Yesterday marked an important milestone in the long history of the proposed Main Street LRT Extension – the halfway point between Council’s May 10th decision to seek additional information on the two alignment options, and the end of the six month window on November 10th that they set for staff to report back.
The stakes are high: soon, probably not long after the six months is up on November 10th, Council must decide which option to send to the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP). TPAP will take up a significant amount of time, and at the end of the process if there is not funding available then the project risks sitting in limbo, or having the process re-started with another option that may have a better chance of full funding.
The Brampton Board of Trade has been clear in our advocacy in support of the Main Street LRT Extension: it is a vital piece of infrastructure that must be approved and built urgently. The time since a previous council rejected full funding in 2015 has resulted in untold lost economic opportunity, especially for our downtown.
In May we wrote to Ontario Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma and federal then-Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Domenic LeBlanc. We were encouraged by the response from Minister LeBlanc in early July that highlighted the government’s on-going commitment to invest in Brampton and hinted at an update on the next phase of transit infrastructure funding that could come around the fall, which is right on time for greater clarity on the Main Street Extension.
As we enter the dead of summer, it might seem like things are quiet on the political front – but as soon as Labour Day arrives, we are optimistic that progress towards a funding commitment for this vital piece of transit infrastructure will accelerate.