Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BRT seen as factor in PT Pax growth in GTA 905s

Van Hool bus at Newmarket on York region's VIVA bus rapid transit system.
Photo Wikimedia Commons. Click on photo to enlarge

Ok, Ok , don't we just love jargon, abbreviations and acronyms!!

In Plain English, the large urban cities and regions, surrounding the City of Toronto itself (GTA = Greater Toronto area, metropop 5.6 million), nicknamed the 905s after a phone prefix common to almost all of these areas, have seen steady growth in public transport use (pax = passengers) and the creation of bus rapid transit corridors [albeit mostly on-road] is seen as a major factor.

Toronto is surrounded by four immediate "regional municipalities" - Durham, Halton, Peel and York. Each of these is an amalgamation of various cities and towns and counties, that as the result of suburban sprawl have grown together. Each area has its own independently operated public transport (transit) systems and though some services operate between these areas and downtown Toronto this is mostly covered by Ontario's commuter rail and bus system GO Transit. Typically in the 905s transit authorities focus mostly on local services and links to GO stations.

The Candian Federal Government, and the Ontario Provincial Government both appear to be very pro-active in promoting and funding public transport. Both levels of Government  appear to have recognised some years ago that bus rapid transit systems can be an effective tool, either before light rail or commuter rail systems come to an area, or in areas where factors such as density or geography.

It is interesting that cities and city areas of significantly greater density and population size than Christchurch,are seen as lacking sufficient basis for rail options to be viable, bus rapid transit is more usually favoured.

Among the currently operative bus rapid transit projects are

Viva - York Transit

Zum - Brampton Transit

MiWay - Mississauga Transit

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