Peel Region rapid transit plan a step in right direction
As a transplanted Bramptonian, I am excited to see Brampton finally adopted bus rapid transit (BRT). I am similarly excited to see Mississauga develop its own MiWay BRT system.
Similar to Vaughan’s VIVA system, these services will shorten the frequency between buses during important times of the day like rush-hour.
Peel has over 1 million residents. Many commuters travelling to Toronto come from Brampton and Mississauga. It serves as an important transportation hub for the west end of the GTA.
For too long this area was (and still is) a city of cars. Residents drive everywhere. It’s expensive and not very environmentally-friendly.
Cities like Brampton and Mississauga serve as fertile ground to expand public transportation because there are fewer options.
If transit is to succeed in the GTA these cities must embrace new forms of transportation, while it has the ability to change its ways, to thrive and reduce the number of cars on the road.
Speaking of new options, I would argue subway expansion should never have expanded into Vaughan and instead should have gone through Peel and up to Square One.
In doing so, rapid transit service would have accelerated to carry people to the subway and throughout the region. It would have captured more residents willing to take public transit and potentially ease rush-hour traffic in the area.
While this is no longer possible, both BRT services should continue to encourage residents with faster service and improve existing options within Peel Region and beyond.
This is a miraculous turnaround for a region that has always been dependent on vehicles for transportation.
I recognize this change will not happen overnight, but in Brampton’s case by 2014, with all four Züm lines in place, it will become very transit-accessible for its 450,000+ residents looking to travel to Vaughan, Toronto and Mississauga.
I have to be honest with you, this is a bittersweet moment for me. I was hoping for something like this a long time ago. It only occurred after I left for Toronto. Had this service existed when I was a teenager I would have used it.
Züm and MiWay will help transform the region and GTA but residents need to do their part and use the service.
If residents embrace it as a better way to commute to work and school these services will become a key component in expanding transit throughout the GTA.
I’m also hoping these new BRT services will help change some antiquated urban opinions of the suburbs. Transit isn't a Toronto-only issue. It's now ballooned into a GTA-wide issue. Every little bit counts and for the west-end this is the start of a very significant contribution to GTA-wide transit.