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Silly Tilley

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  1. I made a trip up to Simcoe County to observe the new LINX routes, after already riding route 1 in November. It really is impressive the scale at which Simcoe County is launching the LINX service and it will be a great improvement for mobility in the region. I started by riding route 2 and 4 from Barrie to Collingwood. Route 2 was a 30' 6006 and route 4 was a 35', 7003. Route 2 and route 4 are supposed to connect in Wasaga Beach but it does not always work out. Most people I observed were transferring between the 2 routes and it should really be a thorough service from Barrie-Collingwood via Wasaga or at least interline routes 2 or 4 when they both run so people don't get stuck waiting a hour for a connection (or miss the last bus of the day!) I rode 30' 6007 and 35' 7002 on route 3 to Orillia. The route is very tightly timed with a odd 50 minute frequency and both buses were running 10-15 minutes behind schedule. Unfortunately 6007 broke down and was replaced by a Vicinity for its last trip. It was my first ride on a Enviro 200 and I did like that they have Aries seats with padding which are comftorable for the long distances and the AC worked very well. I found the 35' version rode a lot better than the 30' and in talking to 2 drivers, they both preferred the Vicinity over the Enviro 200 due to the better handling and suspension. For the VIN collectors: 6007 SFEY14127KNN37329 03/2019 7002 SFEY24124KNN37396 05/2019
  2. Charlottetown has two separate tenders out for purchasing buses. The first tender is for 6 35 or 40' diesel buses in which the city is requesting pricing for the following options. 6 35' buses 6 40' buses 4 35' buses and 2 40' buses Replacement parts for the purchased buses Provide optional pricing for electric buses The original tender document had some specs that were written practically to NFI specs (specifically axles and suspension) however a updated spreadsheet of specifications has those requirements removed. Of note, a preference for stainless steel frame is noted in the specifications. Delivery is requested before February 2021 for the first 3 buses and April 2021 for the next 3. This tender reminds me of the tender Medicine Hat put out last year requesting a combination of 35' or 40' buses, which ended up purchasing all 35' buses from Grande West as the pricing was significantly cheaper than a Xcelsior. The same dynamic could play out here especially if Grande West or ADL decide to bid with their 35' buses. The second tender is for 2 Cutaway buses with delivery requested by February 2020. From https://www.charlottetown.ca/business___development/developers/tendering_and_rfp
  3. The actual projected increase for Presto Commissiom is $1.6 million (0.3%) and for the Provincial Gas Tax impact it is $1.5 million decrease. See screenshot below from next week's budget presentation, I'm not sure how you came up with the $6 million figure for both categories.
  4. Century Transportation has been awarded a new 3 year contract to operate both Cobourg Transit and the WHEELS paratransit service. The contract will begin January 1, 2020. Century was the lowest bidder, the other 2 bidders were Tokmakjian and 947465 Ontario Limited (Voyago). While Century currently operates Cobourg Transit, the WHEELS service has been operated by BTS Network. Tender Award for the Town of Cobourg Public Transit and Wheels Services (CO-19-08 ENG)
  5. There will be some changes to Malton routes effective July 1. Route 11 will have it's branch variants (11A, 11B) eliminated and will use Dundas in both directions to/from Islington. Route 30 will have peak service added so service will run all day Monday-Saturday. The route will also be extended east to Rexdale/Islington. With this change, route 12 will be eliminated.
  6. Grande West announced a manufacturing agreement with Spartan Motors, a leading specialty vehicle manufacturer in the US. Spartan manufactures bus and truck chassis, delivery vans, motorhomes, and emergency vehicles among other things. Spartan will fully manufacture the Grande West Vicinity for the US market, including the bus frame. Grande West did have a existing agreement with Alliance Bus Group (ABG) to perform final assembly of US market Vicinity buses at their facility in Atlanta, with the frame shipped from China and all other components assembled/installed in Atlanta to meet Buy America. Grande West determined that the capacity of this facility would likely not meet their needs within the next 2 years as sales ramp up in the US. Heaving the full bus manufactured in the US allows for a better production process and reduces exposure to potential tariffs. ABG will continue to be the exclusive US distributor of the Vicinity and Grande West has hired additional sales staff to assist ABG's sales efforts in the US. There is a lot more bid activity in 2019 and there should be additional US orders in the near future. The agreement with Weichai in China will remain in place and can be used to manufacture Canadian orders as well as US Private sector orders that don't need to meet Buy America. However it does seem like the goal is to eventually have all manufacturing done by Spartan. Even though Grande West is established in the Canadian market they do see potential for future orders especially in Quebec. Grande West is close to launching a electric powered Vicinity bus, it will be developed with a 'turnkey' partner that will provide the entire electric propulsion system. Spartan Motors Secures Vehicle Assembly Contract With Grande West Transportation Group
  7. I think the evolution of ridesharing (Uber, Lyft) and the TTC Subway extension to Vaughan really put the final nails in the coffin for any service to Canada's Wonderland by transit systems outside of York Region. Even GO Transit's route 60 Wonderland bus has been discontinued as of this year. Therefore the best option transit wise seems to be GO's Highway 407 east or west bus to Highway 407 Station and transferring to YRT route 20. As for the MiWay 88, it did have a high cost of operation and aside from that, the infrequent schedule and premium fare didn't help. You almost had to plan your day around the bus schedule and even at the $10 individual, $30 family rate for a group of 4 it was a steep price, plus regular fare if they had to take MiWay to City Centre to catch the 88. Meanwhile a Uber or Lyft from most areas of Mississauga to Wonderland is in the $40-50 range and if split between 3 or 4 people works out to almost the same cost per person as taking transit did. There's no need to plan around a bus schedule, you can go when you want and it's much faster. For families with kids it also takes out the hassle of using transit completely. The TTC subway extension to Vaughan makes the transfer to YRT route 20 a lot more convenient and there's also YRT route 760 from Finch. I have always felt that having GO buses serve all transitway stations would greatly improve accessibility to GO services without riders having to go to Square One and in some cases backtracking to get there.
  8. Levis and Trois Rivieres also have Vicinity buses on order in Quebec.
  9. To correct what was posted above, the overnight service is only available on Sunday-Thursday overnights. Because of the way the driver crewing is done the overnight crews report for work beginning at 1AM Monday-Friday thus the service day actually starts at 1AM on each weekday. To the general public it is Sunday-Thursday overnight service. There is no 24 hour weekend service on any of routes 1, 3, 7, 19 so I am not sure how Transit Toronto came to that conclusion. Perhaps confusion on what the service days actually are. It is true that the schedules could be better communicated to reflect how overnight service actually runs. It may appear like a cautious foray but another way of looking at it is they took routes that already had long service spans and simply filled the small gap between with additional trips to get 24 hour service. For example, route 1 only required 4.5 hours of additional service time (1.5 hours for each of the 3 buses). If there's one thing that I would offer an opinion on, it's that they should have picked the 26 rather than the 3 given the proximity to Dundas, and the fact that the 26 would serve City Centre as well as the South Common area. As for expansion, I think route 13 would probably be a logical route to add to overnight service (north/south route connecting Clarkson, Erin Mills, Meadowvale) as well as route 23 (serves 3 GO Stations and Port Credit) and 42 (Malton, service to the industrial areas). The city is currently out to tender for a consultant to help develop the next 5 year plan 2021-2025. It is being called 'MiWay Five 2.0' The city's budget documents over the last several years have never specifically mentioned what service changes would be implemented. It's up to staff to determine how best to use the service hours that are allocated in the budget each year. Between 1999 and 2006, Mississauga Transit did report to general committee each year with a detailed plan of what service changes would be implemented in a given year, these were called 'Transplans'. In 2007 there was the Ridership Growth Strategy proposal which outlined service improvements over a 5 year plan and now we have the MiWay Five which does the same (even if they keep changing their mind as to what will actually happen!) There is no financial support being provided by outside parties. Of course, there is the possibility both riders and businesses were requesting overnight service and MiWay decided to implement some overnight service.
  10. What a unnecessarily complicated policy. The current transfers already have the ability to be issued for a 6am expiry time so there is no need to issue fully uncut transfers if they're going to be viewed as expiring at 6am. Giving out uncut transfers means people will be able to modify them easily for a free ride home afterwards as well. As another poster mentioned, the potential for conflict between drivers/passengers with these uncut transfers is another issue. I know of at least 4 others that were still around as of a few months ago: 0738 Tedwyn/Cliff (4) 0733 Tedwyn/Felina (4) 0711 Cliff/Pathfinder (4) 0202 - Indian/Kane (14) There may be others still lurking in Homelands/Credit Woodlands (old route 1 routing in the early 70s) and around Malton as some of the streets have had service since the early 70s as well. It is interesting how even today, 40+ years later there is so much inconsistency in how bus stops are replaced that newer signs are being replaced before these old wooden ones.
  11. It took more than a few months but this RFP was finally awarded to Nova Bus about 2 weeks ago, a new 3 year contract for conventional buses. Also Brampton is holding their usual annual info sessions regarding 2019 service initiatives: http://www.brampton.ca/EN/residents/transit/service-alerts/Pages/Transit-Updates.aspx#342
  12. There is also a 813 'Charter' that operates to Mississauga doing dropoffs at the business park near Hurontario and the 401. It does at least 2 trips per day and almost always uses a Van Hool artic.
  13. Sault Ste Marie's 2019 budget includes the purchase of 5 replacement buses - 3 40' buses and 2 35' buses. There is also $4 million budgeted in 2020 for bus replacement so they look to be catching up on fleet replacement. Para-Transit buses are to start being replaced with low floor cutaways starting this year. On the operating side there is funding to restore 30 minute frequency through the day during the summer months. Currently midday service during the summer runs on a hourly frequency as part of the service changes made last year and this move was unpopular with riders with many complaints.
  14. Some service rationalization measures are proposed by YRT in their 2019 budget to take place in 2019 and 2020. With the exception of VIVA, all the adjustments are to routes and service periods with very low cost recovery ratios of 7-21%. These adjustments will help reduce the budget outlay by approximately $1.5 million in each of 2019 and 2020. All VIVA routes - late night frequency reductions 520/521 Newmarket Community bus - discontinue Sunday service 522 Markham Community bus - discontinue Saturday service, provide on-demand service 589/590 Richmond Hill Community bus - discontinue Saturday and Sunday service, provide on-demand service 22 King City - discontinue Saturday service 44 Bristol - discontinue Saturday service 56 Gorham - discontinue Sunday service 51 Keswick Local - discontinue, provide on-demand service 223/223A Newmarket GO Shuttle - discontinue 242 North Richvale GO Shuttle - discontinue 320 Beaver Creek - discontinue 15 Stouffville - discontinue 28 Huntington - discontinue https://yorkpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=2723
  15. Those 2 blocks haven't tracked since the start of this board period at the beginning of January, could be due to incorrect GTFS data. A bus won't have any equipment removed if it is still active and the 2006 buses are not close to retirement. The change to 8:30 is effective with the May 1 fare changes. This was part of a motion put forward by Carolyn Parrish and passed by council. Some councillors wanted to make the $1 senior fare valid at all times of the day but there weren't enough votes to do that due to the budget impact. The original plan for the transitway called for a station at Ridgeway but this was one of the many elements that were eliminated from the final design to cut costs. However there are currently proposals by Metrolinx to build a ramp directly from Winston Churchill Station connecting to the westbound 407. Delivery is currently scheduled for September but it will probably take some time to enter service. Even though they will have BAE HybriDrive like the Orions do all the additional electric accessories and updated components will require additional training and testing. The hydrogen bus trial is conditional on MiWay securing additional funding to offset the city's portion of capital costs in the trial. Originally MiWay was going to apply to the Ontario Municipal GHG challenge fund for funding but that program was cancelled when the provincial government cancelled cap and trade. As of right now it is uncertain if the trial will still go ahead.
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