Brampton council votes to bring back LRT

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Once again, the downtown Brampton light-rail transit (LRT) line is in the news. At its December 5 committee meeting, Brampton’s newly sworn-in council voted to restore a previously proposed LRT line along Hurontario/Main Street that was voted down by the previous council in 2015.

The only change is in the routing, this LRT line would extend to Mayfield Road instead of stopping at Steeles Avenue.

In 2015, previous council turned down $400 million in promised provincial funding for essentially the same project in favour of spending $4.4 million to study alternative routes along Kennedy and McLaughlin Roads.

As a result, there’s no provincial or federal funding currently allocated for any Brampton LRT lines — along Hurontario or otherwise.

Staff at City Hall put in a lot of effort to figuring out the feasibility of routing an LRT line around the downtown core. In 2017, the city awarded consulting firm HDR Corporation the contract for the environmental assessment portion of the study.

It is unknown how much of the $4.4 million has been spent in the more than three years since council approved the funding and began exploring alternative routes, but that study is effectively dead now that the proposed line is back on Hurontario/Main.

The only hitch this time is that there is a new provincial government at Queen’s Park. Last heard this new government is still trying to figure out whether the idea of committing millions toward an LRT line is money well spent.

Many in Brampton like in Mississauga would probably think that running a subway to Toronto and connecting it to Mississauga as well would serve them better. An LRT would only connect Brampton and Mississauga, but a subway has the potential of connecting it to Toronto. -CINEWS

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