Mississauga Residents Grill Metrolinx Officials Over LRT Station
Residents who live in the vicinity of condo buildings at Kingsbridge Garden Circle intersection with Hurontario Street in Mississauga grilled officials from the province’s Metrolinx transit agency this past week over their request to add a station along the Hurontario LRT route.
The grilling took place during one of Metrolinx’s series of town halls, which they held in Mississauga at the Sheridan College campus next to Square One. Previous town halls took place in other parts of the GTA.
A panel consisting of Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster, Chief Development Officer Leslie Woo, Chief Operation Officer Greg Percy, Chief Planning Officer Mathieu Goetzke and Chief Capital Officer Matt Clark were on hand to answer questions online and from the audience.
The Kingsbridge Garden Circle community has been asking for a stop for quite some time, as the LRT will become Mississauga’s most significant higher-order transit project.
The LRT, once completed, will span 18 km and run from Port Credit GO at Lakeshore Rd. in the south to the Brampton Gateway Terminal at Steeles Ave in the north. The LRT will boast 19 stops and provide connections to the Port Credit and Cooksville GO stations, Mississauga Transitway, GO Transit’s Milton line, Lakeshore West rail lines, MiWay and Zum transit lines.
The project will also include a maintenance and storage facility for the light rail vehicles located south of Highway 407 and west of Kennedy Road
While there were other questions about the LRT being put forward, a good chunk of the town hall was dominated by the questions surrounding the Kingsbridge residents’ request to add an LRT station, but also over concerns of the relocation of a transformer near residential buildings.
Robert Sawyer, who said he represented the group Kingsbridge LRT, asked why the transformer was being moved closer to people’s homes and other representatives from Kingsbridge referred to the transformer as being unpleasant to look at as well as having detrimental health effects.
Another representative, Ehsan Khandaker, brought an 80-year-old resident at Kingsbridge to highlight seniors’ isolation as a negative side effect of the transformer and lack of accessible transit services.
“We can only have so many stops,” Verster replied to the Kingsbridge residents’ questions, adding that he admired “their passion” in bringing forward the issue, but said he can only give the same answer. The Metrolinx CEO brought up factors such as transit connectivity and density as reasons they use when deciding where to put a station, and was insistent that such factors had to be used in order to make “the proper business case.”
Regarding the transformer, the CEO mentioned that dozens of the same type of transformers are located in the heart of many populated areas. “You’d be surprised at how many of them you pass by every day,” Verster said.
Other questions posed to the Metrolinx officials included:
Specifics on the Kitchener Corridor expansion, such as what the plans are going forward for west of Bramalea (a third track through downtown Brampton to Georgetown, a flyover near the Credit River, improvements to facilities at Georgetown, or changes to capacity along the Guelph Subdivision?)
More sustainable development at future GO stations
All-day, two-way service on the Milton Line (Verster said this was an ownership issue that needs to be negotiated with CP Rail, which owns the tracks the Milton Line currently operates on)
Whether the loop around downtown Mississauga previously planned for the LRT could be reinstated (the loop was cancelled in the spring for budgetary reasons).
Metrolinx has hosted town halls since December of 2017. They can all be found online.
If you’re the type of person that is interested in the latest on transit around the GTA, keep an eye out for any future Metrolinx town halls taking place.