The full report on bus rapid transit in London has finally been released by City Hall.
Ahead of last night’s meeting, the London Free Press had submitted a Freedom of Information Request for the report, which came back heavily redacted.
That encouraged Mayor Matt Brown to call for the draft business plan to be released. His motion received support during a meeting on Monday.
It was expected the document will show why the hybrid model which included light rail was suddenly dropped. In an email from the City reads, “In the normal course of business, there are often many revisions generated between the first draft of a document and the final version.”
That document was made public Tuesday evening.
In February, documents show that a hybrid model which includes light rail was still the preferred option.
City staff say the recommended option changed from the Hybrid BRT/LRT option in the February 2016 version to the Full BRT option, with a longer term transition to the Hybrid, in the May 2016 version. Staff say this change was based on the Business Case analysis, including the financial analysis and ridership projections, and that the information was reported to Council and the community in May 2016. Council endorsed the Full BRT option at that time.
The BRT system came with a price tag of $500-million-dollars, while the hybrid option came in at approximately $880-million.
Council passed the 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.