from TRANSFER POINTS Vol. XV No. 5, May-June 1989
The first bus service in Brampton started in 1950 with one route and one vehicle. Today [May, 1989], service is provided by sixty-five buses running over twenty-one routes.
The original service was operated with a school bus by Bob Parkinson (of Parkinson Coach Lines) until February 1953, when it was taken over by Cliff Tracy. Three 1945-vintage ex-London Street Railway Reo 96-HTDs ran in Brampton until September 12th, 1953, when Mr. Tracey took his buses and moved on to start Owen Sound Bus Lines. Bruce Rundle, doing business as Streetsville Transportation, then ran the buses for a number of years until the contract was returned to Parkinson Coach Lines, now owned by the Murray brothers.
In the 1960s the Georgetown Transportation Company ran Brampton Transit with a number of second-hand GMC TGH-3102s and some school buses painted in a turquoise and white paint scheme and lettered Brampton Transit. This operation was then purchased by Travelways who ran it until the City of Brampton took over in 1974.
The planning for a city-wide transit service began with the advent of regional government in 1974 when the City of Brampton was structured to encompass the former Township of Toronto Gore and part of the former town of Mississauga. As a result, the population to be serviced immediately skyrocketed to 85,000.
Brampton Transit was born on January 1st, 1976, when two small dissimilar transit systems were brought together. These were an independent bus service operated under contract to the former Town of Brampton and a Dial-a-Bus service in the community of Bramalea. Two groups of employees, new staff, new buses, old buses and much enthusiasm were all combined and gave the new City of Brampton a complete bus service.
The service was operated from premises on Hale Road in the industrial area to the south of the City. In 1980 the Transit Centre at 185 Clark Boulevard (just west of Dixie Road) was opened. This centre brought together all the major functions of the transit system. There are separate areas for administration, operations and maintenance and bus storage. All these areas are contained within the building's 5,667 square metres of floor space.
The Dial-a-Bus service was replaced by a network of fixed routes, and a fleet of new GMC T6H-4523N buses (7522-7535) was purchased. More buses were soon required to handle the rapid growth of the transit system. In 1976, nine used GMC TDH-4512s were bought from the Canada Coach Lines and the Hamilton Street Railway. These have all been replaced, but 5741 is preserved [as HSR 517] at the Ontario Electric Railway Historic Association's museum at Rockwood, Ontario.
New deliveries of GMCs were made in 1977 and 1979, and the first 40-foot buses (8067-8069) arrived in 1980.
Orions first appeared in the Brampton fleet in 1981 when five model 01.501s were delivered. With the rapid growth in ridership, these buses are generally operated in the rush hours only on lightly-used routes.
Connections are made by several routes with Mississauga Transit and the Toronto Transit Commission. Passengers can transfer free of charge between these systems and Brampton Transit.
Expansion in recent years has included the introduction of a fare integration system with GO Transit. Commuter passengers traveling on one of GO Transit's four trains between Brampton, Bramalea and Toronto can ride Brampton Transit without paying another fare. All the GO passenger has to do is show a valid GO train ticket or pass to the Brampton Transit driver.
There are four special express routes operating to and from Brampton and Bramalea GO stations, connecting with the GO trains. Some of the regular routes also connect, but this has caused some timetable and scheduling difficulties as the GO trains run at 25 minute intervals, while most routes operate on a 30 minute headway.
Rush hour travel is increasing rapidly, and to cope several routes now operate at a 20 minute frequency.
The spine of the system is provided by routes 1A/1B along Queen Street. The hub of the system is Bramalea City Centre, a shopping centre built in 1969. There is a terminal area at the south-east corner underneath a concrete car parking area. The present terminal is very cramped, and when it rains water pours down from the car park above.
In conjunction with the renovations presently underway at the City Centre, a new bus terminal is to be built later this year. Designed to handle all the transit routes together with GO Transit's bus services, this terminal will have a modern appearance and provide much better amenities for passengers.
There was a bus terminal area in the original town of Brampton between Main and George Streets, but this has now been closed so that a new Brampton City Hall can be built on the site. Buses presently load passengers on either Queen Street or George Street.
Minister of Transportation Ed Fulton announced the designation of 18 potential major transit gateways in the greater Toronto area in the spring of 1988, and the Brampton gateway is the most advanced of these in its development. Construction started on March 2nd, 1989 when the Minister presided over the official ground-breaking ceremonies.
The Brampton Transit Gateway can be characterized as being one the first multi-modal termini of its kind. [Others are located in Kitchener and North York.] Like the Yorkdale terminal, it is a joint venture between the public and private sectors. A six-storey office complex will be developed in conjunction with a 13-bay bus terminal that, in turn, will be linked by a pedestrian tunnel to the Brampton GO station.
Besides Brampton Transit, the Gateway Terminal will be served by GO buses on the Toronto-Guelph route and Gray Coaches running between Toronto and Owen Sound.
The most exciting event in Brampton Transit's short history is the purchase and delivery of a 1985 Leyland Olympian double-decker bus. This bus was built by Leyland Bus in England especially for the North American market. It was shipped to New York and was intended to be part of a partnership between Gillig and Leyland to market this type of vehicle throughout the U.S.A.
It was exhibited in Vancouver at Expo '86 and subsequently purchased by Grey Line Tours of Victoria, B.C. The bus was advertised for sale during 1988, and Brampton Transit immediately saw the potential for this type of bus in further promoting its services and handling the increased rush-hour loads. It could be the first of many such buses in the fleet if the experiment proves successful. (Articulated buses are not favoured due to their high operating costs and their poor use of road space, adding to congestion.)
The Leyland Olympian is 14' 2" high, 8' 2½" wide, and has a capacity of 80 passengers: 39 sitting on the upper deck, and 29 seated and 12 standing downstairs. It is the only double-decker in urban transit service in Canada, and there is considerable interest and support from the Ontario Ministry of Transport.
Following driver familiarization, the bus entered service on Route 1B (City Centre-Sheridan College) on Easter Monday: March 27th, 1989.
Brampton Transit's expansion is going to continue. Nine new Orions are scheduled for delivery in September of this year, and the garage is to be enlarged and heightened (for double-deckers!). Increased frequencies and route expansion will continue, and a community of 60,000 is scheduled to be constructed in an area north of Bovaird Drive. Brampton Transit has an exciting future ahead of it as it continues to expand.
|Students, 19 and under, with Brampton school activity card||85¢||10/$7.50|
|Children, 16 and under||85¢||10/$7.50|
|Pre-Schoolers, except children attending kindergarten||free||free|
|Senior Citizens, 65 and over, with Brampton Transit ID card||55¢||10/$5.00|
|Blind Patrons, with C.N.I.B. card||FREE||FREE|
|1A||Queen||ESu*||Airport Road - City Centre - Four Corners - Northwood Park|
|1B||Queen||ESu||City Centre - Four Corners - Shopper's World - Sheridan College|
|2||Main||ESu*||Heart Lake - Four Corners - Shopper's World - Sheridan College|
|3||McLaughlin||MFR||Van Kirk Drive - McLaughlin Drive - Sheridan College|
|7||Kennedy||ESu*||Heart Lake - Snelgrove - Heart Lake - Kennedy Road - Shopper's World|
|8||Centre||ESu||City Centre - Rutherford Road - Centre Street - Shopper's World|
|9||Vodden||MFR||Four Corners - Vodden Street - Williams Parkway - Edvac Drive|
|10||Industrial||MFR||City Centre - West Drive - Rutherford Road - Four Corners|
|11||Steeles||ESS||Shopper's World - Steeles Avenue - Albion & Humberline|
|Sat||Shopper's World - Steeles Avenue - Martin Grove Loop|
|12||Grenoble||ESu||Bovaird Drive - Grenoble Boulevard - City Centre|
|13||Avondale||M-F||City Centre - Avondale Boulevard|
|MFR||City Centre - Avondale Boulevard - Bramalea GO Station|
|14||Torbram||ESu*||City Centre - Torbram Road - Derry Road - Westwood Mall|
|15||Bramalea||ESu||Bovaird Drive - Bramalea Road - City Centre - Bramalea Road - Advance Boulevard|
|16||Southgate||M-F||City Centre - Dearbourne Boulevard|
|MFR||City Centre - Dearbourne Boulevard - Bramalea GO Station|
|17||Howden||ESu||Bovaird Drive - North Park Drive - Howden Boulevard - City Centre|
|18||Dixie||ESu||Bovaird Drive - MacKay Street - Dixie Road - City Centre - Dixie Road - Derry Road - Cardiff Boulevard|
|20||East Industrial||MFR||City Centre - Clark Boulevard - Summerlea Road - Walker Drive|
|A||Central Pk.||MFR||Bramalea GO Station - City Centre - Central Park Drive|
|B||North Park||MFR||Bramalea GO Station - Grenoble Boulevard - North Park Drive|
|C||Peel Village||MFR||Brampton GO Station - Bartley Bull - Nanwood Drive|
|D||Rutherford||MFR||Brampton GO Station - Centre Street - Rutherford Rd|
|13-15-16-18||*||Combined Sunday loop route|
|ESu||Monday to Saturday (Except Sunday)|
|ESS||Monday to Friday only (Except Saturday & Sunday)|
|M-F||Monday to Friday except rush hours|
|MFR||Monday to Friday rush hours only|
|*||Sundays from September 1987 to January 1988:|
experimental service withdrawn due to low ridership.