid transit system that will span two cities and effectively serve the distinctive needs of both is a massive undertaking.  Acquisition of some properties and temporary access to others will be required to implement the system.  This will result in frontage impacts, as well as modified access for some properties.
 
The Hurontario-Main project team has years of experience in these critical areas of design and will be applying that expertise to the design of the system to minimize property impacts.  A preliminary analysis of affected land has been completed and the team is reviewing potential property impacts. The full extent of property requirements will be determined as part of the Detail Design process and detailed in the Environmental Project Report.
expandWhat is the Project team doing to ensure that the character areas in both Brampton and Mississauga are preserved?
Preserving the character and beauty of the heritage areas in Brampton and Mississauga, while supporting its modernization and growth for the future, is a key priority of the Hurontario-Main LRT Project.
 
Through extensive consultation, the Cities and the LRT project team have developed a thorough understanding of the priorities in these areas, and have developed the following solutions as a result:
 
Brampton’s Main Street South Heritage Area:
   • Minimizing the impacts of overhead wires by exploring catenary-less solutions
   • Minimizing street widening and impacts to trees
   • Shared running through the Brampton South Street Heritage Area to allow for shared running and left-hand turn movements for businesses and residents.
 
Mineola Area:
   • Minimizing road widening while maintaining traffic flow
   • Design revisions to minimize tree impacts
   • Restoration of turning movements to provide access.
 
Public feedback is critical to support and inform these decisions and is encouraged as we enter into the final stages of the design process. 
expandHow will the LRT be integrated with events in Brampton and Mississauga?
The Hurontario-Main LRT project team understands the importance of cultural and community events in Brampton and Mississauga and has applied event considerations into the LRT design that will complement these priorities.
 
The project team is committed to working through these challenges and opportunities with local stakeholders and event coordinators.
expandHow is cycling being incorporated along the alignment?
The Hurontario-Main Street corridor is being designed to accommodate bicycle lanes and bike paths from Mississauga to Brampton.
 
The project team is working to apply designated bike lanes wherever feasible along the corridor. A variety of bike lane typologies are being deployed, (on-street; raised curb; or multi use trail) to suit the variety of settings along the corridor. In all cases, the priority is to design the facility to maximize the safety and comfort of cyclists and other users of the roadway.
expandHow is the urban realm being incorporated into the LRT design and along the corridor?
Stops, streetscapes and other components of the public realm along the corridor will be designed to support a safe, attractive and comfortable environment.
 
Applying their experience and expertise, the Project design team is making every effort to design a beautiful, accessible streetscape for the corridor, providing space and amenities to encourage walking, cycling and transit.
 
Some design opportunities will come forward as part of this project, while others will emerge through change and development on lands beside or near the corridor, undertaken by individual property owners and other stakeholders.
expandHave the location of the LRT stops been chosen and if so how were they chosen?

The location of the LRT stops must effectively serve those along the Hurontario-Main corridor and ensure smooth, easy transfers to key destinations between other transit connections. The preferred locations of the LRT stops along the alignment have been selected with this understanding in mind, supported by catchment analysis and incorporating feedback from PIC #1 , PIC #2 and PIC#3.

expandHow is the project team incorporating the Hurontario-Main LRT system with other regional transit networks?
The Hurontario-Main LRT project will be complemented by a network of other rapid transit projects under Metrolinx’s Big Move that have been established  with the goal of improving connectivity in the GTHA that will allow for improved travel times to and from Mississauga and Brampton as well as to other major transit hubs in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information on Metrolinx’s Big Move visit their website at http://www.metrolinx.com.
 
Changes in bus services through the corridor will allow for local routes in Brampton and Mississauga to better accommodate growing demand and ridership as public transit options expand and greater transit connections for commuters become available.
expandWhat are intermodal stops and how will they be integrated with other transit services?

Intermodal stops provide a connection point between different transit systems and modes of transit.

The anticipated growth of Brampton and Mississauga will require effective regional connectivity of local transit systems to surrounding mobility hubs to integrate with other transit services.
 
Linking the LRT with regional transit systems and GO Transit will enable the future growth and development along the Hurontario-Main corridor and secure Brampton and Mississauga’s place as two world-class cities.
expandWill the LRT include parking at intermodal stops?

​As part of the current study we will be looking to ensure there is good connectivity to the local transit network and the wider regional bus and GO train services.  Other potential amenities beyond the stop such as parking provision at GO Stations or mobility hubs are outside of the scope of this project. To provide Metrolinx with your GO Station comments, please call their Customer Service staff 416.874.5900.

expandWhat hours will the LRT operate?

​The system is anticipated to run from 5am to 1:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday and from 7am to midnight on Sundays. The exact times of operation for the Hurontario-Main LRT will be determined as the project develops. At this stage we will be looking at potential operating scenarios and determining those that best meet demand.

expandWhat are sub-stations and how do they fit into the streetscape?

Traction power sub-stations take electrical power and convert it to the necessary voltage to power the light rail vehicles. Typically they are located about every 1.5 km along the route and would be housed in small buildings which have been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible and fit into the general streetscape.

The Hurontario-Main LRT project team has determined preliminary locations for the TPSS’ along the alignment route based on the most efficient spacing and has evaluated options to reduce impacts in the Main Street South Heritage Area.  Final TPSS locations will be confirmed during detailed design.
expandWhere will the Maintenance and Storage Facility be located and why was that location chosen?

The Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) will be located south of the 407 on lands bounded by the 407, Kennedy, Hurontario and the Hydro corridor.

The location of the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) has been chosen based on an optimal location that will provide a safe and secure operational area for vehicles to be stored and serviced as well as ensuring the safety of drivers, facility staff, visitors, neighbours and the public. 
 

 Route Alignment

 
expandWhat is the preferred option for the Mississauga Downtown alignment and how was it determined?
The LRT alignment presented at PIC #1 in June 2012, reflected the alignment in the Downtown21 Master Plan which was comprised of Burnhamthorpe Road, Living Arts Drive, Rathburn Road, City Centre Drive and a new bridge crossing Highway 403. The public was informed at PIC #1 that further assessment in determining the downtown alignment that is both feasible and supports the future vision of Downtown Mississauga, was underway and would be evaluated extensively.
 
Different alignment options on the east, west and north of the downtown area were developed and assessed using a large number of considerations, including engineering feasibility, city-building potential, stakeholder impact and ability to assist in achieving the DT21 Master Plan Guiding Principles.
 
Following this evaluation, the preferred option for the downtown LRT is Burnhamthorpe Road, Duke of York Boulevard, Rathburn Road and Hurontario Street and crossing the 403.
expandWhat options are being presented for the Brampton Downtown alignment and how were they determined?
Since PIC 1 in June 2012, the Hurontario-Main LRT project team and the City of Brampton, have been evaluating two options for the alignment through the downtown, between Queen and Nelson Streets.
 
Evaluation methods such as engineering feasibility, city-building potential, stakeholder impact and feedback were applied to help to review both a Transit Mall Option and a Four Lane Option as the preferred LRT alignment in downtown Brampton.
 
Since PIC #2, it has been determined that the Four Lane Option of providing one through traffic lane north and southbound on Main Street was the preferred option for the downtown area in Brampton. This option provides one lane of vehicle movement north and southbound on Main Street for motorists as well as maintaining existing sidewalk width as is present today. The Four Lanes option also preserves through traffic on Main Street for motorists and provides a balance of planned redevelopment in the Brampton downtown.

The Transit Mall Option was also reviewed for the downtown alignment as an opportunity to develop the downtown into a vibrant, pedestrian oriented space between Queen Street and Nelson Street. Although the concept of redirecting vehicle traffic to alternate routes with the prevention of through traffic, would establish a more generous pedestrian focused public realm, the Transit Mall Option does not provide enough of a balance for traffic in the downtown.
expandWhat does ‘segregation’ or ‘segregated lanes’ mean?
Segregation or segregated lanes means the LRT would operate in its own dedicated rail transit lanes along that segment of the alignment and so will not be held up by other vehicles. This would not apply at intersections and access points where the tracks would be flush with the road surface for shared use.  This will help to ensure journey time reliability and consistency.
expandWhy did Brampton invest in Züm if the City was planning to implement LRT?

The Züm Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system was designed to accommodate future capacity and growth but cannot meet long-term corridor ridership needs. LRT is being planned to accommodate long-term growth in transit ridership. Without LRT, buses will run at more frequent intervals resulting in increased congestion and reduced transit service levels. The Züm infrastructure, such as the station stops, can also be moved to future BRT lines in Brampton. Züm buses can also be redeployed to other existing or future BRT routes.

expandWill Züm buses continue operating on Hurontario?
Yes, for the time being. Once the LRT is operational, Züm buses will be redeployed to other existing Züm routes to other new corridors where Züm services are not currently operating. Local bus service between LRT stops is expected to remain in operation but at lower frequency.
 

 Public Consultation

 
expandWhat are the next steps for the project?

The project is moving to procurment and implementation. The project team will provide updates as the project advances.

expandMay I speak with the Project Team?

Yes.

 
Consultant Team
Fausto Natarelli, Director, Program Management
Metrolinx
416.869.3600 ext. 4118