The city of London has never seen anything as extensive and complex as the Bus Rapid Transit, otherwise known as Shift. With city council estimating the plan costing around 560 million dollars; 130 million would be paid by the city and the remaining spilt between provincial and federal government, its no wonder why many londoners are on the fence about it.
Kelly Paleczny, General Manager for the LTC states that the cost of the BRT (bus rapid transit) should stay around the estimated price and should not go up in the next few months. Paleczny mentions that their main focus is getting the public opinion on the BRT and finding ways to improve on the master plan in the next few months while their still in the planning stages.
These planning stages include bus routes, environmental affects, construction and estimated wait times for buses. The planning stage will commence around late spring and if the city can get its funding, construction will begin.
Chip Martin, A retired reporter from the London Free Press states he doesn’t believe the cost of the BRT will stay at its estimated price since its already gone up a number of times. “Im for a rapid transit system, just not the one that London has planned. We’re spending half a million dollars on a plan that reduces travel time from point A to point B by only 3 minutes. I have to think if the cost ratio is worth it”
Martin states that their isn’t enough public consultations or easily accessible information out there for Londoners to learn all the details about the BRT. At every public library in the city you can read the Shift book, a giant book with over hundreds of pages all about the BRT. The majority of the public is not going to go to the library to read that book and Martin thinks the city should release a condensed version for people who do not have a lot of time on their hands.
Londons Rapid transit is still in its planning stages but we do know a couple of things.
- Its the most money the city has ever spent on any infrastructure.
- Its going to take several years before we see transit buses.
- City Council is completely on board with the BRT plan and will push to see it come to life.
Their will be several public meetings if you care to share your opinion or concern.