Brampton has the green light to build the Hurontario LRT in 2020, but the extension of this line into the downtown core has hit another roadblock.
Ontario Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney, announced that Brampton will not receive provincial government funding for this extension. This announcement was made when Mulroney attended the Brampton Board of Trade event earlier this month to discuss the transit and transportation infrastructure in Brampton.
The provincially-approved Hurontario light-rail transit (HLRT) is a streetcar system, connecting Port Credit GO station in Mississauga at its south, to the Gateway Terminal station at Shoppers World in Brampton at its north. The route is an 18-km 19-stop stretch of Hurontario Street and construction is expected to be completed by 2024. The Hurontario-Main LRT is a 4-km proposed extension of this line into downtown Brampton to transit terminal at Main and Nelson.
In 2015, under Mayor Linda Jeffrey, the stretch into downtown had been voted down in favour of other projects. The current city council revived the idea and voted unanimously in favour of the Hurontario-Main LRT in 2018, under Mayor Patrick Brown.
When Brampton City Council proposed the Hurontario-Main LRT last year it incorporated ideas such as a tunnel-loop. But this month, the provincial government said it wasn’t a priority, offering no current funding as part of the overall GTA transit plan. Instead the province favours the GTA West Highway, also known as Highway 413, and is moving ahead with its environmental assessment. Mulroney stated the highway would be completed by 2022, but pending the environmental assessment, no construction date has yet been announced.
Mulroney was asked what council needed to do to secure funding of the LRT extension. “I would encourage Brampton to put its business case together,” encouraged Mulroney. “I know other municipalities are doing the same thing for elements of their transit projects that they would like to see developed further.” She added that MTO would work closely with Brampton as it develops that proposal.