This week is a busy one for the Hurontario-Main LRT team. Once again, they are at the City Halls of Mississauga and Brampton for another public consultation as the plans advance. But this time, they have brought a friend with them: a prototype of the LRT.
This made-in-Ontario vehicle by Bombardier may be seen rolling down Hurontario in the near future (the actual vehicle will be twice the length). Residents and visitors are allowed to explore the interior of the vehicle and try out the seats (including the driver’s!). The train was parked at Mississauga’s Celebration Square from Friday, May 10th to Tuesday, May 14th and has now travelled to Brampton’s Gage Park, where it will rest from Wednesday, May 15th to Wednesday, May 22nd.
While plans are well underway to redesign the stretch between Brampton Downtown and Port Credit to be more pedestrian-, transit-, and cycle-friendly, there is still an issue of cost. Who will fund this project? Will it go as planned? We have already heard that Brampton Mayor, Susan Fennell, is having second thoughts. But Mississauga Mayor, Hazel McCallion is adamant that the LRT will run through Mississauga. (link)
Residents of both cities have brought up some concerns. Elevating the centre of the road may interfere with traffic in some areas. Some Brampton residents argue that the vehicle will interfere with the Flower City Parade. On the other hand, some Mississauga residents argue that the stops are too few and far between.
Regardless of these concerns, it is understandable that the LRT is needed. The growth projections for both cities (link) and Metrolinx’s Big Move plan (link) were not conducted overnight. An LRT may be a sound solution to Peel’s emerging transportation crisis. It may even attract investment and encourage the growth of local jobs. This is as long as the plans keep accessibility in mind.
To discuss the importance of access to transportation within Peel and beyond, the cities are holding what has now grown into the Western GTA Summit. Originally comprising of Mississauga, Brampton, and Oakville, the summit is to now include Caledon, Burlington, and the Halton Region, more generally. The theme for the summit? Live, Move, and Thrive.
The Summit will take place on Tuesday, May 21st, from 1pm to 9pm at the Mississauga Convention Centre (75 Derry Road West, Mississauga). It is free to attend and the discussions will surround developing solutions for the emerging transportation crisis in Peel and Halton regions. For more information on the upcoming summit, check out westerngtasummit.ca.
To learn more about the Hurontario-Main LRT project, check out their website at www.hurontario-main.ca.