Your vote counts!
 

Your Vote for Better Transit

The 2018 municipal election is coming. London’s BRT project was given a green light by city council to move the city forward and now your investment is under threat.

We need supporters like you to show up at the advance polls and on election day, October 22, to ensure this project stays on course.

 

Not sold on BRT yet? We have 49 reasons for you to get on board.

 
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My Pledge

I pledge to get informed about my mayoral and council candidates and to use my vote to elect candidates who support London’s BRT initiative.  

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Your privacy is paramount. All of your information will remain completely confidential.

 
 
 

I Pledged.
Now what?

 
 

Help Others Get Informed

Share this recent series “In Their Own Words” from the London Free Press. Talk to your candidates and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same. Reach out to candidates via email, phone, social media and when they come to the door. We’ve also included a bunch of information below under “Why BRT?” that might help with the conversation.

Support Pro-BRT Candidates

We need strong candidates and they need your help. Volunteer, donate, get a lawn sign, follow them on social media and help spread their message.

Talk about BRT

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around. You can help dispel some of the falsehoods and the fear that anti-BRT candidates are spreading.

 
 

Time is short and you can make a big impact!

 
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 Why BRT?

BRT isn’t just about buses. It’s about infrastructure and it’s about jobs. We have a unique opportunity right now to leverage hundreds of millions of federal and provincial funding to build a better London for our children. We can put 430 of our fellow Londoners to work for 10 years on this project and that translates into hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into our local economy. BRT is better transit, but it’s also our legacy of a smarter, greener, healthier city.


What’s in it for me?

  • An efficient transit system grows and benefits an entire city. Regardless of where you reside, if you commute through London you want to be able to move efficiently. By having buses on dedicated lanes and improving frequency on routes leading to the rapid transit lines, you are improving your commute and that of those around you. 

  • You may not need public transit today, tomorrow or even a year from now. What about in ten or twenty years? That's what this plan is about, thinking about the future. A reliable transit system ensures you can get where you need to go efficiently and at a fare that is affordable. 

  • You can't make me get rid of my car! We don't want you to! An efficient, cost effective transit system means you won't have to make an investment in a second or third vehicle. 

  • It will never be cheaper or less disruptive to build rapid transit than it is now. 


Isn’t It Too Expensive?

  • It's money you've already paid through your provincial and federal taxes which is being allocated back to our city for our infrastructure. This is the first investment of its kind made in London by our upper levels of government, with no guarantee of seeing it again. Requests for federal funding need to be submitted by September 30, 2018.

  • $430M of $500M goes to road widening, construction, engineering, property acquisition, curbs, gutters, etc; $270M goes to local wages! 

  • $70M covers the costs of the 38 stations, electric buses, charging centres and other enhancements. No BRT? No provincial or federal contributions for road improvements and those road improvements are needed regardless. 

  • The city portion of $130M comes from development charges (DC's) which we collect through new development projects.

  • There is no such thing as a "BRT Tax". The cost to taxpayers would be approximately $8.00 per household, per year.  

  • Contingency costs were built into the rapid transit business case as a requirement for government funding consideration for cost overruns.


What about all that construction and traffic? 

  • 96% of the roads disrupted by building BRT will be disrupted in the next 10 years anyway – to be resurfaced or for utility upgrades.  With BRT – 74% paid for by senior government.  Without BRT – 100% paid for locally - that's you! 

  • Coordinating London Hydro infrastructure renewal projects with BRT construction can lower overall costs up to 25%. 

  • Critical sewer projects in the core can be coordinated with rapid transit construction, minimizing disruption and lowering overall costs. Dig once, not twice! 

  • In the construction process, we’ll be able to fix aging roads and revitalize sidewalks and streetscaping with senior levels of government funding 74 cents on the dollar.

  • The rapid transit build will implement Smart Traffic Technology, meaning we'll all spend less time in traffic with a more effective signal system.

  • The Adelaide Street underpass will assist in deterring traffic from Richmond and avoiding train delays (not a part of the rapid transit plan - but accelerated because of it).


Do we have the ridership?

  • Ridership growth projections are not the same across the country. Ontario cities with rapid transit like Mississauga (MiExpress) and York region (Viva) are all seeing significant ridership growth in response to their increase in service. Brampton's (Zum) growth in 2017 was 18% above 2016. 

  • LTC ridership has grown every year since the late 1990's with the exception of the strike in 2009 and in 2015 with the change to the Ontario Works pass system. 

  • Why is London Transit so behind? Because the system was built on waiting for a ridership base. Most municipalities implement transit in new and existing development and invest in it (if you build it, they will come). London has taken the opposite approach, with some areas waiting decades for service. While London has one of the lowest taxpayer contributions toward operations, we also wait longer for new service. This is changing and a part of that change is utilizing rapid transit. Rapid transit helps to plan for the future as development is built along the corridors. It allows for more flexibility in the feeder routes because resources can be reallocated to under-serviced areas.

  • 65% of Jobs and 40% of Population located within the Rapid Transit Corridor in next 15 years.


Is it going to make a difference?

  • BRT means planning and building for growth.  14,000 new residences will be built in the transit benefited areas of London in the coming years.

  • 30,000 more Londoners on the roads means we must accommodate for growth and choice in how people move.

  • In 2017, LTC had 23 million trips. 2018 is already ahead in ridership projections. LTC is the third busiest transit system in Ontario. 

  • It's not about the four minutes, it's about the reliability. No schedules needed. No longer leaving the house 30 minutes earlier than scheduled to be on time. That's the real time savings. For drivers, less time sitting behind buses is a time and fuel savings.

  • Rapid Transit will NOT be a separate system. It will be the spine of London's transit network with local routes where applicable connecting at a higher frequency. Rapid transit routes enhance the system, not detract from it. 

  • Construction of the rapid transit network will be overseen by the City of London.

  • Operation of the rapid transit and all transit will be overseen by London Transit Commission. 

  • The fare structure will be system wide, not separate. 

  • Planning for the future means planning for all Londoners. Offering choice, reliability and convenience isn't subject only to vehicle owners. Driving is not a guarantee, life can change your circumstances and options in an instant. 


Does it make economic sense?

  • In the construction process, we’ll be able to fix aging roads and revitalize sidewalks and streetscaping with senior levels of government funding 74 cents on the dollar.

  • 33% of new housing will be built along Rapid Transit Corridor (where roads, sewers, water, emergency services, schools and transit already exist).

  • Rapid Transit Investment fuels the economy: 47% increase in infrastructure spending over next 3 years.

  • $323 million. That’s how much more money the city will spend on capital projects over the next four years with BRT. That’s 47% over and above the rest of the city’s capital budget; it’s a huge economic driver for London, just in the next council term. None of the additional $323M happens if we delay approval of the project. 

  • Rapid Transit Investment provides for $85M in property acquisitions, affecting 500 properties, who will in turn reinvest those funds for relocations and renovations. This is the definition of economic activity:

    • The City buys the building

    • A local lawyer handles the transaction

    • A realtor sells them another building, generating a commission

    • A local lawyer handles that transaction

    • A local contractor fixes that building and renovates it

    • That local contractor hires electricians, plumbers, drywallers, carpenters, flooring installers and painters

    • A local sign company relocates and reinstalls the signs

    • A local IT company wires the new building

    • A moving company relocates them

    • A local demolition company takes down the old building

  • $740. This is how much every London family has contributed to major transit projects in Ontario every year over the past five years. And this is just provincial tax dollars. This is money that Londoners are spending, now, for other cities’ transit projects.

  • It’s the most affordable rapid transit plan in the country. The entire 24km project, with 38 stations, can be built for less than the cost of one km of the Scarborough subway.

  • Electric buses can have an ROI in 6-8 years on fuel savings alone - they will last longer, require less maintenance and because we own our own hydro utility, the earnings for charging remain ours.


Who’s going to build it?

  • $430M of $500M goes to road widening, construction, engineering, property acquisition, curbs, gutters, etc. $270 million of this goes to local wages! 

  • 430 good paying jobs for a DECADE – project management, engineers, equipment operators, surveyors, landscapers, electricians, carpenters, accountants, administrators, UNION JOBS.

  • Our BRT project is mainly road, bridge and under-the-road infrastructure work, we do this work all the time and we have the skilled trades to build this project right here in London.


Why dedicated lanes?

  • Removes buses from other vehicle traffic.

  • Reduces operating costs. 

  • Guarantee on-time performance. More reliable buses means a more attractive transportation alternative.

  • Lanes provide faster access to emergency responders.

  • Can adapt in use as technology changes (like autonomous vehicles).

  • Create more room for cars on 24 of 28 km of rapid transit lines.

  • Dedicated lanes attract $370M of funding to the City.

  • Bus bays do not solve congestion problems, they delay entry for buses back to mixed traffic which in turn delays traffic further and making schedule adherence almost impossible - remove the buses, lessen the traffic. Yielding to buses (SECTION 142.1 OF THE ACT (YIELDING RIGHT OF WAY TO BUSES) has been in effect for years and driver’s still do not yield to a bus leaving a bus bay. Even with big stickers on the back of the buses as a reminder.


What about the environment?

  • Electric buses (60') will save us over $500,000 per year in fuel costs and eliminate 95% of pollution in the air (as opposed to combustible engines) on rapid transit lines.

  • London can re-purpose the batteries from electric buses to power buildings and other resources in the city at a significant savings

  • Charging technology and a fully electric bus rapid transit system will make us global leaders as environmental stewards and the only city with such a plan in North America


 

September 2018

I firmly believe to attract and retain current and future generations of workers to our city, we have to have the best transit possible. BRT presents that opportunity to invest now in partnership with federal and provincial governments.

David Billson / Read Full Article

 

 
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