Brampton City Council endorsed a rapid transit initiative on March 10, 2003. The province of Ontario provided $95 million in funding in 2006 for the first phase of the project, and in 2008, the federal government provided $53 million which came from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund. During the planing stage, the project for rapid transit in Brampton, was known as AcceleRide. In June 2009, a new name for the project and system, Züm, was revealed to the public. An unveiling of the first of the new Züm-branded buses was held at the 2010 Ontario Transportation Expo on April 20, 2010 with a public unveiling at Brampton City Hall the following day. Züm services on the Queen Street corridor commenced September 20th 2010.
Phase 1 of Züm has BRT operation on three key corridors in Brampton: Queen Street, Main Street, and Steeles Avenue. The network will eventually use 50 to 60 new, specially branded buses from New Flyer. Initially planned to commence with the Queen route on September 8, 2010, the date was pushed back to September 20. Some shelters along the route and the new Bramalea terminal were still not complete on the launch day.
- 501 Züm Queen (Queen Street) - Running between Downtown Brampton Terminal and York University.
- 502 Züm Main (Main Street) – Running between Sandalwood Parkway and Mississauga City Centre.
- 505 Züm Bovaird (Bovaird Drive) - Running between Mount Pleasant Go Station and Goreway Drive
- 511 Züm Steeles (Steeles Avenue) – Running between Brampton Gateway Terminal (Shoppers World) and Humber College.
- 561 Züm Queen West (Queen Street west) - Running between Mount Pleasant Go Station and Downtown Brampton Terminal.
Stops and terminals
In July 2010, construction of the shelters at stops along Queen Street began with the eastbound shelter at Torbram Road and Queen Street East built first. In July 2011, shelters were installed at York University serving the Queen route. Shelters for the next Züm corridor on Main Street began going up in the summer of 2011. The shelters at Vodden, Wellington, and Theatre Lane/Nelson are located in the heritage part of Brampton and have a different design to better fit in their surroundings as is done on some stops on VIVA Blue. The heritage Züm shelters have black frames and rounded roofs.
A new Bramalea Transit Centre was built to replace the older one, which was closed when the new one opened on the first day of Queen Street Züm service. Another new terminal, Brampton Gateway Terminal, was built to replace the near-by Shoppers World Transit Terminal.
Züm uses a fleet of specially branded buses built by New Flyer Industries that boast state-of-the-art features. The vehicles use diesel-electric hybrid technology which potentialy could achieve an eight to ten per cent fuel reduction compared to conventional diesel vehicles. There is a wider front door compared to the older New Flyer buses in the fleet, and the new Züm buses have a reduce ramp inclination. They are equipped with PRESTO farecard equipment.
- Note: Due to a shortage of buses for Züm service in Fall 2011, Brampton Transit 1129-1130 were wrapped in a special "Züm Backup" livery, to operate in Züm service when needed and to distinguish them from the all-hybrid powered fleet of Züm buses. Züm-branded 1250-1251 were ordered to replace the Züm Backup units, and entered service in late 2012.
- September 2003 report, brampton.ca, retrieved on 2010-07-05
- Government of Canada and City of Brampton Help Shift AcceleRide into High Gear, tc.gc.ca, retrieved on 2010-07-05
- Züm Buses, brampton.ca, retrieved on 2010-07-05