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Bus Rapid Transit Coming to London

London is officially building a Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), known as “Shift” to improve public commuting in the city.

The Shift system will travel approximately 24 km throughout London. According to CBC News, the bus system will connect to main hubs such as Masonville Mall, the London International Airport and White Oaks Mall, with the majority of buses running through downtown.

The BRT will not operate any faster than current London buses, but will increase the frequency of more buses. Currently, the BRT goal is to provide one bus for every five minutes during busy times of the day.

“Centre-running is what brings the reliability of dedicated lanes, and reliability is what makes bus rapid transit rapid,” said project director Jennie Ramsay in an interview with the London Free Press.

Designs for the system are meant to promote a high-quality vision of London. The designs will be voted on April 9 by politicians.

The London Free Press has reported some negative possibilities of BRT system in London.

Dan McDonald, a spokesperson of the anti-BRT, which consists of Richmond Row shop owners explained its potential harm to businesses.

“We can see serious, serious backlogs on the major arteries like Richmond…people will find ways to circumvent that. They will start cutting through into the streets in the Old North,” said MacDonald to the London Free Press.

Costs for the new transit system are still in negotiations.

According to CBC News, the total cost is $500 million. The federal government provided $170 million, while city hall committed $130 million. The remaining $200 million is unclaimed and the project cannot move forward until the federal government provides it.

Are you excited for London to get bus rapid transit? Let us know in the comments below!

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Emma Howell, a senior student at Western University obtaining her Honors Specialization in Geography, is a news reporter for Her Campus Western. Emma's dream is to earn a Nobel Peace Prize one day. However, until then, she'll be pretending to be Blair Waldorf and quoting movie lines that no one has ever heard. Instagram: emhowellxo
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