Province signs off on London BRT environmental assessment

Rendering of the bus rapid transit system as seen at King and Wellington streets. The rendering may not be final. The City of London

The province has greenlighted the environmental assessment for London’s bus rapid transit plans, putting the transit system one step closer to becoming reality.

The city announced on Tuesday that it had received a notice to proceed from the Ford government.

That provides the city a foundation to advance to future phases of the plan, said Doug MacRae, director of roads and transportation for the city.

“A lot of technical studies, engineering work, and consultation went into the environmental assessment,” MacRae said. “We are now at a period whereby we have submitted funding applications for three sub-projects — the Downtown Loop, Wellington Gateway, and the East London Link.”

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Council decided in March to advance only those components for funding consideration, scrapping the planned north and west legs of the system in a move that brought a mixed reaction from both anti- and pro-BRT voices.

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“Those were turned around very quickly,” MacRae said of the BRT funding applications. “We’ve continued to have an ongoing dialogue with the province so that they have all the information they need so that they can progress them and move them toward a successful conclusion.”

Council also voted to put forward several smaller projects for funding consideration.

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