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London city staff outline updated communications plan during BRT working group meeting

A rapid transit bus.
A rapid transit bus. AM980 News

Bus rapid transit was back on the agenda at London’s city hall, during a brief rapid transit implementation working group meeting Thursday afternoon.

An updated timeline suggests the city could be ready to begin construction on rapid transit in time for next year’s municipal election, while an updated communications plan outlines a number of ways the city wants to reach out to the public.

READ MORE: Timeline: London bus rapid transit

“You’ll see more tweets,” said the city’s rapid transit project director Jennie Ramsay.

“We’re going to have several different activities, opportunities for people to engage. We’re going to have a more consistent, ongoing presence from an engagement perspective.”

The communications plan will continue until the end of the Transit Project Assessment Process and includes things like face-to-face meetings, workshops, ride-a-longs, outreach to high schools and various groups, and social media outreach. There are public information centres tentatively set for Dec 2017, and April 2018.

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

Once bus rapid transit hits the implementation process around September 2018, the city will develop a new communications plan.

The city has faced criticism for not communicating well enough before finalizing routes earlier in the process.

But “communication is a key to our project going forward,” said Ramsay — pointing out it’ll be big part of what they do “over the next six months, and beyond.”

The working group had few questions after receiving the report, including a query by its vice chair, Sheryl Rooth, about a potential subsidized bus pass program for City of London employees.

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

“You do things when you see people you know do them too,” she told AM980.

“Making sure everyone knows this is an efficient and reliable and affordable mode of transportation in the city, and that BRT will make that even better, why not support it?”

Thursday’s meeting didn’t offer any new details about a timeline for potential funding; upper levels of government have yet to confirm whether they’ll cover the $370 million London still needs for the project.

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