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We Build This City asks Londoners to get informed about BRT before the election

Marcus Plowright, spokesperson for We Build This City, a bus rapid transit advocacy group, at a news conference in London, Ont, on Sept. 27, 2018.
Marcus Plowright, spokesperson for We Build This City, a bus rapid transit advocacy group, at a news conference in London, Ont, on Sept. 27, 2018. Craig Needles / 980 CFPL

A group of pro-Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Londoners are asking voters in the city to vote with transit in mind on Oct. 22.

We Build This City held a media conference in downtown London on Thursday to officially launch their advocacy group.

READ MORE: London mayoral candidates talk transportation during debate

They believe the silent majority of Londoners are in favour of the plan, and the rest need to know more about it.

“There are 8,500 pages of documentation that have been sifted through by our planners, by our experts and by our representatives on council,” said Marcus Plowright, the group’s spokesperson.

“Three successive councils [have worked on this plan]. Those councils are you and me,” he said.

“Those council are the citizens of this city. They represent us, they’ve asked the tough questions.”

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Plowright said city staff’s communications job proved to be ineffective, so the group felt they had to step up.

“I believe that we should be in a better position than we are, given the stakes involved,” he said.

“Yes, I believe our administration — in hindsight — could have done a better job to position us.”

READ MORE: Pro-BRT candidate reacts to mayoral rival’s campaign poll

According to one of the group’s supporters, BRT means London will get an infrastructure overhaul for almost nothing.

“Rapid transit is what it’s about, but what we get in the package is 24 kilometres of new roads, we get new sewers, everything will be upgraded,” said Paul Spriet.

“[London’s] total investment is $140 million. We get all this work done on the roadways and in fact, we get a Bus Rapid Transit program that’s thrown in for free,” he said.

The group isn’t endorsing any specific candidates but wants Londoners to learn more about the BRT plan before the election.