6 Things You Need To Know About The Brampton LRT

1. So what the heck is this LRT thing and why should I care anyway?

LRT stands for Light Rail Transit. Think street cars meet subway. It serves as a modern public transit option (we‘ll get to say “hey Toronto, our rail is sexier“), and it’s quiet.

You should care because the backbone to every city is its transportation infrastructure. Making travel easier by transit will make life easier for all of us. Right now, there is a proposal to link Mississauga’s Hurontario Line to our downtown core. The vote for this is happening on July 8th.

 

HMLRT

The provincial government, is proposing to build a 23 km LRT along Hurontario/Main corridor from Port Credit in Mississauga to Downtown Brampton.

 

2. Ok, what’s the catch?  

City councillors have to say yes. At last check, most of them are saying no.

The province was nice enough to allocate $1.6 billion to build the LRT for us if we allow it to go into downtown Brampton. IF WE LET THEM BUILD IT, THEY’LL BUILD IT FOR FREE. Your municipal taxes will not change.

Call your city councillor and express your views on the LTR going through downtown. 

Grant Gibson – Wards 1 and 5 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – 905.874.2605

Elaine Moore – Wards 1 and 5 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – 905.874.2601

Martin Medeiros – Wards 3 and 4 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – 905.874.2634

Jeff Bowman – Wards 3 and 4
[email protected] – 905.874.2603

Michael Palleschi – Wards 2 and 6 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – 905.874.2661
Doug Whillans – Wards 2 and 6
[email protected] – 905.874.2606

Pat Fortini – Wards 7 and 8
[email protected] – 905.874.2611

Gael Miles – Wards 7 and 8 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – – 905.874.2671

John Sprovieri – Wards 9 and 10 (Regional Councillor)
[email protected] – 905.874.2610
Gurpreet Dhillon – Wards 9 and 10
[email protected] – 905.874.2609

3. But won’t the LRT running through downtown ruin Brampton’s heritage?

Not true: The downtown Brampton houses that line Main Street are heritage buildings, meaning they will be protected at all costs.

If historic European cities with thousands of years of heritage can have LRT, Brampton will do just fine.

LRT running through historic Brussels

4. Why do we want to make it go through downtown so badly?

There are two reasons for this :

  1. If we say no to the Main street LRT, all funding will be pulled and we’ll have to tax ourselves to build new infrastructure. We likely won’t get an alternate route down ANY other street in Brampton.
  2. It will revitalize downtown, and provide easier access to the core of the city. We can finally start enjoying the sexy new TV in garden square, maybe actually go to a show at Rose theatre.

5. But the roads are so narrow in downtown Brampton, won’t it be so congested?

A recent study has shown that three LRT vehicles coupled together can carry the equivalent of four lanes on the 410. Not to mention cities with similar roads have rails going both ways on their tiny street.

Update: the LRT would only take up one lane, instead of the previously proposed two lanes. If we have the LRT, and a generally better public transportation infrastructure, less people will drive cars. This is just the first step in getting better public transportation.

Brampton Downtown

6. It helps us be better candidates for a much needed UNIVERSITY!

The city has been looking to get a tier one university for years. We have another chance and we need to submit a proposal to the provincial government to get it approved by the end of 2015. A robust transportation system will make us stand out over Halton region, which is also looking to get a university.

If we are to get a university, we’d need to sustain thousands of new people coming from all over Canada to the city. Downtown Brampton is that primary spot, where we have VIA rail service and GO Transit to allow people to travel from not just the GTA, but across the country. The downtown LRT  will be the system that connects people to the downtown station.

University of Toronto Campus

BOTTOM LINE

We may have to live with the fact that we live in a democratic city who’s councillors voted NO to building the most important infrastructure in the city: Transportation, the one thing that could revitalize downtown Brampton to be the place where people, young and old want to spend time.

So do your future generations a favour: call your councillor and tell them to vote yes for LRT in downtown Brampton.

To find out more about the Brampton LRT here: Fight Gridlock


 

This article was co-authored by Simran Kamboj, Amrit Toor & reviewed by various other members of the community such as Kevin Montgomery, & J. Deen Amin.

Update 1 (June 29th, 10:01 PM): We provided a better support argument & fixed an error that we likely won’t get funding approved for any other routes.

Comments

comments




  • norma cleverdon

    I vote no leave our downtown alone it’s a perfect mix of heritage and modern all the same .It is also family orientated

    • Justin

      Its hasn’t grown much in years. Brampton, for the population should have a bigger down town…this will only help us expand. Ioen your eyes. Brampton was so far ahead if Mississauga at one point..
      Now we have been surpassed. We need a university

      • Sally Lisa Brown

        Why do we “need” a university? There are so many existing options in easy reach in the GTA. Unless this university will offer courses distinct from those already available, like UOIT did, it’ll merely be the poor cousin of the other more established schools, somewhere you go when you have bad grades.

    • Siobhan

      I agree. Four Corners has enough tall buildings at present.
      There is no reason Four Corners can’t remain Brampton’s historic area and another street (like Kennedy) can’t become Brampton’s “Business District”

  • Brian Price

    You can’t compare European cities that have completely integrated transit systems with Brampton. If we had integrated transit everywhere, not just Hwy 10, I would agree.

  • Woot

    It’s gonna take small steps to integrate more cities to build a wider commuting network. Wtf do you know about heritage, you probably never had to step a foot outside your car to do anything.

  • Andrew

    I would have to disagree with the above comments.

    #1 – How isn’t it integrated? The stops will correspond with bus routes and GO train stations, connecting us not just within our own city, but to the rest of the west side GTA. Just take a good look at that lovely map up at the top of the article. Or are you suggesting we need LRT everywhere? It would be nice, but the Province is willing to put this one on their tab, so why not just go for it? And I doubt those European cities slapped it all together all at once either. It takes time, many steps to get there.

    #2 – Heritage and family friendly yes, modern – not so much. First off, the heritage buildings aren’t going anywhere, and all the great festivals and farmers markets will still happen, just maybe a street over sometimes. The modernity however, yeah we’ve got a new city hall extension, and the rose theater, but then what? We don’t have much to attract folks from the far reaches of our suburbs to our downtown core. Once we have that many more people attracted to our downtown by the LRT, we will have that many more people interested in investing in and developing our core.

    I’m gonna go from there to my own point. I fully agree with the LRT ’cause Brampton is a growing city, Canada’s 9th largest, with so much talent and energy. Our core should be thriving, ever expanding, and the cultural center of our city. But it really isn’t. It’s sad and it’s hard to admit but it isn’t. It stopped growing at some point, new malls and suburbs were more convenient, highways and trains to Toronto made Brampton’s cultural draws fairly irrelevant and gave us access to schools and jobs we don’t have at home. It’s time to improve, and saying lets just leave it be and not change anything isn’t going to make us a better city. We’ll just be stuck where we were, a small-town brain in a big-city body.

  • Angelo

    Why does the “monorail” episode of the Simpsons always come to mind when this is brought up?

    “But Main St.’s still all ripped and broken!”
    “Sorry mom the mob has spoken!”
    “Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!”

    Look, the Brampton downtown needs a huge makeover. It started with city hall, which was a great start. Now we just wasted $5mil on these screens….

    Question is: how’s the farmer’s market affected? Do we have to run it along Queen now instead of main?

    I don’t know… the downtown needs a ton of work. Are we sure this is the next thing in the list?

  • John

    The city has been looking at ways to revitalize Bramptons downtown core forever as well as traffic congestion, this LRT will help to address both of these issues the only opposition I hear is the rich people including our long ex premier complaint it will effect the historic look, they already have cars bumper to bumper along that route, seems like a no brainer, I would like to hear why most city councillors are voting no.

    • Siobhan

      The best way to revitalise Four Corners is for businesses to supply products and services that people NEED. Like a grocery store for those who live in the area. A store that sells good-quality clothing. A shoe shop. There are enough lawyers at Four Corners.
      I have never needed to purchase a fur coat. Nor have I visited a pawn shop, not do I need the products being offered in “The Wee Smoke Shoppe”. Not looking for a tattoo etc. etc. The Poutine store interests me (though the price dissuades me) and sometimes the coffee shops. On Sundays, there is very little open.
      So it’s a vicious cycle. People don’t shop because there isn’t much to interest people (except office workers during the week). People don’t go there, so businesses struggle. Businesses are closed on Sundays because people aren’t coming there.
      LRT won’t help Four Corners in any way.

  • Gaba

    I still think it’d be more convenient if they found a way to do that sort of thing underground, much like the Toronto subway system, that way the streets are left intact and no one has to bitch about the space on the road above ground.

    • manjyot

      Do you have any idea how expensive that would be?

    • Siobhan

      Underground would be an even bigger mistake. Following the floodplains not advisable either.

  • Siobhan

    Brampton does not need an LRT (sexy or otherwise) travelling north of Steeles to Brampton’s Four Corners.
    I understand many WANT this modern marvel being waved in front of their noses and have become mesmerised. But like “The Emporer’s New Clothes” (love the analogy I read elsewhere), there is nothing to the proposal for LRT going north of Steeles to Four Corners.
    Yes, Four Corners is struggling. It has been struggling since the advent of indoor shopping malls in Brampton. That is a long time. LRT won’t help Four Corners in way, shape or form.
    Pro-LRT ers “say” LRT will bring jobs etc., yet they are unable to explain how. Yes, there will be construction jobs, but those jobs will exist regardless of which route an LRT will go. Once construction is completed, those jobs are gone.
    I don’t see how LRT is going to attract “thousands” of people to Downtown Brampton, when there is very little to attract people and none of the necessities (e.g grocery store) for people who live in the area. People will ride LRT to get somewhere else, not to visit Four Corners.
    To accommodate an LRT on Main Street, many changes will need to be made, which WILL change the appearance of the area, permanently. Trees will need to be trimmed dramatically, or removed, for overhead wires.
    Construction will make Four Corners pretty much inaccessible until completed. Many of those struggling businesses will not survive.
    Brampton has one of the last surviving downtown cores in the GTA. I realise many do not appreciate the unpolished gem, but as the song says, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”
    There are alternate routes. Since Brampton is the 9th largest city in Canada, there are other streets which CAN accommodate an LRT much better than Main Street South, like Kennedy and will serve the needs of ALL Bramptonians much better.
    Brampton is large enough to have different “themed” streets. Leave Main Street as the “historic centre” without LRT. Develop other streets (that could do with more help than Main Street) as business streets.
    If the goal is to connect with GO train, Brampton has two other GO stations — Bramalea and Mount Pleasant.
    If the goal is to connect with TTC, how is LRT in Mississauga going to accomplish that? Quite simply, it won’t. The route doesn’t connect with TTC anywhere along the route. It would be much more useful to have all-day, two-way GO train service at all three GO stations in Brampton.
    Putting an LRT up Main Street is the cheapest route. That is the only positive and that is the #1 reason Metrolinx wants LRT to go that way. That route is not the best route for ALL Bramptonians. Kennedy is a wide, parallel street that could easily accommodate LRT. LRT could easily be pushed further north to Mayfield along Kennedy in the future.
    Brampton doesn’t NEED a university. Some Bramptonians want a university. I’ve heard rumours there is a plan to have a university at Four Corners/downtown Brampton. There is NO SPACE for a university there, or else it will be a very small, inconsequential university. Any university campus I’ve visited (and attended as a student) started at the edge of a community and the community grew around the university. It is logical to re-zone land in the north-west quadrant of Brampton for a university and have LRT go that direction (towards Mount Pleasant GO Station).
    Personally, I think Metrolinx is trying to rush Bramptonians into making a horrendous mistake. Until the residents of Brampton receive satisfactory answers to the many questions being circulated in various places, the only logical vote is “No”, not yet for LRT.

  • Jean

    I think this LRT is a horrible idea. The downtown core of Brampton is going to become a wasteland of shuttered stores or tattoo parlours without on-street parking. The businesses have been struggling for years and without the ability to park a car near a store people will just go elsewhere.

    This may be great for Square One and Port Credit but I personally think it’s a disaster for Brampton. I’m contacting the councillors but to tell them I think this is an appalling idea. If you think gridlock is bad now just wait and see what happens if this passes on the 8th.

    • Siobhan

      There has been nothing left of the historic areas in Mississauga along Hurontario for decades.

  • Johanne

    Fantastic proposal! As a resident of downtown Brampton, my family and I are looking forward to this coming to light! The trees will NOT be destroyed- info brochure available at city hall or the farmers market. We are an active family wanting to remove the gridlock in our downtown core. The LRT will help with that, and be quieter with less environmental pollution to boot. We have cars, but enjoy cycling to T By Daniels, or picking up food from Freshly Thai, etc. OMG who’s idea was it to have that monstrous TV at the 4 corners? In keeping with Brampton’s heritage? Yeah, right.
    Make the corners easily accessible to pedestrians. Make it a lovely place to spend time. Get rid of the weed shops and fill it with stores that serve the residents that actually live here. Bring Wannigans here. Cute restaurants and shops. The LRT will make downtown more accessible and cleaner. Less mess. Learn from Europe. Now that’s heritage.

    • Siobhan

      And you really believe what Metrolinx says?
      Yeah, the monster TV screen was a mistake.

  • Karina

    … what’s the point if the 502 zum runs basically the exact same route?????

    • Vani

      the buses will be taken off after the LRT is built…

  • Catherine

    As a homeowner within the downtown core, I have been shamefully uninformed and silent about the proposed LRT. I have to admit, the prospect of several years of construction through our neighbourhood is not appealing- look at how long the TTC extension to Hwy 7 is taking and the horrible horrible traffic along Hwy 7 and Steeles….for YEARS. That said, I highly disagree with anyone who says that Brampton has a ‘historic’ downtown… go check it out. Our downtown is not even close to historic. It’s a HOT MESS. Parking on the downtown streets blocks up way more traffic than this LRT will… If the LRT reduces traffic flow through downtown at rush hour even a little bit, it’s worth it. We need to move forward in Brampton with PROGRESSIVE thinking that will make our city better…not stagnant. Whilst I agree that sending it underground might have been a better option in the long run, the cost and time to complete such a job is even MORE nightmarish. When I visited Brussels last summer, it was great to be able to catch LRT systems into the downtown core from the more suburban areas. I think this is the right choice for us.

  • Madonna Caille

    How much it can carry is not relevant. How many will use it is.
    If a frequent LRT is half EMPTY. what does that save.