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Dundas BRT

Dundas Bus Rapid Transit - About the Project

BRT provides an efficient rapid transit alternative at-grade system in a number of areas locally (Mississauga Transitway, York Region’s VIVA) and across North America (see the examples below), with the following features:

  • Dedicated lanes for buses, where feasible, resulting in shorter travel times and more reliable transit service
  • Frequent service with a bus every 5 minutes or less during peak hours
  • Smart signals will adapt to support smoother traffic flow for all commutes – on buses, in personal vehicles, and on bicycles
  • Better connections to TTC, Viva Rapid Transit, MiWay, Oakville Transit, Burlington Transit, Hamilton Street Rail (HSR), Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) and GO Transit routes to allow for the use of dedicated lanes and shared stops, making it easier to travel through the region
  • Reliable service with buses separated from general traffic in most areas, and greater stop spacing to allow for fast, efficient and reliable service
  • Potential enhanced amenities such as service maps, next bus information, fare collection, garbage bins, wayfinding information and weather protection

Where dedicated lanes are not being implemented, certain Transit Priority Measures (TPMs) including infrastructure and signal measures can be considered to optimize conditions and contribute to shorter, more efficient rides. These include:

  • Queue Jump Lanes are short, dedicated transit lanes that allow transit vehicles to bypass queues at intersections and, in combination with transit signal priority, allow buses to easily enter traffic flow in a priority position
  • Transit Signal Priority uses signal technology to provide a head start for transit vehicles at signalized intersections and can also provide additional green light time for approaching buses

front of a bus
Canada Line BRT - Richmond, British Columbia

car traffic
Provo Orem BRT - Utah County, Utah

front of a bus in traffic
Le Corbusier BRT - Laval, Québec

Metrolinx is continuing to advance planning for the Dundas Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, based on key findings in the Dundas Connects Master Plan and the Metrolinx Initial Business Case. The purpose of the Dundas BRT project is to evaluate the proposed transit corridor along a 48 kilometre (km) stretch of Dundas Street from Highway 6 in the City of Hamilton through to the Kipling Transit Hub in the City of Toronto, linking Etobicoke and Mississauga City Centres. More than 20 km, of the 48 km BRT, will operate in bus lanes or in a dedicated right-of-way, separate from other traffic, allowing faster and more reliable transit connections.

The Dundas BRT will:

reduce greenhouse gas emissions
offer shorter commutes

map of the Dundas BRT study corridor

How is the study structured?

The study is structured into the following four areas along Dundas, three Transit Project Assessment Processes (TPAPs) for Toronto, Mississauga East and Mississauga West, and one Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC).

  • Toronto – Kipling Transit Hub to Etobicoke Creek
  • Mississauga East – Etobicoke Creek to Confederation Parkway
  • Mississauga West – Confederation Parkway to Ninth Line
  • Halton and Hamilton – Ninth Line to Highway 6 (no TPAP anticipated)

Dundas BRT study areas

The project area includes the proposed alignment for the project and additional areas for potential refinements as design progresses. Once established, the environmental disciplines applied buffers to account for applicable legislated requirements, resulting in the individual study areas for each of the environmental studies.

What formal process will be followed?

Metrolinx is working with various municipalities to advance planning and design of the Dundas BRT:

  • TPAP
  • Preliminary Design (--)
  • PDBC

map of the Dundas BRT alignment

What is the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP)?

A Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) is a focused environmental impact assessment process created specifically for transit projects. The process involves a pre-planning phase followed by a regulated (up to 120 days) consultation and documentation period. These phases include consultation, assessment of impacts, development of measures to mitigate negative impacts, and documentation. Consultation occurs with the public, stakeholders and Indigenous Nations throughout the process. Following these phases, there is a 30-day public review period where the public has the opportunity to review the Environmental Project Report (EPR) and provide additional comments, followed by a 35-day Minister’s review period. A TPAP makes sure that the natural, social, cultural, and economic environments are assessed and potential adverse effects from the proposed project are avoided, mitigated, or minimized where feasible. TPAPs are regulated under Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act, and are submitted for the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ review prior to proceeding with the transit project.

Three separate TPAPs will be conducted for:

  • Toronto
  • Mississauga East (this TPAP will be conducted first to meet federal funding requirements)
  • Mississauga West

What is Preliminary Design?

The preliminary design phase is formed from the Dundas Connects Master Plan and the Metrolinx Initial Business Case, and will build upon the pre-planning completed as part of the TPAP for Toronto and Mississauga. In this phase, the project team will utilize the analyses of technical and environmental studies and public engagement to refine the BRT design to a 30% design level. The 30% design will seek to further refine corridor infrastructure widths such as lanes, buffers, boulevards, active transportation facilities, and grading limits in order to reduce the site-specific impacts identified in the TPAP. Outcomes from the preliminary design will inform the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC), which will be completed by the project team to allow Metrolinx to make evidence-based investment decisions.

What is the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC)?

The PDBC evaluates the Dundas BRT project across strategic, economic, financial and operational, and deliverability cases. It also sets out the costs, benefits, risks and barriers of the project, which will assist Metrolinx and its partners in developing future phases of work on the corridor. Outcomes from the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC) will inform the 30% Preliminary Design refinement.

This graphic shows the project process and demonstrates where public engagement will take place. The project timeline has been updated since the last round of engagement to:

  • Allow for more time to complete the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC) outside of Mississauga East;
  • Advance work for Mississauga East to meet requirements of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) funding; and
  • Leverage Dundas Connects study results to advance preliminary design and environmental studies in Mississauga East.

An infographic of the project process demonstrating the steps that will be undertaken in the project, including 5 rounds of public engagement, before advancing to the Preliminary Design Business Case.

In September 2020, Metrolinx completed and published an Initial Business Case (IBC) to assess the need for the Dundas BRT. The document provides an evidence-based assessment of the case for investment in the new rapid transit corridor. The IBC provides the information necessary for decision-makers, stakeholders and the public as an important part of the transparent and evidenced-based decision-making process.

This document includes:

  • A confirmation of the problem and/ or opportunity and identifies a set of investments that could address them
  • Provides a high-level range of varying investments that could be implemented
  • Gives insights and recommendations for future work

The IBC evaluated the early-stage feasibility of the Dundas BRT by examining the strategic, economic, financial and deliverability and operations cases. The IBC found that the BRT could:

  • Accommodate more than 30,000 new net daily riders
  • Benefit traffic flow resulting in between 345,000 and 555,000 hours of decongestion benefits per year
  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by between 100,000 to 600,000 tonnes per year
  • Unlock economic and regional development by connecting rapid transit to 230,000 to 465,000 jobs found within 2 kilometres of the catchment area (approximately a 10-minute walk)
  • Offer frequent rapid transit service to 600,000 to 1,000,000 people living within 2 kilometres of the corridor
  • Reduce transit commute times along the corridor by approximately 14 minutes on average

The Dundas BRT Initial Business Case considered the following three service options. All the options perform well and show a robust case for investment, demonstrating the benefits of service integration on the Dundas corridor to support BRT infrastructure investment.

Previous work studying the Dundas Corridor will be incorporated into this project. The Initial Business Case is foundational since it defines the preferred Bus Rapid Transit strategy and will guide the preliminary designs to address identified challenges (pinch points) along the route.

The Dundas Connects Master Plan, completed and endorsed by Mississauga City Council in 2018, identified the following, which will be further explored as part of the current work:

  • The type of transit suitable for the corridor
  • Opportunities for enhanced connectivity along the corridor
  • Streetscape design and active transportation facilities
  • Initial design solutions to constrained sections of the corridor

What is a stop?

A stop is a designated area where the Dundas BRT will stop to pick up and drop off passengers. The scale and amenities of each stop will reflect the level of predicated usage or existing infrastructure in the area.

Potential amenities of the Dundas BRT stops include:

  • Access ramp and railings
  • Tactile warning strips (e.g., textured ground surfaces for the visually impaired)
  • Location of stop name and wayfinding signage
  • Next bus information
  • Fare collection
  • Art and cultural heritage elements
  • Benches and seating
  • Service maps
  • Weather protection
  • Garbage bins

An example of a typical median BRT stop.
An example of a typical median BRT stop.*

An example of a typical curbside BRT stop.
An example of a typical curbside BRT stop.*

*Conceptual rendering for illustrative purposes and subject to change through design development and stakeholder engagement.

What is the distance between each stop?

When selecting BRT stop locations, access must be balanced with travel time. Stop locations are based on factors as follows:

  • Locations identified as part of the Dundas Connects Study and the Initial Business Case (IBC);
  • Current transit facilities and intersecting bus routes that form the basis of a feeder network;
  • Distance between stops; and
  • Land use and major trip generators.

1075 meters distance between stops, 8 stops in Mississauga East.

The distance between each Dundas BRT stop location will vary, depending on the city being travelled through. Increased spacing between Dundas BRT stops will allow for fast and reliable service through the corridor.

Dundas BRT stops in Mississauga East

Since the last round of public engagement, work has advanced on establishing the proposed stop locations and potential amenities. Eight stop locations within Mississauga East have been identified, each of which has been informed by the above mentioned criteria.

prelinary design

As preliminary design work for Toronto, Mississauga West and Halton and Hamilton is still underway, more information related to proposed stop locations and potential amenities in these areas will be presented during a future Public Information Centre.

Provisions for future electrification technology are being considered in the planning of the corridor. This may be considered as the existing electrification technology allows transit vehicles to run smoothly without the use of fossil fuel, providing a green mode of transportation.

Instead of fueling each morning/evening, electric buses charge overnight at bus depots and, if required, schedule midday recharging layovers at garages or pass through discrete charging stations at potential layover locations during the day to ensure a smooth ride through the Dundas Street corridor.

Why electrification?

When compared to diesel or compressed natural gas, electric buses:

  • Offer a smoother, quieter ride
  • Emit minimal or zero carbon or greenhouse gases (GHGs), helping to meet targets set out in Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) of reducing overall GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 and the City of Toronto’s goal to ensure 100% of transit vehicles transition to low-carbon energy by 2050

What could electrification look like?

Electrification may look similar to Le Corbusier BRT or the Laker Line BRT shown below.

MiWay Electrification Pilot

Did you know?

  • MiWay is currently conducting studies and participating in a hydrogen fuel cell* electric bus pilot project to understand how hydrogen-electric technology can help advance Mississauga’s commitment to a zero-emission bus fleet.
  • MiWay will add new bus technologies, which already include 11 new, second generation hybrid-electric articulated buses with more planned for delivery in 2021, to stay up to date with industry trends, while adjusting the long-term bus replacement plan to effectively manage the integration of new technology as older-model buses complete their lifecycle.

* Hydrogen fuel cell technology requires considerable upfront costs and increased operating costs when compared to electric technology. However, costs associated with hydrogen fuel cell technology is rapidly decreasing.

Le Corbusier BRT - Laval, Québec
Le Corbusier BRT - Laval, Québec

Laker Line BRT - Michigan, US
Laker Line BRT - Michigan, US