Recent estimates indicate that over the next 30 years, the number of people living in
Ontario will grow by as many as four million - with the majority living in the Greater Toronto
Area (GTA). Our GTA transportation infrastructure is already strained to the limit to support
current levels of population and movement. Other solutions are required.
One important way of addressing traffic congestion is to transition commuters from
individual vehicles to higher-order transit solutions (also referred to as "mass
transit"). Higher-order transit is the most efficient and sustainable way to address
increased traffic requirements in a city setting. Having a more extensive, reliable and
convenient transit system will be critical in order for Mississauga and the GTA to accommodate
The City of Mississauga faces some challenges in this effort due to the high costs of
supporting transit for the City's population and employment while still servicing high-volume
corridors of travel. The City recognizes these challenges and has developed a
comprehensive plan of timely, cost-effective solutions for addressing increased
congestion. These are summarized in the City's transit ridership growth strategy, which
establishes a five-year target of achieving a 25 per cent increase in the use of higher-order
transit in Mississauga.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System
Central to this plan is the development of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System -- a
high-efficiency transit corridor and service being developed in partnership with the Federal
Government, Province of Ontario, GO Transit (a Division of Metrolinx) and the City of
Mississauga. Modeled on successful transit systems from progressive municipalities around
the world, the BRT represents a highly efficient, comparatively low-cost solution to moving
high numbers of people across the region. It's similar to rail-based transit in terms of
providing a dedicated right-of-way for transit vehicles, except instead of a costly rail
system, it will use dedicated roads and buses.
Mississauga's segment, running from Ridgeway Drive to Renforth Drive, will be part of a 100
km transit corridor connecting municipalities from Oakville to Pickering. The BRT System
will complement and connect with local bus services and inter-regional transit and subway
systems, linking high-density development and employment centres across the
city. Mississauga's 12 designated stations will provide key connection
points. Several stations will feature passenger pick up and drop off and/or park-and-ride
The BRT System will support extensive express bus service for thousands of riders per day,
making it faster and easier to travel to, from and through Mississauga and the GTA. It
will play an important role in the continued evolution of the GTA, Canada's largest population
and business centre. Mississauga's role in this development is pivotal due to:
- Location: Mississauga is strategically located between Halton Region to the west,
Brampton to the north, and Metro Toronto to the east, effectively forming the hub for all
travel in the western half of the GTA.
- Integration: Mississauga's transit system ties in directly to the transit systems of
its neighbouring municipalities. It is served by GO trains on three different rail lines,
as well as numerous GO buses. It is also home to Canada's largest international airport.
- Population: Mississauga is home to more than 700,000 people, many of whom need to
travel quickly and safely within Mississauga and into neighbouring jurisdictions each day.
- Business: Mississauga is a major employment centre for industry and commerce, home
to more corporate head offices than any other jurisdiction in Canada.
The BRT System will benefit both the people that use it, and the city and region in
The BRT System will make riders' travel better through:
- increased reliability: your trip will be less likely to be affected by traffic
congestion, so you'll get where you need to go on time
- reduced travel time: your trip will be faster in relation to both current transit
options and automobile travel, so you'll spend less time commuting and more time doing the
things you want to do
- greater convenience: improved security, protection from the elements and improved
service information mean a more comfortable ride
- greater accessibility: more transit means better options for those without access to
The BRT System will make Mississauga and our surrounding communities better through:
- increased capacity: Mississauga will be able to move significantly more people
without having to add to the costly public road network
- reduced automobile traffic: the BRT system is projected to divert thousands of
riders a day from private automobiles to higher-order transit, reducing automobile traffic
significantly during high-volume periods
- reduced emissions: with vehicle emissions contributing significantly to climate
change; reduced traffic means better air for everyone
- increased density: the BRT will support increased intensity and density of
development along the corridor through Mississauga and the GTA, supporting the healthy growth
of residential and employment centres
- increased safety: public transit is the safest form of transportation, with the
rates of injury or death due to accident significantly lower for public transit versus private
The Mississauga segment of the BRT System will cover 18 kilometres along Highway 403 and
Eglinton Avenue, connecting Winston Churchill Boulevard in the west to Renforth Drive in the
Planning and investment began over a decade ago, when the City of Mississauga and the
Ministry of Transportation Ontario entered into a partnership to support the future BRT System
by upgrading the shoulders along Highway 403 from Erin Mills Parkway to Mavis Road, and by
building Centreview Drive from the Mavis Road/403 interchange into the core of the Mississauga
City Centre. This partnership and vision proved to be a success, as GO Transit introduced
a precursor to the BRT service in 2001 followed by the opening of the Bus Bypass Shoulders
(BBS) along Highway 403 from Erin Mills Parkway to Mavis Road in 2003. Since the opening
of the BBS, GO Transit's BRT precursor bus service has been able to save up to 10 minutes per
trip on the congested section of Highway 403 between Erin Mills Parkway and the City Centre
transit terminals. Ridership on GO's BRT precursor service has grown from 4,000 to over
12,000 passengers per day since 2003.
Construction of the new BRT infrastructure is expected to commence in 2009 and will focus on
two main sections. The west section, "BRT West", will provide dedicated bus lanes
adjacent to Highway 403 between Winston Churchill Boulevard and Erin Mills Parkway, and will
connect with the existing BBS along Highway 403 between Erin Mills Parkway and Mavis Road
(connected to the City Centre by Centre View Drive). The east section, "BRT
East", will run along the 403/Eglinton corridor from the City Centre to Renforth
Drive. The entire project is slated for full operation in 2015.
West, from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Erin Mills Parkway, will be the
responsibility of GO Transit. BRT Stations with Park and Ride lots will be built at
Winston Churchill Boulevard and Erin Mills Parkway.
The City of Mississauga is responsible for the construction of the BRT East from the
City Centre to Renforth Station (Commerce Blvd.). BRT stations with Park and Ride lots will be
built at Cawthra Road and Dixie Road. Additional BRT stations will be
constructed at Tomken Road, Tahoe Boulevard, Etobicoke Creek, Spectrum Way and Orbiter
To view a conceptual map of the Mississauga Segment of the BRT, click here.
The BRT proposal has already been reviewed and approved by each level of government, and the
development plan is well under way. The BRT is a key component of Ontario's Smart Growth
plan for development of the GTA, as well as Mississauga's own Rapid Transit Program.
Total costs for completion of the Mississauga portion of the system are approximately $259
million which is equitably funded by the Federal Government, the Province of Ontario, GO
Transit and the City of Mississauga. The Province and the Federal Government have already
committed $173 million to the development of the BRT in Mississauga because they understand its
importance to the economic and social fabric of the GTA and, ultimately, the country as a
whole. The City of Mississauga has also received budget approval for its share of the
development and operating costs as part of its overall transit strategy.
User fares will go towards the operating costs of the service. While fare structures
have not yet been determined, projections indicate that the cost of using the BRT will be less
than the cost of maintaining and fueling a private automobile for the same amount of travel.
You won't just save time on the BRT, you'll save money, too.
The City has undergone an extensive series of provincial environmental assessments
evaluating the physical, socio-cultural and economic impacts of the construction and operation
of the BRT. The results are very favourable, and all efforts are being made through the
development and implementation to ensure that any negative impacts are minimized.
[1-4] Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund Submission, March