Brantford looks to update transit system

Brantford city council has recently agreed to a proposal to create a new downtown transit terminal.

The project is in its earliest stages as the city still has to proceed with examining several possible sites for the new terminal. While located within the downtown area, the sites being examined cannot currently be disclosed as the city does not own all of the property being considered.

A new terminal would mean several things for those who use Brantford Transit and for the Laurier students who use the Brantford Transit system to get around the city. The most obvious difference will simply be size. A new terminal will be much larger than the existing one and will be able to accommodate more buses, both Brantford city buses and coach buses.

Another exciting prospect brought about by a new transit terminal is the possibility of Brantford finally being connected to the GO transit system. According to Brantford mayor Chris Friel, GO transit authorities have been conducting a large scale study which includes the Brant region, and through this process Brantford has been pushing for a connection to the GO transit system.

Obviously all of these plans will not be free and while the city will certainly subsidize a great deal of the cost, students may be concerned about how this new project will affect them. Friel reassures that the city’s “first consideration was Laurier students” he also explains that while no costs are yet known, the burden of meeting them will not be placed on users. This is good news for students. At present, Laurier students pay around 30 dollars for a bus pass and after the construction of a new terminal, this shouldn’t change significantly.

While there is yet a firm schedule for the construction of the new terminal, the land acquisition process generally takes the most time in projects of this category so once a site is finally announced, students and Brantford residents can expect the planning and construction process to be carried out swiftly.

Once of the major goals of this new terminal is to move Brantford transit away from its existing hub and spoke system. While it is part of a separate process, the push for buses running at more frequent intervals has also been considered in the planning for this project. The new terminal is intended to serve Brantford residents, and as such, the planning process is set to include significant input from residents.

There are at least two planned phases for public input – one regarding what should be included with the new station and what services are required. The second phase will occur after a site has been selected.

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