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Well done, GRT, on #1 and great to hear #2! No other changes?

There are several other minor changes including specials for the universities becoming permanent, minor schedule adjustments etc, but nothing that I would feel comfortable posting officially at this time as all the information is in Draft format at the moment. When the final versions are released I may post something more substantial.

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Just a few tidbits for the GRT info miners out there for the Winter schedule period (effective January).

1) Route 201 iXpress is being pulled completely from the Highland Hills Terminal traveling southbound, a new relief point for Operators is being opened at Forest Glen Plaza.

2) A GO Train Shuttle is being added from the Charles Street Terminal to the VIA/GO Station at Weber/Victoria. The bus is planned to leave from the 8 Franklin bay at 6:45am and travel express the train station for 6:50am. I hope people pass the word on about this one, use it or lose it!

3) Several morning trips on the Route 201 iXpress leaving Laurier will now service the two stops on Columbia at Hazel and at Albert. I expect this is to help reduce overloads of buses heading to the U of W.

:)

Where at Forest Glen will #1 go ?

Seems exciting.

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IMO 201 shouldn't be called "iXpress". Maybe Fischer-Hallman Express, but our minds of "iXpress" have been delved too much to the original 200; less stops, faster speed, ACTUAL iXpress buses (then again I've been seeing a lot more 211xx on it...not complaining, I'd take those buses anyday over the crud known as 209xx).

If only they kept the Highland Hills branch of the 12...then they can take away Stoke and Thorndale, maybe even Victoria.

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IMO 201 shouldn't be called "iXpress". Maybe Fischer-Hallman Express, but our minds of "iXpress" have been delved too much to the original 200; less stops, faster speed, ACTUAL iXpress buses (then again I've been seeing a lot more 211xx on it...not complaining, I'd take those buses anyday over the crud known as 209xx).

If only they kept the Highland Hills branch of the 12...then they can take away Stoke and Thorndale, maybe even Victoria.

Agreed. iXpress should have remained exactly as it is: an express service running through the heart of the Region. The Fischer-Hallman express should have just been an express service and therefore numbered as 112. Their marketing says that 200 and 201 are equivalent, but this is far from the truth. Way too many stops on the 201.

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[sigh] Really, the more I think about it the more I believe this entire iXpress network concept GRT has adopted should simply be scrapped altogether. IMO what has been proposed in the Business Plan to 'transform' GRT into a feeder service for the LRT is a half-asked attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. To make GRT truly effective and integrate with the LRT we should be going right back to the drawing board with nothing but a blank map of the Region, draw the LRT line on it and start drawing our routes out from the stations along our major arterial roads, then fill in the blanks with the local routes through the neighbourhoods...there, done!

The planned iXpress Routes are really not much better than a normal bus route, just with a fancy name. The more I think about it I don't think calling the 201 the 201 is really necessary at all, we could have essentially the same stop spacing on the same routing and easily have it called Route 28 Fischer-Hallman, what would be the difference??

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[sigh] Really, the more I think about it the more I believe this entire iXpress network concept GRT has adopted should simply be scrapped altogether. IMO what has been proposed in the Business Plan to 'transform' GRT into a feeder service for the LRT is a half-asked attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. To make GRT truly effective and integrate with the LRT we should be going right back to the drawing board with nothing but a blank map of the Region, draw the LRT line on it and start drawing our routes out from the stations along our major arterial roads, then fill in the blanks with the local routes through the neighbourhoods...there, done!

The planned iXpress Routes are really not much better than a normal bus route, just with a fancy name. The more I think about it I don't think calling the 201 the 201 is really necessary at all, we could have essentially the same stop spacing on the same routing and easily have it called Route 28 Fischer-Hallman, what would be the difference??

The only difference is the marketing as 201 iXpress, and the new signs and shelters. Nothing else. From what I see, going from 201's first stop to last stop, Forest Glen to WLU, it is faster to take the 12. How is this iXpress? Way too many stops as stated before. Take away half the stops, introduce a Waterloo Fischer-Hallman local route heading towards the University area, and the 201 may then be closer to what the 200 is. Until then, this is a failure.

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I don't really agree with the criticism of the 201. In fact I would like to see pretty much every route be an "iXpress" route like the 201. Probably "Rapid" is a more appropriate term for a route that has wider-than-normal station spacing, but still serves the entire corridor it travels on. That is in contrast to the 200 iXpress, which has some consecutive stops at unwalkable distances, and cannot be the only route serving the corridor in its current form.

It will be a very long while before the region is big enough to have demand enough for both frequent local and frequent express service on more than just the central corridor. I think it makes sense for GRT to start building a network of understandable routes that have relatively wide station spacing. Because of the political difficulty of removing oh-so-precious stops and loops from regular routes, having a separate brand for this kind of service gives GRT the opportunity to improve the network.

Now if only they actually planned to be adding more new rapid routes, and converting regular routes to rapids...

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In my opinion, the 200 shouldn't even be called an ' iXpress ' express bus ...

It takes about 45 min? to 1 hour just to get from Conestoga Mall to Charles Street terminal. You call that express? The 7C even gets to downtown faster than the iXpress.

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In my opinion, the 200 shouldn't even be called an ' iXpress ' express bus ...

It takes about 45 min? to 1 hour just to get from Conestoga Mall to Charles Street terminal. You call that express? The 7C even gets to downtown faster than the iXpress.

Huh?

The absolute longest I've ever taken was 40 minutes. Though I agree the 7C is faster than the 200.

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In my opinion, the 200 shouldn't even be called an ' iXpress ' express bus ...

It takes about 45 min? to 1 hour just to get from Conestoga Mall to Charles Street terminal. You call that express? The 7C even gets to downtown faster than the iXpress.

Its the same with 201 and 12. Looking at the schedule 12 arrives quicker from Forest Glen to WLU than the 201 even though the 201's entire "express" route is from Forest Glen to WLU. :lol:

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You call that express? The 7C even gets to downtown faster than the iXpress.
Its the same with 201 and 12. Looking at the schedule 12 arrives quicker from Forest Glen to WLU than the 201 even though the 201's entire "express" route is from Forest Glen to WLU. :lol:

I will agree that "iXpress" is a terrible name, because the service being provided is a "rapid" or "limited stop" and not an "express". An express route would take you from the suburb to downtown without making any stops in between. These routes make a lot of stops along the entire length of their corridors, and are not primarily used to go from end to end. It is not an indictment of a rapid service that there is a shorter route for some A to B that the rapid serves.

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It takes about 45 min? to 1 hour just to get from Conestoga Mall to Charles Street terminal. You call that express? The 7C even gets to downtown faster than the iXpress.
Its the same with 201 and 12. Looking at the schedule 12 arrives quicker from Forest Glen to WLU than the 201 even though the 201's entire "express" route is from Forest Glen to WLU. :)

Both of those are silly comparisons. While they might have the same start and end point they travel completely different routes. The 12 goes Fairview to Conestoga just like the 7C does, but it takes so much longer. Obviously the 12 is a stupid route that should be eliminated, or rebranded to indicate it's slow. In reality however they serve completely different areas and are complementary. The 7C serves King St N, the 200 iXpress serves UW. The 12 stays on Westmount, the 201 takes Fischer-Hallman. Sure the 12 is faster from Forest Glen to UW, but that doesn't do you any good if you're going to Highland Hills.

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Both of those are silly comparisons. While they might have the same start and end point they travel completely different routes. The 12 goes Fairview to Conestoga just like the 7C does, but it takes so much longer. Obviously the 12 is a stupid route that should be eliminated, or rebranded to indicate it's slow. In reality however they serve completely different areas and are complementary. The 7C serves King St N, the 200 iXpress serves UW. The 12 stays on Westmount, the 201 takes Fischer-Hallman. Sure the 12 is faster from Forest Glen to UW, but that doesn't do you any good if you're going to Highland Hills.

I agree with your point that each route has it's own way of getting to the destination, instead of each route overlapping the same road.

I still don't like that the iXpress from Conestoga Mall takes so long to get downtown.

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Both of those are silly comparisons. While they might have the same start and end point they travel completely different routes. The 12 goes Fairview to Conestoga just like the 7C does, but it takes so much longer. Obviously the 12 is a stupid route that should be eliminated, or rebranded to indicate it's slow. In reality however they serve completely different areas and are complementary. The 7C serves King St N, the 200 iXpress serves UW. The 12 stays on Westmount, the 201 takes Fischer-Hallman. Sure the 12 is faster from Forest Glen to UW, but that doesn't do you any good if you're going to Highland Hills.

From the name 201 iXpress from Forest Glen Plaza to WLU, one can easily conclude that from Forest Glen to WLU, this is the fastest option. The entire 201 route, from point A to point B is slower than the 12. How is this iXpress?

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From the name 201 iXpress from Forest Glen Plaza to WLU, one can easily conclude that from Forest Glen to WLU, this is the fastest option. The entire 201 route, from point A to point B is slower than the 12. How is this iXpress?

There should probably be better information made available, such as better maps, or even explicit instructions at terminals. But at the end of the day, the route does go from Forest Glen to WLU, and along the entire length of the route the terminus is a meaningful data point.

The objection appears to be to the fact that this route does not go straight between its endpoints. There's several aspects here: that we have a terminal-based transit system instead of a grid system, that we have a mess of a street network, and that we have a sprawling land area with a complicated pattern of travel. Given the circumstances, I can't agree that the 201 not being the fastest way to get from Forest Glen to WLU is a particularly important issue with GRT.

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From the name 201 iXpress from Forest Glen Plaza to WLU, one can easily conclude that from Forest Glen to WLU, this is the fastest option. The entire 201 route, from point A to point B is slower than the 12. How is this iXpress?

How many people from Forest Glen actually go all the way up to UW/WLU? I've tried both the 12 and 201, and although the 12 is faster between the two points, in both cases I was the only person who stayed on for the entire length.

For the 12's case, people who get on at Forest Glen are usually off the bus by either Queens, Highland, or Victoria, occasionally up to Erb. You get passengers to UW/WLU just north of Highland.

For the 201's case, the Forest Glen people are usually gone by either Ottawa or Highland Hills. You start getting passengers to UW/WLU at Highland.

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How many people from Forest Glen actually go all the way up to UW/WLU? I've tried both the 12 and 201, and although the 12 is faster between the two points, in both cases I was the only person who stayed on for the entire length.

For the 12's case, people who get on at Forest Glen are usually off the bus by either Queens, Highland, or Victoria, occasionally up to Erb. You get passengers to UW/WLU just north of Highland.

For the 201's case, the Forest Glen people are usually gone by either Ottawa or Highland Hills. You start getting passengers to UW/WLU at Highland.

I don't know what the numbers are from start to end on those two routes, but that's a poor excuse. The reality is still that a local 12 route is faster than an iXpress route from start to end. Let's take your YRT as an example. Would your opinion be any different if a local YRT route was quicker from start to finish than a Viva route? (I am not very familiar with YRT so there actually may be an equivalent example there too). Perhaps it is just me, having taken more-organized transit systems previously, and expecting too much from our Region.

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Perhaps it is just me, having taken more-organized transit systems previously, and expecting too much from our Region.

Okay, how would you fix it?

I see three things that would "fix" it in your opinion.

1) Move the 201 to Westmount and the 12 to Fischer-Hallman. That would be serving the higher density area with the route that stops less, and the more suburban area with a slower feeder route. It's just backwards. Also, see #3 for issues with demand.

2) Cut off the east/west portion of the 201 so that it ends at Westmount/Fischer-Hallman. That would eliminate a number of important connections and significantly reduce ridership.

3) Run local service on both corridors and the 201 on Westmount. The 201 is on Fischer-Hallman because it's the higher demand corridor. You'd be taking away the express route from all the trips people do make (Forest Glen to Victoria/Highland, Erb to UW, etc) just to improve a trip that almost no one makes (Forest Glen to UW/Laurier). I don't see how inconveniencing passengers and helping nobody just to fix a funny route oddity makes any sense.

Do you see some other option that would be better? Long term solutions like move Forest Glen aren't an answer, this is what could GRT have done differently when creating 201 that would have prevented the current situation.

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Okay, how would you fix it?

I see three things that would "fix" it in your opinion.

1) Move the 201 to Westmount and the 12 to Fischer-Hallman. That would be serving the higher density area with the route that stops less, and the more suburban area with a slower feeder route. It's just backwards. Also, see #3 for issues with demand.

2) Cut off the east/west portion of the 201 so that it ends at Westmount/Fischer-Hallman. That would eliminate a number of important connections and significantly reduce ridership.

3) Run local service on both corridors and the 201 on Westmount. The 201 is on Fischer-Hallman because it's the higher demand corridor. You'd be taking away the express route from all the trips people do make (Forest Glen to Victoria/Highland, Erb to UW, etc) just to improve a trip that almost no one makes (Forest Glen to UW/Laurier). I don't see how inconveniencing passengers and helping nobody just to fix a funny route oddity makes any sense.

Do you see some other option that would be better? Long term solutions like move Forest Glen aren't an answer, this is what could GRT have done differently when creating 201 that would have prevented the current situation.

A possible 'fix'...call the 201, Route '28 Fischer-Hallman'. I don't think people are objecting to the route itself or the stop spacing; in reality they only removed a handful of stops from the 12 to turn this into an 'express' route, and over it's shorter length it has many more stops than the 200. However the branding is there which is a bit misleading, one would tend to believe that something labelled as an express route would be quicker.

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I don't know what the numbers are from start to end on those two routes, but that's a poor excuse. The reality is still that a local 12 route is faster than an iXpress route from start to end. Let's take your YRT as an example. Would your opinion be any different if a local YRT route was quicker from start to finish than a Viva route? (I am not very familiar with YRT so there actually may be an equivalent example there too). Perhaps it is just me, having taken more-organized transit systems previously, and expecting too much from our Region.

There are many examples in YRT.

The 1 is faster than Viva Purple 90% of the time despite the fact it makes two diversions from Richmond Hill Centre to Markham-Stouffville Hospital, but they serve different nodes. The 1 serves the heart of Main Street Markham and Main Street Unionville, and the residences along High Tech and Church Street, while Viva Purple serves the future Downtown Markham and (to an extent) Unionville GO Station. Also, you almost never see people boarding at Richmond Hill Centre going all the way to MSH because the people going there usually get off at McCowan or before, and you get a fresh set of passengers east of there.

Viva Blue/85 is faster than Viva Purple by about 10-15 minutes, despite the longer distance it takes to get from RHC to MSH, and the extra transfer needed. Similarly, they both serve different nodes; 85 serves the Rutherford/16th corridor, with two of the major malls in York Region along that corridor. Again, not that it says much because 85s have a combined passenger total of 0-3 once entering MSH. Also similarly to the 1, McCowan is usually the divide between east-west passengers.

To me, I actually do my research on which routes are available and faster from point A to B. But you're talking to someone who actually knows how to use transit; an average passenger would be suckered into the fact Viva or iXpress means "fast", so they would automatically take that route.

Again, if you have any issues or concerns, feel free to email to the region. I do agree, however, some stops on the 201 should be eliminated and that the 12 Highland Hills branch should be brought back.

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