July 25, 2017 8:15 am

London’s BRT master plan gets green light from city committee

A map of the city's preferred bus rapid transit routes in London.

The City of London
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A city committee is on board with London’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) master plan.

The strategic priorities and policy committee approved the latest edition of the $500-million plan 10-2 Monday night. Full council is expected to make the plan official when they meet on Tuesday.

READ MORE: London $500M Bus Rapid Transit plan to be reviewed by city committee

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Those opposed to the plan were Councillors Phil Squire and Michael Van Holst, who couldn’t overlook a traffic analysis that showed downtown intersections would be busier with BRT.

The revised master plan included an extension of the southern line from White Oaks Mall, one kilometre south to a park and ride facility at Exeter Road. That wasn’t part of the plan that went back to staff two months ago.

A 45-day public consultation period will begin on Aug. 3.

“I think what’s really important for us now is to go through the 45-day review period, hear from the public what implementation looks like for them and start working very specifically in neighbourhoods and along specific corridors about the conflicts the public is going to bring to us, as well as the ones through the technical work,” said Environmental and Engineering director Kelly Scherr.

“I don’t want to presuppose the outcome, but I do know that there will be conflicts with private property and with congestion.”

READ MORE: London committee scraps tunnel proposal for bus rapid transit

One of the items that was left off the funding list was the Adelaide Street overpass.

“It is not included here, although we have direction from council to pursue funding opportunities to see that advance and we are in the process of preparing that information to do so with the EA [environmental assessment] concluding this fall,” said Scherr.

READ MORE: Timeline: London bus rapid transit

Once the master plan is approved, the city can proceed with funding requests from the province and the feds. London has committed $130 million towards the BRT project, which means another $370 million is needed.

The environmental assessment process will continue following the Transit Project Assessment Process.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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