LRT extension back on track to connect downtown Brampton with Hazel McCallion line in Mississauga


Published January 18, 2024 at 10:53 am

Brampton LRT extension Hazel McCallion line

The province is set to get Brampton’s LRT expansion back on track after years of holdups to connect riders with the Hazel McCallion line in Mississauga, according to reports.

News broke on Thursday that Brampton MP and Transportation Minister Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria has penned a letter to Metrolinx, asking the transit agency “to bring forward a plan to build the downtown Mississauga loop and an extension into downtown Brampton,” according to multiple reports.

The Jan. 17 letter comes the same day Brampton city councillors heard a new report showed the city only receives $5,030 per resident for transit project funding – a number Mayor Patrick Brown says is too low when looking at other cities like Toronto ($14,240) or Hamilton ($5,970).

Metrolinx reportedly has until early February to complete an initial business case for two additions to the line – the previously cancelled downtown Mississauga loop and an extension into downtown Brampton, according to reports

The city is expected to endorse a hybrid surface and tunnel route for the expansion into Brampton and would include four stops and a 2 km tunnel from Nanwood Drive to just south of the recently-renamed Brampton Innovation District GO station.

The tunnel option comes in at an estimated $2.8 billion, more than twice the cost of the surface-only route, but will be more efficient and lead to fewer delays, according to the report.

The original project assessment was approved by the previous Liberal government back in September 2014 with a design that included a surface alignment along Main Street into downtown Brampton.

Funding from the Province was announced in 2015, and Council greenlit construction up to Steeles Avenue in October of that same year.

Previous city council’s went back-and-forth on the proposed route for years, looking at Kennedy Road and or McLaughlin Road as alternatives, but city staff were directed to focus on the Main St. route as originally planned.

Brown has repeatedly gone to bat for the underground option as the best bet for the city’s heritage area and businesses in the downtown.

“Let’s not settle for a transit proposal for phase 2 that we don’t believe is good enough for our city,” Brown said in council chambers on Wednesday.

“Other cities have demanded what they felt was in the best interest for their city, and I feel very strongly that this is what we deserve as a city,” adding that the city’s ridership numbers “make this decision a no-brainer.”

With ridership in some comparable cities dropping since 2019, the city is calling on Ottawa and Queens Park to come through with more funding for transit projects in Brampton through the new federal Permanent Transit Fund and the province’s Ontario Infrastructure Bank.

And with a growing population and more housing projects underway in Brampton, councillors said building up the city’s transit infrastructure now is needed to support future growth.

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