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Everything posted by 1overcosc

  1. As part of the now-approved 5 year business plan, in May of 2018 the Highway 15 section of Route 12 will be eliminated. The route will then run only between CFB-Downtown-Kingston Centre. KT staff noted that ridership north of the base has fallen to extremely low levels since the 600 buses have been introduced, as you said. When the city introduced the 600s, I think the main reason they kept the 12 running up there was because they were hoping that some Gore Road-area residents who work at the base would start taking the bus (a trip which pre-2015 required a backtracking transfer downtown because of the peak-period 12-12A split), but that ended up not happening.
  2. That gas tax funding comes every year--it's a permanent program. And yet, every year provincial politicians brag about it.
  3. Transit staff have revised the 2017-21 business plan to fit council's financial requirements. Most of the improvements are remaining: proposals for expanded Sunday hours, the new Montreal Street express route, and increasing frequencies on express routes are all unchanged from the first draft. The main change is they're dropping the proposal to loop the 701/702 and there's a minor reduction in the number of service hours added in Phase 4 (from 18,615 to 16,415) although it's not specified where they're cutting. Phase 4's improvements were: 1) Extending the Montreal express route from Queen's to SLC and the Kingston Centre 2) New service to unserved areas in the NW (Westbrook, Cataraqui industrial areas, etc.) 3) 30 minute service on Route 1 in evenings and Sundays With a 12% cut in the budget required to support those 3 improvements, at least one of them will scaled back a bit. Given that the report is vague I imagine they're leaving it up to transit staff to make the decision on what to cut later on, possibly in 2019-ish when there's a better idea of what's more needed. Personally, I think 1) is unnecessary while 2) and 3) are important improvements.
  4. At peak periods yes, but outside of peak periods they're equal (30 minutes--the 7 is an abnormality and continues to run every 30 minutes even on evenings and Sundays). If there really is a need for higher frequency at peak we could just make the 7 a 15-minute service for a few hours at peak for a much lower cost than looping the 701/702. Yep. They are proposing the addition of a fourth express route (801/802) that will start at Montreal St Park & Ride to downtown (staying only on Montreal Road avoiding the long loop through the Weller Avenue area) and then onto Queen's, and then west on King Street to SLC. After SLC, it then goes to the Kingston Centre via Portsmouth, Johnson, and Sir John A. It will be a very badly underutilized express route especially outside of the peak. KT seems to be leaning towards using artics in the future. The new Cat Centre transfer point has artic-compatible bays and the plan for the rebuild of the downtown transfer point does the same. In the report, they calculate that 7.5 minute frequency on the 501/502 will be needed by assuming that 501/502 ridership will continue growing at the same rate it's been growing at since it was introduced all the way until 2022. This is probably not going to happen, IMO, as much of those new riders were "latent demand"--people who've been wanting to take KT for years but couldn't because the service wasn't good enough. Once that latent demand is used up ridership growth should slow down. Really, there are only a few service improvements in this plan that are truly necessary/useful. They are: 1) Extending service hours on Sundays to the same as every other day on the express routes and on Routes 7 and 15 (very badly needed, IMO) 2) Bidirectional service on Route 14 in the west end 3) Introduction of local services to new neighbourhoods northwest of the Cat Centre that don't yet have any buses Everything else added on--the 7.5 minute peak period 501/502 service, the new 801/802 express, the looping of the 701/702--are not really necessary.
  5. Many of the service improvements in the plan were a little excessive, IMO. Do we really need the 701/702 to be extended into a bidirectional loop, when the 7 already provides reasonably quick service between Kings Crossing and the Cataraqui Centre? Do we really need an express route between SLC and the Kingston Centre when local buses already do that run in 15 minutes (often less)? Do capacity issues really require 7.5 minute service on the 501/502? The increased fare discounts were a little much, too. Making transit free for 5-12 year olds, making youth discount available to 18-24 year olds, increasing low-income monthly pass subsidy from 35% to 50%, not asking for much of an increase at all to the very low contract rate paid by Queen's students.. I'm generally a big advocate of municipalities funding transit improvements, but the proposed plan IMO put too much of a financial burden on the City, especially considering just how many millions of dollars in subsidy increases the city gave KT for the express service in the past few years. That said, I do wonder if KT management was "highballing" city council by creating an overly ambitious plan on purpose, so that they could agree to their ideal plan later as a "compromise".
  6. This Saturday, for the Hip concert & live stream, the express buses will operate past regular service hours, until 2:30am, with a boost to 15 minute frequency from 4pm to 7pm and again from 11pm to 2:30am.
  7. Back in April I went to one of the public meetings KT was holding to get ideas for its 5 year plan. A couple people (including myself) brought up hours of service; but it wasn't a common theme.. the main thing people complained about lack of service to places like Westbrook or Highway 15 & Highway 401, and fares (which is funny because KT fares are a lot lower than Ottawa or Toronto). In my opinion, the early end to service on Sunday is the single worst deficiency in the entire system, and should be the #1 priority for new transit funding. Extending Sunday hours to 10pm would only cost about $200k-$300k (rough estimate by looking at the number of buses required to run the Sunday schedule and the approximate figure of $100 per service hour), which is a pretty small pittance considering City Council had to add millions to KT's subsidy to fund the express system. Heck, the margin by which ridership growth has exceeded expectations in the past 2 years should be enough to fund it.
  8. There seems to be very little interest from KT in extending service hours. We've seen huge investment in new routes and new frequencies, but the hours of service have been completely unchanged throughout the whole transformation process that's been ongoing since 2010. When KT was doing consultations for what should be in the next 5 year plan (covering 2017-21) I submitted as my suggestion that end of service should be moved to midnight Monday-Saturday and 10pm Sunday; with the express routes continuing to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
  9. All routes, both local and express, have the same hours of service; to ~11PM Monday-Saturday and ~8PM on Sunday. The 17 route does serve the downtown area after those hours, but it's a charter route paid for entirely by the university, on top of the fees that students already pay to access the system. Most trips of the 18 are also funded like this as well.
  10. In the past, when Kingston Transit service was far poorer than it is today, Queen's students were more or less the only ones who consistently rode the bus. These days... a weird point to make. There's the express bus network the city just spent millions on, it services the whole city and is focused on commuters, not students.
  11. 18...Q? Weird name, but ok... The bit about waiting 30 minutes for late trains/buses is interesting.. this is likely specifically intended for VIA train #648 from Toronto, which is scheduled to arrive in Kingston around 9:10PM but is typically delayed to around 9:30-9:40, which until now has forced passengers to often take a cab. The main reason is because in 2015 the student association at Queens agreed to have the annual fee for the student bus pass raised from $45 to $65. That, combined with enrollment increases at Queen's (by 2018 there will be 1,200 more undergrads than there were in 2014), means KT is getting a more revenue from the student bus pass program. This means KT is a lot more willing to spend extra money on student-oriented service than it was in the past. As for the change to Route 17... do you have more info? (I'm in Ottawa at the moment so I don't have access to the maps). Is the route also getting straighter as well? Route 17 is so windy it's almost comical with some streets being looped on multiple times in the same run....
  12. If you want to know more about the streetcar system Kingston had from 1891 to 1930, there is a book at the Special Collections library (in the Douglas Library building) at Queen's that has a great amount of detail about the streetcar system including lots of pictures, timelines, and the route design and service frequency. I read it once and it was great. Because it's considered a Special Collections book you can't physically remove it from the library, but Queen's staff will let you scan pages from it using their scanning equipment if you want.
  13. I first heard about it a few years ago; I believe during a budget meeting or something at city council where it was mentioned as being scheduled for "the near future". I asked someone from the city about it again in September 2015 at a public meeting on proposed upgrades to the Downtown Transfer Point, and they told me it was scheduled for 2016. It was brought up again at the transit visioning workshops the city did a few months ago. It's definitely not a well-advertised initiative, unlike the express service which was heavily promoted in the run up to its launch (both the original 2013 route and the two new routes in 2015).
  14. Ridership growth potential on the 600s is low because it doesn't really serve that big of a population; by contrast to the 500s and 700s which serve much of the city. In terms of local service improvements, the most urgent need is more frequencies on the 1 and 2 bus routes. 4 is busy too, but it overlaps entirely with 500s buses which are more popular. City staff have mentioned at the transit workshops back in April, that there's a new local route coming to new neighbourhoods in the NW; so that's something to watch.
  15. Many peak period trips on the 501/502 are now overcrowded as the popularity of the express service increases. 10 minute service increases capacity by 50%; that's probably good enough for the foreseeable future.
  16. I find it interesting that VI retirement isn't happening soon. If they are getting 6 new Novas in the fall; that means KT will have gotten 11 new Novas total. If KT can't retire any buses that means most of those buses are required for new service.. but so far, the only announced service enhancement is 10 minute peak period service on the 501/502, which will only need 4 additional buses. Must mean that KT is planning for more service enhancements in the near future.
  17. 10 minute peak service would require 4 additional vehicles, which is the number of new ones coming in. But without being able to unwrap those XD40s and return them to the local fleet, they can't retire the Orion VIs.
  18. Took the 10:30PM #2 leaving the Kingston Centre and it was the 9807. Might be the last time I'm on a Kingston Orion VI given they're going to be retired soon. Are the new novas in service yet? Have yet to see one.
  19. They rejected the idea, as it was decided through consultation and analysis of trip patterns that relocating the Downtown Transfer Point to the K-Rock Centre area would be less convenient for customers as most of the destinations downtown that people want to actually go to are not near there. Based on that, any option that would have moved the bus stop more than two blocks away from its current location was immediately thrown out. With that location restriction, an off-street facility is basically impossible as there's no room in the core, unless they want to build an underground terminal somewhere which is way beyond the budgeting ability of the city. The Clarence Street idea didn't work out as the reroutings of buses that would need to happen would lead to increase travel time. Basically, the conclusion was that the DTP's location was perfect, both for customer access & convenience and for bus routings, and that we have to keep it there. I don't think Kingston is considering artics at any point in the predictable future but at the same time the city doesn't want to shoot itself in the foot by making it impossible for artics to be used in the future.
  20. The city has approved the EA for the Downtown Transfer Point improvements. cityofkingston.ca/DTP Cost of about $2M, includes reconstructing Brock from Bagot to Montreal with wider sidewalks by narrowing traffic lanes, and removing a few spaces from the Bruce Garage to reduce the amount of that block taken up by the driveway to it and to accommodate new shelters on Bagot. Interestingly, the plan accounts for the possibility of articulated buses in the design and selection of bus stop locations.
  21. One of my housemates says she spotted 1502 in service downtown yesterday afternoon but can't remember the route it was running.
  22. 1040? Why retire one so new and not one of the options?
  23. Snapped this pic of 1050 in operation as Route 20 Tuesday morning, while stopped at Union & Alfred. By the end of the day it appears KT had swapped it out as I noticed 1049 (currently displaying Tamerack ads) was running the 20 in the afternoon. Any word on when the 5 new Nova buses are schedule to arrive? With the new 20 bus route and extras added to the 502 in the AM I imagine the local fleet is getting quite squeezed now.
  24. Ottawa plans a similar sort of disposal Presto system for its Confederation Line LRT which will be using fare gates.
  25. So it's something that could be done pretty easily post-ATC. When is ATC supposed to come to Sheppard? Is there even a schedule for that?
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