Region working to fast track Bus Rapid Transit projects

York Region has developed a process it hopes will fast track the remaining 130 kilometres of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects, three of which are located in the City of Markham.

Those projects are Enterprise Boulevard from Birchmount Road to Kennedy Road, Kennedy Road from YMCA Boulevard to Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 7 from Kennedy Road to York Durham Line – all in Markham – as well as Jane Street from Hwy. 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive in Vaughan.

A report from the Commissioner of Public Works also recommends prioritizing the Hwy. 7 BRT project from McCowan Road to York Durham Line/CP Havelock to Phase 1 subject to analysis of associated costs and funding from senior levels of government.

The BRT framework identifies priority projects in three phases for implementation, factoring in transit ridership, rapid transit network connectivity, land use density, project readiness and project cost.

To date, 34 kilometres of BRT lanes have been constructed and are in operation across the Region. Construction of the remaining 130 kilometres hasn’t yet been identified for capital construction funding by any level of government. However, the Region believes improving the readiness of the Phase 1 projects – including environmental assessments and preliminary engineering work – will better position those projects for funding from senior levels of government.

The new process builds on focus area actions identified in the 2022 Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which looks ahead 30 years and considers the Region’s transportation infrastructure needs to support growth and the changing needs of travellers.

The framework also lines up with goals identified in the 2023 to 2027 Strategic Plan, including reducing car travel, especially during rush hours; investing in a safe, effective transportation system that connects people, goods and services; and delivering and promoting environmentally sustainable services.

York Region reviews the TMP every five years to ensure the Regional transportation network meets the needs of motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

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