The Eglinton West LRT Project is important because it closes the gap in our transit network by continuing the Eglinton Crosstown beyond Mount Dennis and providing a much needed connection to the airport area and west end. The LRT will help:
- Serve planned population and employment growth
- Provide sustainable transportation choices that meet the needs of continued growth
- Meet our city-building objectives:
- Helping shape our evolving neighbourhoods
- Creating connected spaces and investing in social and physical services and infrastructure, which are fundamental to the city’s quality of life
- Developing an attractive and safe city that evokes pride, passion and a sense of belonging
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) requires unfavourable transfer locations, and offers nominal ridership attraction. Key considerations were how Eglinton West transit would connect to the Mississauga BRT and whether the transfer between LRT and BRT should occur at Renforth Gateway in the west, or at Jane/Mt. Dennis in the east.
In contrast Light Rapid Transit (LRT) offers premium service a with significantly better passenger experience, the ability to attract economic growth, more reliable and higher capacity ridership than BRT, and more favourable transfer locations.
Eglinton Avenue is in a suburban community, with wide rights-of-way (ROW) and no current provision for on-street parking. ROW requirements have been preserved based on the original EA along the Eglinton corridor. LRT creates the opportunity to improve the streetscape and public realm and raise the market profile of the corridor.
The approved Environmental Assessment (EA) was for at-grade LRT. Grade separations will be examined at select locations as part of the review of the EA, including the possible of underground and elevated options, and alignment alternatives.
LRT offers a premium passenger experience with improved comfort, reliability, and attractive design. LRT vehicles will offer a much higher capacity than streetcars and buses, will operate more quickly due to less frequent stopping and have a dedicated right-of-way with signal priority at intersections. Emergency vehicles will be able to use the dedicated LRT ROW to bypass regular traffic in the event of an emergency, which may result in improved response times.
Compared with typical streetcar platforms LRT platforms will:
- Be wider and longer
- Provide shelter along the entire length
- Be accessible to mobility devices at every stop
- Lit all night
- Include ticket vending machines
- Most intersections will have farside platforms with left turn lanes
LRT does not impede traffic, as they travel on a dedicated right-of-way separate from regular traffic. LRT can have the same capacity as 16 lanes of free-flowing traffic, yet it requires the space of just two lanes of road.
Left turns will be permitted at most signalized intersections. Options such as underground or elevated designs are being examined to address any intersections that may be impacted.