In a stark contrast to recent transit decisions at City Hall, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown worked with the city’s new council to get unanimous agreement to a transit motion tabled by Regional Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon on Wednesday.
Councillor Dhillon required 12 minutes to read his transit motion that included restoring consideration for an LRT (Light Rail Transit) on Main St, removes consideration for an LRT on Kennedy Rd and McLaughlin Rd and instead replace it with a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), and includes consideration for extensions to Mayfield Rd.
Mayor Brown was first to comment on the motion and made a passionate plea to his council members that the city needs to think bigger and have a strong consensus to go after funding from other levels of government. After lengthy discussions and a break, council voted 6 to 5 against deferring the motion, seemingly creating a new rift with council members.
Mayor Brown, in hopes of getting a strong consensus then engaged in a negotiation process with councillors during a break that was initially scheduled for 10 minutes. After over an hour of one on one negotiations, council was finally able to agree on a motion that included a tunneling option. The final motion was agreed up 11 to 0. See Motion Below.
Council will meet again next week where numerous delegations are expected in support of and against Councillor Dhillon’s motion.
Final Motion Agreed Upon at Committee of Council on Wednesday, Dec 5th:
Therefore be it resolved:
That LRT route for Main Street as originally recommended be prioritized by Brampton staff, be immediately restored as part of the Brampton Transit Network plan;
That LRT no longer be considered for Kennedy Road or McLaughlin Road;
That staff be directed to revise the Brampton LRT Extension Study to (a) make any updates to the HMLRT EA, including study and consideration of an underground tunneling option, to (b) use Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the technology for Kennedy Road and McLaughlin Road and consider extending those alignments further north and/or south, (c) study rapid transit options from the Brampton GO Station to Mayfield Road on Main Street as contemplated in the TTMP, and (d) report back on an implementation strategy for a downtown Mobility Hub; That staff also be directed to report back in expediting the Queen Street Transit Master Plan study and timeline to commence an EA in order to get the BRT project to shovel ready status in order to secure Provincial and Federal funding;
That staff also be directed to consider electric buses for any BRT project;
That Council communicate to Metrolinx its support for (a) more all-day, two-way peak and off-peak GO train service on the Kitchener Line, (b) electrification proceeding west of the Bramalea GO Station, (c) encourage the rail optimization strategy that is currently underway be expedited including the start the EA for the freight bypass and the EAs for the “Kitchener additional track”, “Heritage Road Layover”, and “Georgetown to Kitchener GO” as noted on page 144 of the November 2018 GO Expansion Full Business Case, and (d) encourage more GO bus service and capacity while the above-noted EAs are conducted; and
That staff be directed to immediately communicate the position of Council to the Premier’s Office, the Minister of Transportation, all Brampton MPs and MPPs; and Council be directed to meet with Brampton’s MPs and MPPs immediately to discuss how to collaboratively work together for a Brampton transit network.