Top Image: Gore Meadows Community Centre. (Image courtesy of Adiseshan Shankar)
What could $380 million buy us?
This is a bit of a thought exercise. People accuse the city, its council, and its citizens of having no vision. I'd like to point out that $380 to $500 million could buy this city a lot more a measly 1.78 LRT tunnel and two, maybe three, subway stops.
New Rapid Transit
I'm working on a few assumptions in this part. First, we assume that LRT lines cost $60 million per kilometre, based on the cost of Hurontario-Main. Next with some Google-fu, the rough estimate of proper BRT (dedicated lanes and proper shelters) is approximately $40 million. (This seems high. It's not. A lot of the costs of transit projects are utility relocation and road reconstruction. LRT and BRT basically have the same cost for these things.)
We assume that any other LRT lines would share space at the Hurontario-407 storage shed (which would be in Brampton, mind you), because it is at an easily expandable space. We'll assume that the BRT will share space at the soon-to-be expanded Sandalwood garage. I'm going to round down the LRT numbers to "buy" new trains. BRT won't have this because buses will likely be Zum buses anyways.
At $380 to $500 million, we can build approximately 6 to 8 km of new LRT. On Queen, this gives us on the shorter length, a line from the Brampton GO Station to Chinguacousy Park (including spurs into the hospital and park). On the longer length, we could extend either west to the McLaughlin-Flower City Campus (where a potential university site is a based), or east to around Airport Road.
On Steeles, the shorter route takes us from Shopper's World to Bramalea GO or Sheridan College to Dixie Road, while the longer route enable a proper Sheridan College to Bramalea GO.
We get 9.5 to 12.5 km with BRT. On Queen, that is at maximum length, the downtown to The Gore Road, or Creditview Road to Airport Road. At a shorter length, that's downtown to Humberwest Parkway or McLaughlin to Airport Road.
On Steeles, we get Shopper's World to the Indian Line Campground near Wild Water Kingdom or Westwood Terminal, or Sheridan College to Steeles and Finch at most. At 9.5 km, we're at Sheridan College to Airport Road, or Shopper's World to Goreway Drive.
Zum Phase One was $159 million for three fairly long corridors, plus terminal expansion and new buses. That's approximately $53 per corridor. We could build seven to nine more Zum corridors in the city. The Transportation Masterplan Update (page 21 of the PDF) identifies Kennedy Road, Bramalea Road, Chinguacousy Road, Mississauga Road, Sandalwood Parkway, and Airport Road for new Zum corridors. I'm sure we can think of another one to three (secret selfish wish for a 518 Dixie!).
Above: The Etobicoke Creek Revitalization. Notice in the second picture what I assume is a light rail vehicle on Queen Street? (Courtesy of the city of Brampton)
The Downtown Brampton Etobicoke Creek Revitalization, a project that emphasizes the environmental concerns, stormwater planning, and a key to unlock further development potential is estimated to cost at least $300 million. This is one of those major goal, vision projects for our downtown.
We could build the foundation for a third hospital for Brampton. The new Peel Memorial redevelopment costs $530 million.
There's a supposedly 21 year waiting list for affordable housing in Peel. It's cost $53 million to build 269 units. We could build 1,883 to 2,421 more units.
The city is building the Phase Two of Gore Meadows Community Centre for $32 million, which includes a pool, fitness centre, splash pad, and a mini ice rink.The city could build 11 to 15 more recreation centres.
More parks, fire stations? New libraries? More funding for a new Downtown BIA and potential others like at Mount Pleasant? A city contribution to other provincial or region projects, like the electrification of the GO line, or a new 407 freight bypass?