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Down Shift London is a grassroots organization representing

taxpayers, concerned citizens, neighbourhood associations and


local business owners. We are expressing grave concerns with the
Citys plan to spend over half a billion dollars on a Bus Rapid
Transit System. We believe our concerns can be summed up by
4Cs.

1. COST
a. At a minimal cost of more than half a billion dollars, the
impact to London taxpayers will be immense.
b. City council has already made a $30-million
commitment to staff a rapid transit office within City
Hall.
c. The LTC would require large increases to its operating
budget to support the new system.
d. Huge expropriation costs to buy land for this system will
be paid by London taxpayers and not with provincial or
federal support.
e. Little to no information is available to support
assumptions of increased ridership that are required to
make this project viable.
f. Other cities that have implemented similar systems
have typically had much larger populations to draw
from (Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, etc.).
Even then, the systems have resulted in decreased
ridership rather than increased ridership.
g. Cities such as Kitchener-Waterloo are now absorbing
large legal costs due to lawsuits by devastated business
owners who have gone bankrupt during construction.

2. CONSULTATION or lack thereof


a. The magnitude of this investment would make it far and
away the largest spending decision the city has ever
made. It is over 3 times the cost of building the Covent
Garden Market, Budweiser Gardens and the downtown
library put together. There are so many other things the
city can do with this money. Yet there has been very
little consultation with local taxpayers, neighbourhood
groups and small business owners who would be
directly affected.
b. The lack of consultation has resulted in a design that
will have significant impacts to traffic flow, delivery
zones, parking, accessibility, etc.
c. The process appears to be a top down process, from
City Hall down to the rest of us. Most of the plans have
already been formulated and last-minute consultation
appears to be window dressing.

3. CONGESTION
a. Lanes for regular car and truck traffic will be eliminated
and replaced with two exclusive bus lanes. Imagine the
traffic jams on streets such as Oxford, Richmond, King
and Wellington. The construction will take years and
result in traffic chaos across the city.
b. A proposed underground tunnel for buses on Richmond
St. from Victoria Park to Grosvenor would close this
section for at least three years during the construction
period.
c. On-street parking will be eliminated wherever these
routes are proposed. There is already a shortage of
affordable downtown parking.

4. CONSEQUENCES
a. Londoners like their cars. The huge growth in suburban
retail growth is largely due to the lack of accessible and
affordable parking in the core. Making it more difficult
to drive and park downtown will be a death knell for
small businesses and entertainment facilities located
there. Most of the 1,000-plus small businesses in
downtown London will not survive the impact of
prolonged construction and subsequent traffic chaos.
This has happened downtown Kitchener-Waterloo,
which has seen vacancies soar with the shuttering of
local independent businesses.
b. Heritage homes, buildings and landscape would be
impacted due to the required expropriation of land to
accommodate the currently proposed design.

Down Shift London is supportive of a strong public transit system


for the city. Expanded express bus service, better and longer
routes need to happen.