The Mississauga Transitway is a two-lane, predominantly grade-separated, 18-kilometre Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that serves the City of Mississauga while integrating into the key transit corridors of the Greater Toronto Area. The project includes 10 new stations operated by regional transit agencies MiWay and GO Transit. The stations have a prominent identity and a context-sensitive design approach that form the foundation of an emerging regional transit network and act as a catalyst for the urban intensification, civic improvement, and economic growth of the city.
Mississauga is the fastest growing city in Canada. As a result, the urban design challenge stems from the City’s need to support current and future infrastructure issues arising from the urbanization of a city that was originally planned as a car-centric suburb. The vision for the Transitway was identified in the City’s 2009 Strategic Plan which identified the need for a sustainable, multi-modal transportation system that would cultivate a sense of belonging and connection.
The MiWay stations to the east and the GO Transit stations to the west, have distinct architectural expressions that create a unifying identity. For MiWay, the design includes: a glass façade to bring in light and visual transparency across the stations; a dynamic roof structure with wood panelling to animate the interior space and create a warm material palette; integrated public art that enlivens the space with colour; an urban plaza adjacent to each entrance to enhance the public realm and create a landmark feature; a green wall at the platform level to enhance the waiting area; and consistent sequencing of spaces within the station to assist with intuitive wayfinding, safety, and branding.
At each station the prototype design is adapted to the neighbouring geography including road alignments, location of multi-use paths, and existing and future adjacent commercial, institutional and residential developments; the MiWay stations may therefore be elevated, submerged or at-grade. The GO stations design is an at-grade prototype, similarly founded on high functionality and a consistent material language to reflect the GO Brand.
Busway retaining walls, hydro corridors, existing pipelines and highways, posed significant challenges to achieving connectivity and creating a sense of place. The urban design responds by creating safe routes through the sites, prioritizing pedestrian and cyclist connections to the multi-use trail system, and extending the surface plaza to the edge of adjacent public sidewalks. Where the greenway meets north-south streets, the turning radii have been reduced to minimize pedestrian crossing distances.
The Transitway is designed to be environmentally responsible. Multiple strategies are employed to reduce the impacts of storm water and to enhance the water quality through on-site management and bio treatment. Energy consumption is reduced through automation and all materials were selected to be free of noxious chemicals and for maximum service life with minimum maintenance requirements.
Ambitious, bold, and integrated, the Mississauga Transitway will direct the future infrastructure growth of the City by linking communities, encouraging a balanced development of land use and supporting a city where people can live, work, and play.
IBI Group is a global architecture, engineering, planning, transportation, and technology firm creating the intelligent systems, sustainable buildings, and efficient infrastructure of tomorrow. Founded in 1974 in Toronto, Canada, IBI provides professional consulting services around the world, including 60 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.