When we look at the general solution to Toronto’s woes as a engine for Ontario’s growth, or to the traffic in the area, it is clear that just providing transit in the city of Toronto itself will never be enough. Therefore there are some projects that are immediately required in order to reduce the number of drivers who start in their cars. The need is to bring rapid transit close enough so that people can be dropped at it, or ride bus to it, without ever starting their commute by car. Some of these core projects are already being built, or are well along in the political process, and thank god.
Hurontario/Maine LRT: This is a North south LRT route running from the Lake all the way to Brampton and the Kitchener GO. It will intersect a number of GO lines, from Lakeshore up. Hopefully this will evolve to transform the Mississauga and Brampton transit services. The major point however, is that it links both the business core of Mississauga and a large number of bus routes with GO in multiple locations.
Mississauga BRT: The route across Mississauga, was meant to link all the way across the city, and tie back into Toronto Transit using the portion of the Crosstown that has been pushed off. It will typically be built before the portion we are building of the Crosstown is built, let alone the extension. This would have provided quick service to allow buses from across Mississauga to get to Square One, and Toronto. It was intended to link to the Crosstown LRT, and a link to rapid transit in Toronto is a must.
Dundas BRT: Will flow across the south of Mississauga, and will link across from Oakville and beyond to the Kipling Subway station. Providing frequent bus service along the corridor. It will also intercept the GO in several places and connect with the Hurontario LRT.
Highway 7 BRT: This is a BRT line in Hwy 7, at least from Yonge to Warden, this will link 2 GO routes, and has already started to speed the buses along Hwy 7. I am personally of the mind that this should stretch across the top through Vaughan and link to the Vaughan Subway, and then extend all the way to the Brampton GO and Hurontario LRT. This may not all be required now, but let us secure a bypass bus route linking the major north south transit routes in Toronto. Ideally this would be a full BRT with dedicated lanes to ensure that the buses move regardless of traffic. It could incorporate the current ZUM bus line.
Yonge Street BRT: Running from Hwy 7, the first chunk to be built to Major MacKenzie. This will run to a major terminus in Richmond Hill Centre, which will be shared with the GO station, the HWY 7 BRT, and possibly the Yonge subway extension. I would strongly prefer the dominant link south from here, be in the Richmond Hill GO ROW.
Oshawa – Scarborough BRT. The need to link the area beyond the east end of Toronto with rapid transit is also fairly clear. Another clear need to the east however, is better integration with GO.