$114 million will fund portion of Durham-Scarborough rapid transit construction

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dOntario Construction News staff writer

The first phase of the Durham-Scarborough Rapid Bus Transit line got a $114.5 million funding boost last week from the feds and the province.

Funding will be used for the construction of 7.5 kilometres of dedicated median bus rapid transit lanes, 20 sheltered bus stops at 10 locations, and 7.5 kilometres of bike lanes along Highway 2 in Pickering.

The federal government is contributing $45.8 million, Ontario is providing $38.1 million, and the Regional Municipality of Durham is funding $30.5 million.

“Provincial, federal and local governments are working together to improve public transit infrastructure in Durham Region,” said Ajax MPP Rod Phillips. “Residents will benefit from the Bus Rapid Transit Lanes on the Highway 2 corridor, which will result in faster commutes and shorter travel times.”

Metrolinx is working with Durham Region, Durham Region Transit, City of Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission on the planning and design of this rapid transit corridor.

With rapid growth in the past decade, and an expectation for growth to continue into the future, travel demand along the corridor will continue to increase and higher capacity transit will be needed to link communities and employment on both sides of the Toronto-Durham boundary.

Bus Rapid Transit was identified as the preferred transit technology to link Durham and Scarborough through the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, and the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit Initial Business Case.

The Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit corridor proposes approximately 36 kilometres of Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure along Highway 2 and Ellesmere Road connecting downtown Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering and Scarborough. The corridor will improve connections between TTC, DRT and GO Transit services, allowing transit riders to get where they are going faster than before.

The corridor is expected to grow by approximately 215,000 residents and 66,000 jobs by 2041. Higher capacity transit is needed to strengthen connections between communities and employment in Durham Region and the City of Toronto.

Phase one is the beginning of $500 million that will be needed to build the BRT, a 36-kilometre transit line that will include dedicated bus lanes from the Scarborough Town Centre to Simcoe Street in Oshawa, and eventually to the new GO Station near Ritson Road and Highway 401.

“Today’s investment will help create better and more reliable public transit infrastructure in the Regional Municipality of Durham,” said Pickering-Uxbridge MP Jennifer O’Connell. “Together with our partners, we continue to support public transit infrastructure across the country so that people can get where they need to go in faster, safer, and cleaner ways.”

The BRT initiative is expected to provide more frequent and reliable transit services to Durham Region and beyond.

“The Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit project is a great opportunity to continue to build and connect our communities,” said Durham Chair John Henry. “Travel demand continues to grow in Durham Region and, with our federal and provincial partners, we will continue to provide safe and reliable transit for residents and visitors.”

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