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DavidW

North Battleford, Saskatchewan

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North Battleford Transit is upgrading... to a cutaway.

Read full article (including picture) here [mysask.com],

North Battleford’s transit system will have a new look beginning later this week.

The old yellow school bus currently in use will be gone and two new buses have been acquired to go into service beginning Oct 1

Fares will be going up from $2 to $3, and there will be expanded routes and hours of service to be brought in during the next several weeks as a result of a major changeover in transit operations.

The City has entered into an operations agreement with Battlefords Handi-Bus to operate the transit service. Council approved that agreement, which will run to Dec. 31, 2012, at Monday’s meeting. The agreement will be on a year-to-year basis after that.

Battlefords Handi-Bus takes over from First Bus Canada, whose agreement with the city expires on Sept. 30.

After that date the transit committee currently responsible for Battlefords Handi-Bus takes over responsibility for the transit system, says transit manager Al Love.

“We’re going to assume that responsibility exactly the way it is today,” Love said of the changeover.

There will not be an immediate change in times or routes, he said, because they don’t want their regular riders to be disrupted by any sudden changes. The plan is to start to implement some changes over the next few weeks.

“Hopefully in the not too distant future, I’m anticipating late October or November that we will be able to expand the hours of operation and the route that the bus is actually serving at this moment,” said Love.

He cautions they want to make sure any changes are productive and that the right people are in place.

New staff is being taken on for the service and Love said they will be spending the week training staff and working on the graphics for the buses.

The changeover follows a couple of years of intense discussions over the future of the transit system in the Battlefords, with consultant Dennis McCullough completing a wide-ranging survey on the subject in 2009. The study was in response to calls from several civic organizations, including health care facilities in particular, for better public transit in the community.

The new buses will be similar to the ones Battlefords Handi-Bus currently uses. The two new 22-seat buses were acquired earlier this year with funding from the federal government’s public transit program.

The new buses “will be much more visually appealing than the old yellow transit bus,” said Love, and will “start to create a much more positive image and begin to raise the ridership.”

Among other things, there will be a graphics package that will highlight the landmarks around the City and “show people all things that North Battleford has to be proud of.”

There will be advertising opportunities on the buses as well, with those revenues to help create a reserve for equipment replacement, Love said.

The budget for the new buses is estimated at $56,275 for 2011, according to City Manager Jim Toye.

Transit manager Al Love that routes and times will remain the same for the moment. That means current users can expect to see no change in the routes and the hours of service in the short term, with weekday service continuing from 9am to 5:30pm and a shorter weekend schedule.

However, changes are expected to happen in the next few weeks, with plans for expanded routes across the city and expanded hours of service.

When that happens, those changes will be relayed to the public through the media and the city website, as well as on the buses themselves, Love said.

“We hope to be able to design the best service for the city, but what that will be and when it will take place is hard to say,” said Love. The hope is, though, for the expanded service to “get into every neighbourhood and within a reasonable time frame.”

How it will ultimately look in the end will depend on the need, said Love, and that is something they want to determine over the next year of operation.

“The goal is to create a modern, up to date transit system,” said Love, who said they have really high hopes of creating a model that other cities will be able to look at.

www.newsoptimist.ca

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I like seeing a city move away from First Bus.

Same. If I was ever mayor of a small town, I'd rather see a Cutaway or D35LFR than some Thomas bus

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And why is that!?!?

The Thomas buses (both school bus and transit-oriented) wouldn't want to make me take public transportation. If it was an Cutaway, then I'd hop on it and go where I needed to go. It's that appealing factor, to me

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The Thomas buses (both school bus and transit-oriented) wouldn't want to make me take public transportation. If it was an Cutaway, then I'd hop on it and go where I needed to go. It's that appealing factor, to me

And a cutaway would be better in what ways ? Please describe..........!

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Same. If I was ever mayor of a small town, I'd rather see a Cutaway or D35LFR than some Thomas bus

Your reasoning is different from mine. I simply don't like the company. First Bus operates many different types of buses, and anything from school buses to transit systems. They gut and they cut and it's all about the profits for their British shareholders.

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And a cutaway would be better in what ways ? Please describe..........!

At least the windows and seating are better. Also, no manual transmission... :P

Anywhom, looking at the North Battleford map (http://www.cityofnb.ca/mrws/filedriver/Poster_--_New_Transit_Route.pdf), the transit route is... complex, to say the least. Especially around the city centre. Wouldn't it be better to at least route it down one street downtown?

Also, partnership with Battleford (south of NB), could give it extra ridership to the commercial centres, along with recreation and possibly the North Battleford history site. I'll "Google Map" something up in a bit. :)

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i actually live close to north battleford and have lived there in the past and the transit system needs improvement , they could easyly have 3-4 different routes and have a shuttle to battleford and back .

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i actually live close to north battleford and have lived there in the past and the transit system needs improvement , they could easyly have 3-4 different routes and have a shuttle to battleford and back .

I had a good map made, but I accidentally screwed up on Google, so I got to recreate it again. :(

Created three transit centres (City Centre, Hospital, Eastern Commerce Strip), with hourly Battleford route. Thanks to the annoying street structure, I had to use complicated circle routing for parts of it. If the city grew, be lucky to fit a D30LF or an Arboc in there... :P

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http://goo.gl/maps/B6QiQ

Key items:

- Battleford Route will have its layover at Pharmasave, in order to gain passengers, especially seniors who might not make the bus on time. It connects with all NB routes, and ends at the Hospital, perfect for people with medical appointments.

- Using Brandon, MB as an example, a centered system gets packed with multiple routes, along with it not letting people go from A to B directly. Most of the NB terminus points end at major passenger potential areas, such as the Wal-Mart, Rec Centre, High School, etc.

- Possible Recreation route in the making as well, or summer tourist bus. A $4 fare would be charged for tourists/locals, although they will get a return transfer that can be used on the way back.

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ok it worked , due to twinning of h#4 through battleford 15th st is closed, busses would have to be re routed down to 10th st , i know the map isnt up do date, the greyhound/STC depot is now at 98st and sandpiper rd in the north, a route up there through the commercial area might be good, somethin up kildeer dr and clements dr would also serve those areas as they are the only areas that are growing in north battleford , route 1 around the civic center wont work as that road is just a service road, instead use the loop in front of the arena.

how did you make this map i could make some changes, im in the battlefords at least once a week.

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ok it worked , due to twinning of h#4 through battleford 15th st is closed, busses would have to be re routed down to 10th st , i know the map isnt up do date, the greyhound/STC depot is now at 98st and sandpiper rd in the north, a route up there through the commercial area might be good, somethin up kildeer dr and clements dr would also serve those areas as they are the only areas that are growing in north battleford , route 1 around the civic center wont work as that road is just a service road, instead use the loop in front of the arena.

how did you make this map i could make some changes, im in the battlefords at least once a week.

Just sign into Google with your information, go to maps.google.com, then "create map" and start from there! :)

Sadly, these maps are highly obsolete date-wise, and wont let me use the roads available in Satellite view (example: Walmart). Calgary still has 2008/2009 maps, although Winnipeg has some from this Spring, although we're 2/3rds the size.

Thanks for the input, by the way! :) and go ahead with re-modeling my map idea. I always appreciate CPTDB input into these things!

Five routes plus a tourist route !! Wow, you are very generous with the property tax money of the North Battleford and Battleford residents. I am sure that they would like you for that. <_<

You should always try to incorporate a bit of reality with these "fantasy" maps.

Give gas prices and area growth 20-30 years, and I'm pretty sure these will be reality. The tourist route was just a possibility, by the way. As for the other routes, they're all mostly 30/60 minute frequencies, most likely on Arbocs, so it's not like I'm running 5 minute headways on Xcelisors with leather seats and backdoor butler service...

Anywhom, at least theres demand between the towns, to the eastern Commerce area, and into the high school for sure.

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Question for you.. All these different posts about small places starting new Transit systems and how you figure how they should be started up and with what type of vehicles, do you know what type of population lives in each area of each town? For example, some areas may have mostly seniors, some may have mostly starter homes with young families, and etc... Do you get the idea? Cause if you do know this, I would love to know where you find this info. Back in the late 1980's when I was a young teenager, I used to like to try and figure out what there could be for a Transit system in the town of Boyle, Alberta. As I got older, I realized that the town of Boyle would not need much of a service except maybe a taxi van style service that would be on call when needed.

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Question for you.. All these different posts about small places starting new Transit systems and how you figure how they should be started up and with what type of vehicles, do you know what type of population lives in each area of each town? For example, some areas may have mostly seniors, some may have mostly starter homes with young families, and etc... Do you get the idea? Cause if you do know this, I would love to know where you find this info. Back in the late 1980's when I was a young teenager, I used to like to try and figure out what there could be for a Transit system in the town of Boyle, Alberta. As I got older, I realized that the town of Boyle would not need much of a service except maybe a taxi van style service that would be on call when needed.

I know what Portage la Prairie and Gimli are like personally, as I used to frequently visit those towns (Gimli was 5 minutes from my Lake Winnipeg cottage, with a large amount of seniors and seasonal tourism). As for outside of Manitoba, I usually use Wikipedia as a rough estimate (population, services, employment) along with Google Maps itself, as it is quite easy to spot Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Services and Education facilities. I try to use the town site itself, but "Garbage Day" details can't help with route planning. If someone could give me good links to Census Canada, I'd probably use that more often, but sometimes, thats too much reading. :P

I've assumed that the suburban town growth is for newer families, while the inner-town is baby boomers and seniors, as typical with a few Canadian towns and cities. I've done a map for Thunder Bay (100,000+ people) and Brandon (45,000), but I usually stick to small towns without transit service, especially since Google Maps limits my abilities for larger-city route planning. :( vid from the Thunder Bay thread showed me another map program (so did Manitobas BusRider), but I have issues working with those programs.

Vehicles though... for Battleford, I'd say Arbocs. For Canmore or Morden/Winkler, a mix of 40ft buses and Arbocs. It mostly depends on the streets themselves, town population, demand between A & B & C. If theres high demand between a commerce centre and a residential suburb via a town centre, I'd think of a bigger bus. If its a small town with no services, to its larger sister city with a ton of retail and services but with a small base town population, I'd just recommend an Arboc on an hourly frequency.

I personally tried offering my ideas to some Manitoba towns, but they send me responses such as "We have a handi-bus available" or "Call the taxi". Who knew small-town government could be so lazy in replies regarding my generous input on public transportation...

How old are you, by the way? If you were a teen in the late 1980s, it threw my estimate of your age off by at least 10-15 years. :P

Thanks for asking Pete. Nobody asked me why or how I do these things yet! Pre-CPTDB, I used to draw fictional maps when I was a kid, and then start playing around with maps of Winnipeg and Calgary (MapArt and Crayola markers). If Mersar (Calgary SSP mod) or some Manitoba forumers read this, I started getting interested in transit again when I joined that forum, and with the invention of Google Maps, I started making online maps! :)

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I would've routed it north of Territorial Drive, but there would be weak demand. That and I wanted to keep frequencies down to 30/60 minutes.

Also, the Battlefield route edit would extend the time it takes for the trip, along with the fort itself not being a major passenger pick-up point. Transit systems need to be able to have some cost recovery. Running out the bus outside of town to a small tourist area in lets say... December on a Monday, it's not going to get any people onto the bus. :P the Pharmasave and Hospital layovers though, should let that route be more cost-effective, since I dont see any doctors offices, grocery stores, banks or higher-education facilities in Battleford itself. Plus theres got to be major demand from that town to its northern neighbor. Gassing up a car for these trips daily, there and back, would cost more than transit service.

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Sorry about the bump, but I found some information about North Battleford Transit

It's sounds like it's called "Battlefords Transit System", and they have 2 2011(?) Crestline Areotech buses, each seating 23 passengers.

Here's a PDF that talks about these buses-

http://www.cityofnb.ca/pdfs/news_154_NR%20--%20Transit%20Buses.pdf

Here's one of their buses-

http://www.cityofnb.ca/mrws/photofolio/Public_Transit.jpg

Here's a news article about their Handi-Bus service getting a new bus-

http://battlefordsdailynews.com/new-bus-for-handi-bus-service/

Just was doing some looking around, and thought I should update this topic.

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Im in north battleford about once a week , next time im in ill try to get a current pic of one of the buses , all the area under the windows is being used for advertising

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