Queen St Hwy 7 BRT
- What we're building
Proposed Queen Street-Highway 7 BRT
Learn about the bus rapid transit Metrolinx proposes be built on Queen Street in Brampton and along Highway 7 in Vaughan.
What is BRT?
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a high-quality transit system that provides quick, reliable, and comfortable service to its riders. Much more than just another bus route, BRT has several advantages over traditional buses, including:
Dedicated lanes contribute to shorter travel times.
Frequent service means wait times are reduced.
Enhanced transit stops with higher standard of passenger amenities.
Smart signals support smoother traffic flow.
Passenger information systems provide information on bus arrival times.
From an infrastructural standpoint, BRT is more comparable to light rail transit. While light rail boasts higher passenger capacity and can run at higher and more consistent speeds, BRT is significantly cheaper to build and operate, can take advantage of existing roadways, and offers a degree of scalability for future expansion or service changes. Because they operate on roadways, BRT vehicles also have the flexibility to run in mixed traffic when necessary to avoid delays, such as when a dedicated lane is blocked by emergency vehicles.
A high-level comparison of the three most common surface transit systems – traditional bus, BRT, and LRT – is found in the chart below.
Surface Transit Comparison
Median vs. Curbside BRT
When comparing the two primary dedicated lane designs for BRT systems, there are some notable differences in both how riders access the buses and how other roadway vehicles operate alongside them:
- Dedicated BRT lanes in the centre of the street.
- Stops located in the centre of the road at signalized intersections.
- Traffic can only make left turns at signalized intersections. A centre raised island restricts left turns into and out of unsignalized side streets and driveways.
- Dedicated BRT in the outer lanes of the street.
- Stops located on the side of the road at signalized intersections.
- Traffic can cross transit lanes to access properties and make turns.
For the Queen-Highway 7 BRT Project, a median BRT design is preferred where possible for the following reasons:
- Provides service reliability with fewer delays on busy streets.
- Improves network integrations.
- Enhances safety with few conflicts between turning traffic and transit.
- Promotes active transportation in between rapid transit stops.
- Is more “future proof,” as dedicated lanes in the centre of the street are more flexible for future conversions to LRT.
Project history and timeline
The Queen Street–Highway 7 BRT Project has developed from the Queen Street Rapid Transit Benefits Case completed 10 years ago, which helped identify the need and establish the rationale to bring a new rapid transit system through Brampton. Since then, the case for rapid transit along the Queen Street and Highway 7 corridor has been further bolstered by several planning studies in the region, including York Region’s Transportation Master Plan, the Region of Peel’s Long Range Transportation Master Plan, the City of Brampton’s 2041 Vision, and Metrolinx’s own 2041 Regional Transportation Plan.
In 2019, Brampton City Council formally requested that Metrolinx prioritize the advancement of the Queen Street – Highway 7 BRT Project, which in part led to an Initial Business Case being carried out for the project in 2020.
Züm services introduced along Queen Street.
Queen Street Rapid Transit Benefits Case (2013)
The City of Brampton Transportation Master Plan identified the need for Higher Order Rapid Transit*
York Region’s Transportation Master Plan (2016)
Metrolinx’s 2041 Regional Transportation Plan**
Need identified in City of Brampton 2040 Vision.
Need identified in Region of Peel’s Long Range Transportation Master Plan.
Brampton City Council requests Metrolinx prioritize and advance Queen Street–Highway 7 BRT.
Identified in Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe***
Initial phases of Queen Street-Highway 7 BRT Preliminary Design Business Case commenced in May 2022
*The City of Brampton Transportation Master Plan identified the need for Higher Order Rapid Transit on Queen Street by 2031.
**Metrolinx’s 2041 Regional Transportation Plan identified Frequent Rapid Transit Network as a key strategy and determined BRT along Queen Street in the City of Brampton and Highway 7 in The City of Vaughan as priority projects.
***Identified in Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe to advance preliminary design for Brampton-Queen/Highway 7-York BRT corridor.
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