Hamilton

Metrolinx considering bus rapid transit corridor between Toronto and Waterdown

The corridor would run through five municipalities, from Kipling subway station in Toronto, to Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, before hitting Hamilton, according to a memo to councillors.

Councillors will also discuss today asking Metrolinx to restore all-day express buses to Toronto

One city councillor wants Metrolinx to reinstate its all-day express GO bus service between Hamilton and Toronto. Metrolinx is also looking at a bus rapid transit route from Waterdown to Toronto. (Laura Howells/CBC)

Metrolinx is considering a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor between Toronto and Waterdown.

The Crown agency is working to finalize an initial business case for rapid bus transit along a 40-kilometre stretch of Dundas Street, according to information update to councillors from Brian Hollingworth, Hamilton's director of transportation planning and parking.

The corridor would run through five municipalities, from Kipling subway station in Toronto, to Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, before hitting Hamilton.

The report estimates that by 2041 roughly six per cent of employment in the GTHA and eight per cent of the region's total population will be along the corridor, and shows that the existing transit options don't allow efficient movement, the update from Hollingworth adds.

Metrolinx's report is expected to be complete by the end of the year or early next year.

A memo to Hamilton city councillors says Metrolinx is considering bus rapid transit between Toronto and Waterdown. (Supplied by City of Hamilton)

Meanwhile, a Hamilton councillor wants the city to ask Metrolinx to resume all-day express buses between Hamilton and Toronto.

A motion from Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr will be received by the public works committee today.

It asks that the mayor contact the transit agency, Ministry of Transportation and the premier to request that bus service be returned to the level the city saw before April 8.

That's when Farr says Metrolinx reduced the frequency of express GO Bus trips.

The councillor noted the GO bus is the only public bus option between the two cities, adding the drop in service occurred near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and said there's been no sign of it coming back.

"There's constant movement from Hamilton to Toronto and from Toronto to Hamilton," said Farr.

He said he's heard from residents who feel the current offering during off-peak hours — an hourly double-decker bus to Aldershot — falls short because it offers limited seating options for those with disabilities and others who want to keep an eye on luggage that can only be stored on the lower level.

"It makes for a pretty crowded lower deck to begin with and now with fewer buses … it's even more difficult," said Farr.

The purpose of the motion is to point out the issues residents are encountering and to work with Metrolinx toward a solution, he explained.

"If we can't get anywhere on this it will at least get some clarity and a reminder to their reasoning for this particular service cut."

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