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Everything posted by brianc1981

  1. According to a CSA I was talking to this morning GO is hopeful that by thanksgiving weekend they can proceed with service changes to the trains. He said LSE/LSW will be running 15 minute frequency until evening. LSW will be modified heavily for the next year or so in the evening times due to port credit construction so he said that the plan is 30 minutes until 10 then probably hourly after but LSE will maintain 30 minute frequency from 9 or so. Prior to 9 it should be 15-20 minute service after rush hour. He also said that weekends would be a little different. 30 minute service is planned from west harbour to Oshawa. But there would be trains every 30 minutes from Pickering to Oakville. So combined 15 minutes between Pickering and Oakville. I assume for events during weekends. The CSA also told me that there is supposed to be more service on the Kitchener line on weekends. Apparently hourly service Saturday and Sunday. As well as trains going to Kitchener every 2-3 hours. Also additional service to Kitchener Monday to Friday. These changes were all supposed to take place in September 2020 and were postponed then rescheduled for spring of this year but was postponed due to staffing issues. There are more changes that are scheduled but won’t take effect until either January or spring sometime. He was quite hopeful that these adjustments could happen next month as they don’t expect there to be as many gaps in service due to a lack of staff. Plus it sounds like to me having shorter trains or gap trains on weekends on lakeshore would make it easier if a train needs to be cancelled.
  2. So I have looked over some of the service changes that are proposed for the RTL service, but my thought is there is so much overlap and redundancy out there. So many buses either run to Panama or the Metro, or both. I would think that with the REM service coming in that many routes could be shortened. New express routes could travel from different major areas to connect to the Metro or the REM service. Could easily improve frequencies as well instead of running multiple routes that basically travel to and from the same areas. I noticed when looking at maps that there are several buses that travel to Panama that more or less follow the same routing or go within a couple blocks of other buses. Seems like a lot of overlap. With the new train and less buses running downtown you would think this would be the time to drastically improve the system and boost ridership. Brossard station will have 22 bays and Panama will have 31 and from what I could see but maybe I am wrong, was that most of the buses at Brossard station will travel to Panama and the rest will travel to LONGUEUIL-UNIVERSITÉ-DE-SHERBROOKE metro. In my opinion a lot of buses could travel locally around Brossard station and at Panama several routes could just travel locally and the routes that go to places like Promenade St Bruno or the Metro could be express routes. To me it makes more sense. Shorter routes more frequency and run a few crosstown services that do not connect to a train but to other major points. Just my opinion
  3. I remember being a teenager when it first started and there were plans for eventually having 2 way service and weekend/evening service, as well as possibly other routes. I know that there are a ton of restrictions as all the track is owned by the freight companies throughout BC and freight traffic is always a priority especially with more and more freight trains running. As it is, Via Rail schedules the train to Toronto to take 9 hours to Kamloops, and thats because of all the freight. Even with the current schedule the train is more often than not an hour late getting to Mission. It would take a lot of effort from the provincial and federal governments to build more tracks and bypass routes to allow trains to run more often, and closer to running on schedule. I live in the Toronto area now and there has been a lot of work over the years where GO has purchased the corridors they operate in (not all of them). Since then the trains can run more often and there are new or improved stations being built. This is something that has taken millions of dollars and years of time. Lets see if this can finally happen in the greater Vancouver area
  4. So I have a question for those in Calgary. I remember a few years ago when they brought in the Max routes and modified some other bus routes, I was told that this was a part of a longer term plan to basically make the system better. There were going to be a lot more route changes, more express routes, better frequencies, some routes would be modified to allow the routes to be a little more direct, and by that I mean routes that don't loop through as many areas so it takes less time to operate from end to end, allowing the frequency to improve without adding buses. I know the pandemic most likely delayed plans but now that things are getting better, will we start seeing big changes anytime soon? I know there are some routes that have terrible route frequencies especially on weekends and the changes were meant to address things like that without adding a lot of additional buses to the routes.
  5. I think it is fair to compare. I live in Oshawa and it’s crazy how Durham build there system and york ruins there’s. Or Brampton is doing things better then Mississauga. It makes it hard for people to go between areas when one system maybe really good and the other is bad. Or one company is doing well in terms of long term planning and the other is barely getting buses on the road today. And a lot of people commute between Brampton and Mississauga. So it makes sense that something one does effects that other.
  6. I don't think it is a bad idea necessarily. But it depends on what happens after the time frame of this. If the fares balloon back up to 3-4 dollars then I think it would fail. I would say that after the fares go back up from the $1 they should go up to say $1.50, then GO could go up to $3 or $4 a trip and the Northland could go up to say $2 or $3 per city you travel through. Farther you travel the more you pay. The idea of this proposed fare structure is instead of building the 413 highway and the Bradford bypass, which is pegged to cost over 8 billion dollars, also of taxpayer money the Liberals want to spend less money and offer the buck a ride, and pay another decent amount to help transit systems expand schedules. I disagree with the buck a ride on Northland to a degree. I would charge a dollar per city, so if it stops in 10 places between where you board and where you get off then you pay $10. Not $1 for the whole trip. Also I feel that this buck a ride fare structure would only make sense, if the monthly pass that is supposed to be $40, works for all systems, so people living in Burlington could commute for $40 to Mississauga or Toronto every day, or from Oshawa to Toronto or wherever. This should also be a stepping stone to building a united transit system, that encompasses the GTA and perhaps the Golden Horseshoe. As there are a lot of areas that lack public transit and it would make sense from a logistical standpoint of being able to have one system that covers much more ground. I have stated on another topic on here that I have been working on a report that discusses the logistics of merging all systems from Hamilton to Durham and up to Milton, YRT and Bradford, as well as encompassing Orangeville, Guelph, and GRT as well as Niagara. This dollar a ride would be great to bring more people onto transit and then it can open doors to building new routes or merging routes together. Personally I am ok with the cheap fares as long as the transit systems evolve and grow across the province. My theory is the Liberal government, if they get in should invest in improving transit, reducing fares, canceling the proposed 413 highway that is highly controversial as it is, and use that money that is projected to be used for the highway and use it for building more transit services, merging the transit in the Golden Horseshoe to allow GO to expand service, and working on getting rid of the tolls on the 407, because that would move vehicles off of the 401, and if the transit is cheaper and better for the most part, more people may take transit and stop driving everywhere or at least reduce the amount of driving they do, so it would help reduce congestion on roads. But in order for this to all work, transit systems cannot offer very unreliable frequencies on bus routes such as in York where some routes are 42 minutes or 39 minutes or 75 minutes or whatever weird frequencies there are. I also think merging all these systems together there could be more local routes and services and then GO bus routes could be made to be less milk run services in some areas such as the GO bus that runs along Kingston/Dundas/King in Durham region, along the same route as local DRT buses. The GO buses could be moved onto more highways or discontinued and replaced with more local routes, and then the buses used on the local type routes could be moved onto more express services that could be used to boost service for longer runs. Also buck a ride would boost service and it would be good for building or planning routes that could benefit where people travel more, especially if more people work from home instead of commuting to downtown. This buck a ride gets people on transit and then when they transit planners see where the people travel to the most, then they could increase services to those areas. It would also help to encourage more people to leave the car at home than it reduces vehicles on the roads and allows buses to run more often as they won't be sitting in traffic as much as they do when there are more vehicles on the roads. I know there is a lot I have mentioned here, but I do think there is a lot of good that this can do, especially with all the potential growth that is planned for the next many years in the GTA. It is going to be necessary to build new service and get more people out of the car, especially with gas nearing the $2 a litre mark plus the high cost of parking in Toronto. It makes way more sense to take transit instead of paying the gas and parking.
  7. What are peoples thoughts on the liberal promise of offering buck-a-ride transit on all transit systems in Ontario, including GO and Ontario Northland? I am curious to hear what everyone thinks regarding this. I have some thoughts but I will reserve my thoughts on this until I hear what other people think. Maybe my thoughts will change
  8. I have heard in the past that they were going to reuse the Wentworth yard, the one they used to use and then closed, and was being used by GO for a number of years. If that is the case then a bunch of buses could operate from there and it would actually benefit certain routes as currently there are some buses that leave mountain garage or return, that deadhead for 35-45 minutes. A supervisor I know there was telling me that at one point they had about 15 buses in the morning that left the yard and drove 30-45 minutes before entering service, and then back at the end of the shift or day. That is a lot of downtime being paid out for a city that is not that big. At 30 minutes for 15 buses that is 450 minutes of deadheading time that is being paid to different drivers with no customers/fare revenue. At least having the Wentworth yard operating again, there could be substantial deadheading savings. Meaning that it could go into improving service without adding more buses.
  9. I grew up in Vancouver and moved to Toronto in Sept 2000, since then I have moved to several areas and have lived in 5 provinces total, and I think the stacked style signs are the best because it gives more information on the sign. When I moved back to the Vancouver area in 2014 there were lots of changes to routes and service so I was not sure where some buses went. But seeing the stacked signs now I would be able to figure out some of the routes without having to ask drivers where they go.
  10. How do you plan for a trip when frequencies are that bad. If I am planning to go somewhere and I needed to transfer to a 57 and my first bus was late then it would be faster to walk instead of waiting for the next bus. There was an article a few years ago that was talking about the steps to take to improve a public transit system and increase ridership and one of the big things mentioned was that the frequency of service should be 30 minutes at the longest. In fact the article was talking about how transit should be planned under the following frequencies, 10 minutes or better, every 10 minutes, every 15 minutes, every 20 minutes or every 30 minutes. It also said that at transit terminals or exchanges or whatever, that multiple routes should be timed out to meet. So for example 15 people take a viva blue to newmarket and there are 5 local bus routes, those routes should be expected to operate on the same frequency and to leave around the same time. So if the viva ran every 15 minutes (not 18 like it is) then 2 buses worth of people would arrive in time to connect to the 5 local routes. Or depending where the local routes were to operate then they could be running every 30 minutes but having some buses run 15 minutes apart of the other routes. This way it is more seamless transfers for people and it then makes the system easier to travel for people. The only way you are going to have people leave the car at home is to have a transit system that connects, and makes it easy to get from place to place. Also worth noting that the examples I gave above were hypothetical situations. I just can't remember what the routes are that travel out of Newmarket Terminal and all of the frequencies. But my point is that there needs to be better bus service in areas or people will never abandon the car no matter how high the gas gets. If I were in charge of scheduling at YRT I would use the VIVA buses as the express services to move people the longer distances, but I would have much better timing for connections at different terminals. I would have local service that would run 30 minutes or better at all terminals and I would design the schedules so that when buses are coming in there is connections. I have seen to many times when a Blue is on time and it pulls into the Richmond Hill Centre and both the Orange and the Purple are leaving at the same time as the Blue is arriving. Yes I know that the blue runs a lot more often but even coming off the Purple and sometimes as it comes in the Orange is leaving. So that means even with the 2 buses on time there is a gap that forces you to wait for the next bus.
  11. I would think that service changes in Laval would be minimal but I did here at one point that they are looking to redesign the network in ways that there would be more express buses across Laval, and to simplify some of the routes. Mostly just so that some runs are more direct. As ridership has gone down (due to covid), the best way to get riders back is create a good simple network that doesn't do major overlaps with other buses. In fact what I have seen in my time up in Laval (before when I lived there) I noticed that there were areas that had 5 or 6 buses that serviced the same stop or same intersection and they would all go to Montmorency station, and most of them would go to a similar area as the ending point. If that could be simplified to say 2 routes then you could free up buses to other routes and increase frequency. I also recall that several routes would operate from the same point a and b, but would operate only a few blocks away, and sometimes they would loop through the same residential area intersecting each other. It would make sense from a logistical standpoint to just cancel one of the routes, meaning people may have to walk a little farther to catch a bus but it would make sense, to feed more people onto one route instead of dividing ridership between two routes. It may also help to extend the ending point of some routes to better connect riders with other routes. I used to take one bus when I lived there and then I would have to walk about 10 minutes to connect with another bus to get to where I was going. The second bus started in the area that I would get on as well. So it never made sense to me that those were 2 separate routes with a gap, and not 1 whole route. I know they have made some changes as this was close to 15 years ago, but I know there are a lot more changes that would make sense, as well as feeding people to the REM train instead of the Metro. The Metro can be crowded at times and the REM could potentially help reduce the crowding of people coming from Laval.
  12. I figured that this would be a good place to put all sorts of bus changes as a result of the REM, as it is multiple transit systems that will be impacted by the new train service. As posted on Wikipedia there are lots of bus bays at certain stations so it would make sense for routes to be modified to service the stations South Shore and Central section (all branches)[edit] All stations on the main branch of the Réseau express métropolitain are projected to have a train frequency of 2.5 minutes during rush hour and every 5 minutes otherwise, both towards Brossard station and towards the three different branches. Station Opening for REM[2] Opened Parking spots[30] Bike racks Connections Brossard Q4 2022 N/A 2950 50 RTL, Exo; 22 bus platforms Du Quartier Q4 2022 None 74 RTL; street stops only Panama Q4 2022 700 200 Terminus Brossard-Panama; RTL and Exo; 31 bus platforms Île-des-Soeurs Q4 2022 None 20 STM; 4 bus platforms Griffintown–Bernard-Landry 2023 None None STM; street stops only Central Station Q4 2022 1943 None None , Amtrak, Mont-Saint-Hilaire line, Bonaventure Downtown Terminus (Terminus RTL), Société de transport de Montréal (STM)[31] Several other nearby connections via the RÉSO underground city. McGill Q4 2023 1966 None None McGill, STM Several other nearby connections via the RÉSO underground city. Édouard-Montpetit Q4 2023 1988 None 30 Édouard-Montpetit, STM Canora Q4 2023 1918 None 100 STM Ville-de-Mont-Royal Q4 2023 1918 None 60 STM Côte-de-Liesse Q4 2023 N/A None 35 Mascouche line; STM; street stops only Montpellier Q4 2023 1918 None 60 STM; street stops only Du Ruisseau Q4 2023 1994 1,060 45 STM, STL; 1 bus platform and street stops Bois-Franc Q2 2024 1994 740 120 STM, STL; 6 bus platforms and street stops Deux-Montagnes branch[edit] Stations on the Deux-Montagnes branch are projected to run every five minutes during rush hour, and every fifteen minutes otherwise. Station Opening for REM[2] Opened Parking spots Bike racks Connections Sunnybrooke Q2 2024 1994 400 40 STM; street stops only Pierrefonds-Roxboro Q2 2024 1944 1,140 80 STM; 6 bus platforms and street stops Île-Bigras Q4 2024 1995 45 20 STL (taxibus only) Sainte-Dorothée Q4 2024 1995 975 45 STL; 6 bus platforms Grand-Moulin Q4 2024 1925[32] 304[33] 44 Exo; street stops only Deux-Montagnes Q4 2024 1995 1,256[34] 247 Exo; 6 bus platforms and street stops Airport branch[edit] The Airport branch of the Réseau express métropolitain is projected to run every ten minutes during rush hour, and every fifteen minutes otherwise. Station Planned opening[2] Parking spots Bike racks Connections Marie-Curie End of 2024 None 20 STM; street stops only YUL–Montréal–Trudeau Airport End of 2024 None None Connection to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport Anse-à-l'Orme branch[edit] The Anse-à-l'Orme (formerly Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue) branch of the Réseau express métropolitain is projected to run every ten minutes during rush hour, and every fifteen minutes otherwise. Station Planned opening[2] Parking spots Bike racks Connections Des Sources Q2 2024 500 20 STM; 1 bus platform and street stops Fairview–Pointe-Claire Q2 2024 700 50 STM; 17 bus platforms Kirkland Q2 2024 2,500 30 STM; 6 bus platforms Anse-à-l'Orme Q2 2024 200 20 STM, Exo; 11 bus platforms I already have had confirmation that no buses from the south shore will operate into downtown Montreal, so that would mean that routes like the 45 and 90 would be cancelled (which was obvious anyways) as well as all the peak directional service. I would assume all the EXO service would just terminate at either Panama or Brossard Station. My hope would be the RTL service would be simplified, as so many routes loop all over and some routes run along the path of other routes. I was told at one point that the majority of routes in the RTL system were designed to service as many areas as possible so that the majority of riders wouldn't be transferring unless they were going into Montreal. So my hope would be a lot of routes would be simplified and maybe leading to transfer points throughout the area. Also taking the service hours of all the routes that currently operate into Montreal and pumping it into local service would allow for major frequency upgrades. Especially on routes that have hourly service outside of rush hours. It makes it very hard to attract new riders when bus service runs hourly and there is not good connections to other buses, for those that do need to transfer. In Laval I would assume there will also be a lot of changes so that buses will feed Île-Bigras and Sainte-Dorothée stations. Even though the Île-Bigras station is just an STL Taxibus service I would assume that with growth in the area and 4 trains per hour in each direction outside of rush hour, that there will eventually need to be more then a Taxibus service. Sainte-Dorothée if I recall correctly, is mostly surrounded by residential but there is currently a bunch of peak hour bus service that operate to the Metro. There is also a lot of areas around Sainte-Dorothée that have retail and medical or other things that will bring people over. So my assumption is there will be modifications to service there. As for Montreal I am not sure how many changes will be made, as there are already a lot of buses that will run in the area already, especially at Fairview–Pointe-Claire where there is already a bus loop (that will be relocated) and a bunch of existing service. Kirkland has a lot of bus service in the area and as far as I can recall the only change I have heard would be the 470 bus being extended to that station. I have tried to look for route changes based on the new REM trains but haven't found anything, but if people know more about it or when people here it, I think this is a great thread to post in. If me creating a new thread is not allowed please move this to the correct spot. I was going to put it in the REM thread but I didn't want bus route changes mixed with train information, as technically these will be different systems.
  13. So, my report is not done yet, but the progress I have made on it has many proposed changes. In fact over 1000 changes across the entire GTA in terms of routes/scheduling. My main report focuses on Hamilton to Durham and north to YRT. There is spots for further implementation of adding Bradford/Orangeville/Niagara/Brantford/Guelph and the GRT system. There are also part of my report that show the negative aspects of these changes and the concerns of the different Unions and what they could do to prevent this from happening. To give an idea of some of these changes I am looking at, would be routes that the TTC currently operate out of the city, such as to Westwood mall or up into York Region, could be modified. The idea would be that routes like that would only require one fare, as the whole system would be integrated with one fare and 2 hour transfer (except GO services). There is also plans in my report that would extend certain YRT routes to operate further into Toronto to connect with Subway connections and those buses would pick up and drop off within the city, and allow what are currently TTC buses to change routing or be moved to different areas. Such as routes coming in from York to go to Don Mills station, could replace service on Don Mills north of Don Mills Station. The TTC would essentially be able to free up some buses to move to different areas of the city. Possibly a couple of buses could merge into the YRT route to cover the extra riders and improve frequency north of Steeles. Areas in Halton Region such as the HWY 407 and Dundas Park and Ride and Uptown Core could be hubs for local routes that connect in the north end of the cities. For example at Uptown Core there could be a couple of routes that would travel to a GO station (Oakville, Bronte or Clarkson) and then a few routes that start and end their trips at Uptown Core. This way there are a few shorter routes that could serve the local communities that do not have much or any service. Routes could run on 30 minute frequency and interline with other shorter runs. Then there could be a fairly direct bus that travels to Sheridan and Oakville GO and then a few other routes that travel down to the GO stations. From HWY 407 and Dundas Park and Ride there could be a bus that goes down to Aldershot station, one or two to Burlington GO, one to the Downtown terminal, and one or two to Appleby GO and maybe one to Bronte GO. Also from there a bus or two could loop around the northern neighbourhoods in the city. I have also made several proposals for changes in service throughout DRT and YRT service areas. Lots more local style routes with more longer routes that operate to terminal or GO stations across the region. Also have plans to improve frequencies to a lot of bus routes so that they run better than currently so buses have better chances of connecting. One thing I want to clarify as I have seen people make posts or comment or even people I have talked to have said comments like "most people do not travel from Hamilton to Newmarket, or Oshawa to Milton, and those that do take GO or they drive." My report is not calling for a system to cater to the few people that would be willing to travel 4 hours one way on local transit. This is a way to improve services on a local level to help move people within the region but not have to worry about barriers of boundaries, different fare structures, or lack of proper connections. By merging some routes together or by eliminating major duplication on corridors and freeing up buses we can improve service in other areas. A great example of this would be in Mississauga where there is the route 103 and the Brampton route 502 that mostly follow each other for quite a ways. With this new system I propose those 2 routes could merge together, and run from Port Credit to Sandalwood terminal in Brampton, even though there will be an LRT to replace all of that eventually. Another spot that could be improved would be the 501 Zum route that goes to VMC, and the VIVA Orange. Under this system the 501 could travel to Richmond Hill Centre. It would improve service along the route but there would be the elimination of the duplicated service between Martin Grove and VMC, as the 501 already operates through there and runs more often then the Orange. The routes merging together allows better spacing of buses so there is not 2 buses following each other and one doing all the work, and it would allow better service from Richmond Hill Centre and VMC station. By my calculations and scheduling the improved service could operate with the same number of buses along the route as currently running. Yes the 501 would be a longer route but the amount of buses added to it from the Orange would allow better spacing and allow for the improved service without requiring more buses. The Orange currently has 5 to 6 buses running on the route (including layover times) if there was no duplication of service between the Orange and the 501 and you ran the same number of buses between VMC and Richmond hill centre only, the frequency of the Orange would essentially be the same as the 501 west of there. There would also be many other changes along the combined system. Frequency improvements in Hamilton by again merging routes together and eliminating some of the duplication, and there would be changes with the buses that come into Hamilton from Burlington. I have lots of proposals for new routes for when there are subway extensions and LRT lines built also. As well as for when GO improves services on certain lines and there is a whole section of changes for GO routes to allow certain routes to run more often and for there to be reductions/cancellations of certain bus routes that can be replaced by enhanced local style service. Some of the big changes in my report will focus on local routes that feed GO stations, and certain local style services that could replace certain GO routes. For example the GO bus 81 can be cancelled and fully incorporated with DRT buses that operate into Port Perry and Uxbridge. As well as having new local service that operates between Uxbridge and Port Perry, to connect to the 905. The local service could run on a 30 minute frequency and connect to improved 905 buses that could run more express to Whitby GO station. Also there could be local bus service that operates from Cornell terminal to Taunton and Harmony terminal or UOIT/DC in Oshawa, via hwy 7 and Winchester, and a local route that connects to Uxbridge from Newmarket replacing the old 960 route and that service could run every 30 minutes as well. Currently I know some routes would have low ridership but eventually ridership would increase on routes, especially as there is more growth in smaller communities. Also some areas would have buses that are local heading into residential areas that have no service and they would feed the longer routes. In my report there is also a section that would have "crosstown style" buses that go long distances across one corridor, such as a modified route 1 from Kipling terminal to Dundas/HWY 407 in Burlington, that would parallel the Dundas BRT. Also having a bus that goes from Square One to the Eglinton crosstown service. Or a bus that operates from Finch West subway and LRT station that goes across Toronto and then up Markham road to Amazon. Eventually I would be phasing in connections and rolling in GRT/Guelph/Niagara/Brantford/Bradford/Barrie and potentially others. Even if it means that a bus travels from Meadowlands in Ancaster (Hamilton) and travels to Brantford along local roads, instead of the highway to connect businesses and residential. Or, having a bus that operates from Bradford to East Gwillumbury GO station. I know currently there is GO services in some areas but over the years local service has improved enough for GO to reallocate service to new routes or to improve service on other busier routes. I know this is a lot to digest but this is just the start of what could be a great system and something that is long overdue considering the expected growth in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe in the next 25 or so years. I also know that not everyone will care what happens in Toronto if they live in Hamilton, but this enhanced system allows people to travel locally where they need to go easier, and allows for faster expansion of services. The other concern I see is funding and how people do not want to see the fare revenue in Mississauga going to fund service in Toronto. As for this new structure each area would pay the same into transit they currently do for the systems they operate and then this enhanced system would then take the funding and build the system accordingly, and use the fare revenue to go towards the system as well. Then there would be gas tax revenue that currently exists that would go to the one system as well as any other funding that comes from different levels of government. My proposal actually doesn't call for a reduction of service, it calls for existing services to be streamlined to either improve frequency in some areas or eliminate wasted resources. By that I mean when you have a bus scheduled to operate on a corridor but it is scheduled to operate a few minutes behind a different route that would end up doing most of the work, such as my example of the combined section of service between the 501 and the VIVA Orange. It would also allow certain routes in other cities to be able to gain more frequency as there would be more buses available on corridors. Also by shortening bus routes to serve neighbourhoods and feed other routes would actually provide better service, so that instead of 3 or 4 routes that all go from Point A to Point B running similar times (such as leaving 407/Dundas at :15 and :45 past each hour) you could have one route doing that every 15 minutes and then 3 or 4 smaller routes doing the more local stuff while the one route runs more often and has more people on the one bus, instead of 3 routes leaving at the same times with less then one buses total capacity of passengers being spread out. This way its a better use of resources, and it can also help make route frequencies better than some systems have currently. I currently have every transit service running at one of the following frequencies FS (10 minutes or better) 10 minutes 15 minutes 20 minutes 30 minutes and some routes hourly this way it makes planning and trying to connect better. I have seen some schedules that just don't connect well and its because one route runs every 31 minutes and there is another route that runs every 37 minutes. Or a lot of times at Richmond Hill Centre a VIVA Blue pulls in as the Purple or Orange are just leaving, or have just left, meaning that passengers have to wait another 16-20 minutes. Sorry for the long post but I feel it is best to get this out here and hear what people have to say about it
  14. I am working on a proposal similar to the Board of Trade report from a few years back that would look at the options of Superlinx which is an amalgamated transit system all around the GTA. My research has hundreds of changes planned to be able to reduce duplication of services and merging routes together as well as working in partnership with GO services to improve express service that goes long distance. Once my report is complete there are many changes that will address DRT/YRT serving the Scarborough extension plus improvements in many other areas, also with a common fare/transfer system. Report should be ready in the next 2-3 months and I will post summaries of it here to gauge reaction before I email it to mayors and transit systems across the GTA
  15. Likely yard shuffle between Willowbrook and East I would agree its a yard shuffle, many of the older cars will be shuffled from Whitby and the siding tracks along side the highway near Whitby GO and be moved to Willowbrook so that they can be sent to Thunder Bay for restoration. Especially the ones that haven't been used in 20 or so months. These projects should be happening in the next few months so its likely we will see a lot more short or really long trains that are deadheading along the corridor
  16. I do, for sure see the validity in your ideas but I have weighed out a lot of these things. I have compiled a report and like I said I am still working on it and it will take a while to finish but I do think something like this will work well in the future. I will assume the first 2-3 years will be rough but will get better. It will take time to iron out all of the kinks and iron out all of the wage issues and whatnot. I actually can counter this as there are several buses that will operate over the areas that could be replacing TTC buses and it would actually improve service. I looked into this and based on ridership of the TTC routes, I believe the MiWay buses operating over that area would not need much more added as there would be an increase of the service over the corridor meaning that the Miway buses would run more often. Also a lot of the Miway buses at Kipling have a fairly decent layover as it is so I don't believe there would be a need for adding buses. In fact based on the route maps I have looked at and the service I have looked at there may need to be a minor reroute to a couple of buses to pick up some slack between TTC and Miway if there is a few routes cut or modified. Also to work on my other point about the merging of express buses that could work on many levels. You could have express routes that operate as GO buses that go longer distances. Also taking existing express buses that currently operate through local systems and merge them together, especially the VIVA and Zum buses. I also understand what you were saying but at the same time, I am not expecting major cross regional trips and for those that do there would still be GO services that can handle that. I am more looking at taking the local transit and merging it into one system so that coverage is better along major areas. I am not saying that all routes must start in Hamilton and end in Toronto. Or Oshawa to Toronto. There will be lots of routes that still operate just locally such as that route 10 in Burlington, or the 23 in Mississauga. I also know that each city has different needs for transit, but one thing that I do know is that people who live in certain parts of the GTA have service that sucks and hasn't grown even with the population that has grown over the years. In fact when I moved to Ontario in early 2000, the Burlington system was much better then it was a few years ago. It has gotten better in recent years thankfully. But for a number of years the schedules were razor thin and even though the population grew and roads were busier the routes had minimal time added and some of the routes were extended with no additional time added to the run, that meant lots of delays and missed connections for people. They also tried to make all routes start and end at GO stations, but most of the trips didn't connect with trains. There were lots of things that needed to be improved and could be improved if there were other systems tied together. For example there could be routes that go into Waterdown and to McMaster, as well as into Oakville. It would allow passengers to have a one seat ride. One of your concerns here is actually one of the things that makes this system work. When you said operational concerns, and routes could be super long but doesn't necessarily mean that it should be, it got me thinking. I have looked into this and the good thing about really long routes operated by one transit system is how service is deployed. Lets look at a route that operates from the 407/Dundas carpool lot across to Kipling as a replacement to the Miway route 1, Oakville routes 5 and 24 and to a lesser extent even partial Burlington Transit buses that could be rerouted and changed due to this new super route. We could have some buses that leave from the garage in Burlington, say 2. Then 6 buses could run out of the Oakville garage, entering service from different points on Dundas to slide in and boost frequency. Then you could have 16 to 20 buses that operate from the different garages in Mississauga. Some of these buses would jump into service going eastbound some westbound, all of them except for the 2 out of Burlington. It would mean less deadheading. Also as you stated with different frequency along the route, some of the route could be split into branches. The portion from Dundas/407 to Uptown Core area in Oakville could be 30 minutes and the frequency from Kipling to Uptown Core could be 8-10 minutes. Again this is a corridor that will be getting BRT, so there will be a major savings in buses by reducing (cancelling) the 101 route. Overall by operating one system there would be a lot of savings in terms of management and planners, it would allow the savings to be added to operating more routes. It would allow all operating costs to be pooled together, and it would also allow fares to subsidize service across the one system (including GO service). I have weighed out pros and cons for this system and I believe the pros will far outweigh the cons over time. Especially if this can be put into place before the Yonge subway extension to Richmond Hill and the Ontario line both open. Once they open and all the bus routes change in areas being served it means buses can be moved to many other areas to improve service. Either way I appreciate your concerns on this and I will do my best in my report that I do to address a lot of concerns. Also I am always willing to defend my position because I wouldn't be spending 100's of hours doing the research if it didn't make sense to me.
  17. So has there been anymore news or updates regarding when things would get up and running?
  18. There would still be GO transit services that would do the longer journeys, along the highways. The benefits for this new service would be to allow buses to travel across zone boundaries a lot more than currently. For example across Dundas from Kipling station to Dundas/407 GO carpool lot there is the route 1 Dundas (MiWay) then the 24 towards Oakville GO then a 5 Dundas bus both served by Oakville Transit. When the BRT service runs from Kipling to Hamilton via Dundas then the local service would be changed and in this case of one system you could take the number of buses that MiWay operates along the 1 and 101 service, as well as Oakville has with the 24 and the 5 and modify the routes a lot. In fact the 101 would most likely be discontinued, and then the local buses that operate on the 1, 5 and 24 buses could form one route, So yes local service along Dundas would go down but there would also be an express route for the longer trips. Especially with the frequency proposed for that route, most people would opt for the faster trip. Also there could be a route 1 in Oakville that could be routed all the way into Milton. This way one company, means one shared funding source, one fare revenue spread across the region. What would happen would be that Metrolinx would run the GO service as mostly express and long distance routes like current. Any GO service that runs along major roads that have lots of transit would be rerouted or cancelled. So a route like the one from Oshawa GO to Yorkdale which runs mostly along HWY 2 through Durham could be changed. This new system could add more buses to the 900 and change the routing to go to Scarborough Towne Centre, and then from there people could take a GO bus that goes to Square One along the 401 and stops at York Mills and Yorkdale and even the airport. All the buses and systems would have presto, and local buses would be one fare no matter where you are instead of the different city different local fare approach as we have now and the GO service would be pay by distance like it currently is. Another benefit would be areas that have no service now could have new service added. It would allow everyone to transfer between systems as they are currently without different fares, except GO trains or buses like now. Also in Toronto if there are buses traveling in from Mississauga those buses could do both pick up and drop offs in both directions, same with buses coming from York or Brampton or even Durham. By doing that it could allow the TTC routes to be modified so that TTC routes with lower ridership could be cancelled if there is MiWay or Brampton buses coming in over the same area. Meaning that the cancelled routes could free up buses to allow other routes to have better service. It could allow the 25 Don Mills route to only run to Don Mills Station from Pape. Then the YRT buses could operate more often then they currently do and they can do all the local service north of Don Mills, and it would be one system, one fare. Reason I believe this is a good idea is I have seen before what a merger of systems can do. Growing up in the Vancouver area Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were on transit system and they were completely separate from the rest of the Vancouver system, but they ran within a few KM's of each other but never interlined or crossed over. But since they did in the early 1990's transit service in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has gotten significantly better and there has been a ton of growth in those cities. It has allowed the transit network to grow quite a lot. With the report I am working on about the proposed one system, I looked into ways that the mergers would allow routes like the ZUM buses in Brampton and the VIVA service in York and MiExpress could almost integrate, and even integrate with express buses in Toronto, and the Pulse network in Durham Region. For example taking the VIVA Orange and the ZUM Queen bus and merging them together to operate as one system but using the same number of buses and not overlapping the 2 routes. Just a one seat ride from Richmond Hill Centre to downtown Brampton. I haven't seen lately but I do recall that there would sometimes be 2-3 buses very close together along a stretch of Hwy 7 because an Orange would come and then a 501 would leave Vaughn Metropolitan Centre and so they would run right close together but the Orange would be almost empty because most people wanted the 501 and then sometimes another 501 would catch up. Or just the scheduling would have 2 buses even on weekends or in the evenings running fairly close together. There are many advantages to taking all the scheduling and planning and letting one set of planners plan the network. Instead of many different agencies trying to do a small footprint in the GTA and trying to do it as cost effective as possible. With all the projected growth in the GTA over the next 20 years or so, having one system handle all the volume of riders would also allow for more service expansions, and express routes to be implemented faster, as well as new areas to get transit faster. Currently transit expansions and new types of service require a lot of planning amongst multiple levels of government. This new system under Metrolinx would be provincial planning and it could be funded and built faster. Also Subway extensions could be built into Mississauga to Square One for example or the extension in Scarborough could be built all the way into Markham.
  19. So this "one transit" agency thing is something I have explored a lot, considering that in the next couple of years we will have a bus that operates from Kipling Station along Dundas to Hamilton (McMaster). There is also a full BRT that will operate from Oshawa to Scarborough. Plus all the routes that do cross borders into Toronto, or that operate between Brampton and Mississauga or Oakville into both Burlington and Mississauga. I have been writing reports and doing tons of research, into the likelihood of a major amalgamation of transit services across the GTA and the benefits of that. One of the things that would stop this from happening is the different unions that transit agencies have. It is going to require a lot of negotiations between the unions. Also the difference in pay between drivers that drive in Toronto to drivers that drive in Newmarket, or Hamilton, or Oshawa for example. If we have one mega system then drivers, even though they may never drive in Toronto, they may still want to make the same or similar hourly rates as a TTC operator. Also for some systems like Burlington, there's a very small town feel in the system, a lot of passengers know drivers by name, the drivers know the stops that people use, and the passengers know they can request drop offs outside of the regular stops. Things like that don't necessarily happen in other places. Another big sticking point is how will this tie in with GO transit? I have toyed with the idea of this mega system being operated as a division of Metrolinx, so that GO trains and GO buses could be an extension of the system. This way it could allow passengers travelling further to transfer easily between systems. Also it would allow GO to abandon some of the local style routes and allow them to be operated by local transit systems, and then the freed up GO buses could be used on new routes to connect more spots. Especially in the west end of the GTA where GO buses could operate between Aldershot to Guelph, and there could be a bus that could operate from Brantford to Cambridge and then Waterloo, even as an extension of the 15 route. I think by March I will have all the research and info compiled fully to have my report fully prepared. I know my report will probably mean nothing to most people that would make these types of decisions but my hope is that I get this report made and put out into the public eye and people see it and it gets some traction (maybe when we have different government officials) and then maybe ideas similar to mine would get put into place.
  20. Agreed, especially during the pandemic but an additional tax source to help build good transit will entice more local people to take it without feeling like they are forced to pay for it out of property taxes. Property taxes could be used for other things and possibly slightly lowered even by say a half percent, and the other revenue from hotel stays or small tolls on highways would work to make up the difference and even additional costs. In the Vancouver area there is a big transit tax added into the gas revenue. When that happened a lot of local residences property taxes went down slightly or didn't raise for a few years. I just believe there needs to be alternative ways to pay for transit as there are lots of people that have a hard time paying property taxes as it is especially in Toronto area. I know this is a thread regarding free fares in Ottawa, but even this principal applies universally. Currently there needs to be alternative ways to fund transit without having a major reliance of money coming from the farebox. If transit fares are lowered there needs to be a way to pay for it that doesn't include spiking property taxes significantly. Another significant source of revenue needs to be made to go towards future transit projects such as the LRT expansions in Ottawa, especially if there are more issues that have plagued line 1 to begin with, and it requires a lot of money to fix those issues. There are lots of other transit projects on the go in the GTA and those need to be funded and having alternative ways to raise money goes a long way to building the transit lines, or to even adding more buses to the fleet to allow for more frequent service.
  21. I know there were tracks torn out a long time ago but there are some freight tracks that operate, even if it is not a direct corridor, but there should still be tracks that can connect the two cities. I believe the route would take the train closer to highway 7 for a stretch before being able to maneuver its way towards North Bay but I would love to see tracks laid again and a proper high speed corridor built to connect from Ottawa to Sudbury but at least North Bay. Between GO and Ontario Northland there should be ways to serve a lot more of the province than there currently is. I agree with the stops closer together but at the same time VIA is planning to change the routing from Toronto to Ottawa to serve Peterborough so some of the areas currently served by VIA will lose some service which is why GO would be good for those areas. Also VIA can be better served by operating with less stops and having GO cover that corridor doing all the local stops.
  22. I know that GO is mostly the GTA but has there ever been talks about running trains out of Ottawa? I would think that they could run just 2 or 3 routes potentially using the Ottawa Via station as a hub. I am not suggesting these routes take away from Via or even connect to Toronto area routes but I think there is a market for trains running in and around the Ottawa region. Probably a train to Cornwall, maybe one that heads over to Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls and Brockville. Even the route that heads to Cornwall could loop down to Brockville. They could run those 2 routes interlining, in a clockwise, or counter clockwise routing. Then either GO or Ontario Northland could operate a train that runs Ottawa to North Bay, to connect with the new train that will operate to Union operated by Ontario Northland I know that GO is mostly the GTA but has there ever been talks about running trains out of Ottawa? I would think that they could run just 2 or 3 routes potentially using the Ottawa Via station as a hub. I am not suggesting these routes take away from Via or even connect to Toronto area routes but I think there is a market for trains running in and around the Ottawa region. Probably a train to Cornwall, maybe one that heads over to Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls and Brockville. Even the route that heads to Cornwall could loop down to Brockville. They could run those 2 routes interlining, in a clockwise, or counter clockwise routing. Then either GO or Ontario Northland could operate a train that runs Ottawa to North Bay, to connect with the new train that will operate to Union operated by Ontario Northland
  23. I have said this in the past and I will say it now, free fares are not the way to go. For those concerned with costs of how the network operates one thing that can happen to make sure we have the funding to improve service without raising property taxes is to do other things to raise money. Say an extra 1-2% tax on hotel stays, maybe a slight toll on certain highways such as the DVP and Gardener in Toronto. Capped tolls though so it doesn't get out of hand. Little things like that can go a long way to improving service on transit systems, not just Ottawa but all over Ontario. Some of the money raised can also go towards regional services such as Megabus or Rider Express. This way it can help keep things going so they don't meet the same fate that as Greyhound.
  24. Ur bottom statement. Source? Since I haven't heard that from any other sources I have heard this from when I called in to enquire about some service updates. I had asked them about the resumption of viva routes because of the confusion and weird headways because of the purple essentially operating as 2 routes for a stretch and how it messes up the frequencies. They told me that the pink service is supposed to come back in the spring but the Green will not run until they make the changes to the VIVA routes. They said it was supposed to happen already but has been delayed until at least 2023 due to the pandemic
  25. I would love to see cheaper transit, Not free. There are a lot of things fares would still need to pay for. Also right now running a free month of service in what is a slow period for transit ridership (with covid and less people commuting to work), is a good thing to help get riders back but this is not a long term sustainable practice. I still believe that there needs to be a lot more done to improve transit in most cities but the issue is cost. By cutting fares you now have to potentially add more buses to routes and that is a higher cost to operate the transit system. If I were Ottawa council and the mayor I would push for reducing transit fares to say 2 dollars. Maybe even do a peak period fare system like in Vancouver. During the busier times it costs a little more then off peak times. This way we can get more people on transit but at the same time we can get more buses or trains to help with the increased demand, and it won't cost taxpayers as much.
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