— Matt Brown (@MayorMattBrown) August 16, 2016
London city council members are looking to have their voices heard by provincial politicians at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference in Windsor in regards to the city’s ambitious rapid transit plans.
Council passed a business plan for the $500-million project at the end of May, getting rid of the possibility of a more expensive light-rail system that was initially agreed upon.
Speaking to AM980, Mayor Matt Brown said they could hear “more positive signals about funding in the months to come.”
“We have a clear argument, we have the congestion problems in London, we have identified this as our number one priority, we have earmarked $129-million of municipal funding for the project, and we also have a partner in the federal government that’s very interested in this file as well. So I would say things are really coming into alignment.”
In a tweet, Brown could be seen with Councillor Jesse Helmer, Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile, and Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca holding a “Shift London Transit” folder.
The bus rapid transit business case was passed on an 11-2 vote with Councillors Helmer and Mo Salih arguing for light rail.
Brown said that passing the business case was a big step so that they could present it to the upper levels of government to garner funding.
“Both the 2014 and 2015 provincial budget itemized and identified London as a potential site for rapid transit investment,” he said. “The dollars are there in the budget.”
For light rail proponents, Brown said that all of the infrastructure being built for the BRT project could be upgraded to light rail in the future.