Western University continues BRT discussions with city of London

Snow covers the Western University campus.
Snow covers the Western University campus. Jake Jeffrey / 980 CFPL

London City Hall and Western University are inching closer to an agreement on bus rapid transit (BRT).

The university says it’s possible a deal could be in place that would allow their board of governors to vote on the project in April at the earliest.

Last spring, Western released over a dozen requirements it wanted to have met before it would allow BRT on campus. Those include bus rapid transit never being upgraded to light rail, the city taking on on all road maintenance and snow removal costs, widening Philip Aziz Drive and improving or replacing University Bridge.

READ MORE: New anti-BRT group says London is ‘Up Shifts Creek’

Lynn Logan, Western’s vice-president of resources and operations, tells 980 CFPL they’ve met with the city a couple of times since last year and they expect the conversations to become more regular in the coming weeks.

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“I think they are probably going to ramp up the next couple months, we have a lot of busy individuals,” said Logan. “As we speak, we’re trying to set another meeting, there’s no pen to paper right now but nonetheless, I’d characterize the talks as going well.”

Western’s board of governors is next scheduled to meet April 28 and Logan says if all goes according to plan, they will vote on the plan then. If not, the board would make a decision during their meeting in June.

READ MORE: Last minute notice on BRT funding announcement frustrates councillors

If all goes according to plan, its possible bus rapid transit could be on Western campus in 4-10 years.

Earlier this month the province announced $170 million in funding for the $500 million transit project. London has committed $130 million to BRT but is still waiting for the federal government to cover the remaining $200 million that’s needed.

Public information sessions wrapped up last week with two final meetings held at the central library. The latest round of public meetings included a handful of meetings mid-December and the two last week. The city has been criticized for poor communication with the public throughout the BRT process.

The next step is for London city council to approve the final phase of the environmental assessment for BRT, that vote is expected to happen in March.

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