What Londoners riding the #13 think about bus rapid transit

We're learning more about London's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan. Here's what some London transit users had to say about the proposed renderings.

The Masonville to White Oaks route will be affected in many places by BRT changes on Richmond and Wellington

Renderings of London's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan show a major expansion on Wellington Road between Base Line and Bradley. This area is currently serviced by the #13 and the #90 buses. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

We're learning more about what Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) might look like in London.

While Richmond will remain a four-lane street with two centre lanes dedicated to BRT, Wellington Road will be widened to six lanes between Base Line Road and Bradley Avenue, with the two centre lanes again dedicated to buses. 

Other streets, including Oxford Street west and Riverside Drive, would see BRT lanes running alongside the curb. 

Yesterday, officials released six renderings of what these expansions would look like.

CBC News showed the renderings to riders on the #13 bus, which runs along Richmond Street and Wellington Road from Masonville to White Oaks Mall.

Sabrina Abran

Sabrina Abran says she's looking forward to the completed project, but expects headaches during the construction process. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

Sabrina Abran said she rides the bus several times a day, and was on her way to work in the south end of the city.

She said that the city's current transit system is good, and that she'd rather see officials finesse the current system than overhaul it.

Still, Abran said she was impressed by the renderings, especially at the intersection of King and Wellington.

"It's going to be quite an expansion," Abran said.

"I'm excited that London's looking to improve themselves, and it's looking more like Toronto, honestly!"

Although the improvements will ultimately be for the best, Abran said the construction process will likely be "hectic," especially downtown.

Austin Pagnotta

Austin Pagnotta was eyeing the enclosed shelters shown in the BRT renderings. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

Western University student, Austin Pagnotta, was on his way to class when we caught up with him at Wellington Road and Commissioners Road. 

He noticed the expanded bus shelters at the rendering of Wellington and Commissioners. 

"Sometimes it gets very rainy and you need somewhere to stay," he said.

Pagnotta also thought having dedicated BRT lanes and bus stops will likely be safer for cars and pedestrians.

"[Right] now there's no actual, specific spot or lane for the bus; the bus is treated as a car," said Pagnotta.

"I've almost gotten hit by a bus a couple times. Sometimes they just don't see you and they just come and almost hit you."

Kimberly Middleton

Kimberly Middleton thinks the dedicated centre bus lanes on Wellington Road will be safer because buses and cars won't need to weave around each other as much as they do now. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC News)

Kimberly Middleton rides the 13 or the 13A several times a week, and says she's looking forward to BRT.

"I think it's a great idea to make the buses run smoother and more on schedule, and make it more enticing for people to use it more often," she said.

Middleton agreed with Pagnotta that having a dedicated centre bus lane in some areas will likely be safer, because buses won't have to weave in and out of traffic as much.

"I find sometimes it's hard for them to get over to the curb or back out into traffic where drivers don't want to let them in, so they have to push their way in," she said. 

"I think it'll help clear that up to avoid potential accidents from that."

Middleton added that the Wellington Road expansion should also help clear up frequent delays and congestion around White Oaks Mall. 

Got an opinion?

The public will have a chance to weigh in at the following five open houses:

  • Wednesday Feb. 28: Central Public Library; 11 am. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday Feb. 28: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Oakridge Secondary School.
  • March 1: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Western University, London Hall. 
  • March 3: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church. 
  • March 4: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fanshawe College, H1013 Cafeteria. 

Council is scheduled to vote on the recommendations April 3rd.