Jump to content

One Giant Transit Authority


swimmer_spe
 Share

Recommended Posts

Pardon the bump to an old thread.

I was ruminating and this seemed like the best place to put it.  With Milton Transit on the verge of implementing cross-border service along the Steeles corridor between Milton and Mississauga via the Toronto Premium Outlet Mall and Oakville Transit already providing various services into Burlington is it worth contemplating uploading transit to the regional level if only to get transit to Halton Hills from the rest of Halton?  Alternatively, for a larger economy of scale you could merge MiWay, Brampton, Milton, Oakville and Burlington Transit into a single agency.  When regional municipalities were first introduced, one proposal had the southern urbanized areas of Peel and Halton as one region while the rural northern ones would have been combined into a single county level entity like Dufferin.

a_plunkett_small.jpgSource: insauga.com via Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives

Halton would be outsized by Peel if the agencies merged, but the Province is planning several project that straddle both already.  If they don't come together on their own they could simply be mandated by the Province to make sure their projects aren't beset by local turf wars for service provision.  Specifically the Dundas BRT corridor.  I'm not entirely convinced GO would operate the service as it's more of a local one compared to the rest of their bus services.  They already have their own 407 service which serves a similar corridor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/1/2022 at 1:47 PM, brianc1981 said:

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. 

 

I don't see what the benefit of merging all of the systems would be  - noone in their right mind would take local buses all the way across each system to get from lets say Burlington to Newmarket.   It would take way too long.  I can see some better integration between neighbouring systems would be useful, but that could be accomplished by have a fare system that is better integrated across the region between various systems and GO transit.

What would be useful is having access to Presto data to have a better understanding of where people across each system boundaries go because then you could design better intersystem routes.  For example, if there are specific areas in Oakville (and not necessarily malls or GO stations) where people from Mississauga go then a route to connect to that place would be useful.  Or perhaps the people taking a GO bus from Oakville to Brampton all mostly then take a specific Brampton bus to get to an employment area then the GO route could be extended there.

If Presto is fully implemented in all systems in GTA such that cash/tickets are eliminated then things like discounted cross border travel between neighboring systems (as well as using GO inbetween) could be implemented.  A fare structure across the region could be designed to facilitate more transit use (this to me likely means cheaper GO transit fares such that they are roughly equal to some discounted version of individual systems' fares + free transfer to systems at each end of the trip).  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Mike said:

I don't see what the benefit of merging all of the systems would be  - noone in their right mind would take local buses all the way across each system to get from lets say Burlington to Newmarket.   It would take way too long.  I can see some better integration between neighbouring systems would be useful, but that could be accomplished by have a fare system that is better integrated across the region between various systems and GO transit.

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. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/1/2022 at 1:47 PM, brianc1981 said:

So this "one transit" agency thing is something I have explored a lot,

There's a lot of thought behind your ideas , which I appreciate.

I happen to think that, when it comes to one enormous transit system, the cons far outweigh the pros. I will present some angles which I hope you'll find worthy of consideration.

First, the One Giant Transit Agency concept (let's call it 'OGTA') greatly overestimates how many people attempt long, cross-regional trips on a regular basis. If you live in Oshawa, you don't likely spend too much time in Milton. If you're in Guelph, you probably don't make daily trips to Newmarket.

If you -do- make these trips occasionally, you might expect some difference in transit service. You're going to a completely different area. You shouldn't be shocked if you have to learn a thing or two about that place. Plus, it's not like the Durham Region Transit system is completely illegible to someone from Hamilton or vice versa. All systems follow the same basic idea of routes and schedules. If you can navigate your local system, you can approach a new system with minimal effort -- that is, when/if you even need to.

Second, OGTA greatly underestimates the reach and effectiveness of GO Transit. The overwhelming majority of key destinations -already- enjoy fast, frequent, longer-distance access. And I can't think of a single instance where GO Transit fails to connect with local transit systems. I think GTA people forget how incredible GO Transit is. There is nothing else like it in North America (with the possible exception of New Jersey Transit). On the wishlist of regional connections throughout the GTA, GO already covers 90%+ of them.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

and then the local buses that operate on the 1, 5 and 24 buses could form one route,

These kinds of things look great on paper -- but they don't acknowledge changes in demand along a corridor.

Take Lakeshore, for instance. In Mississauga, it's kind of a forgettable, average-density street. In Oakville, it's a key feature of the downtown. These areas have very different demands and play very different roles in their cities. Though they're "linear", there isn't tremendous demand to travel between them. What would be a good frequency for this super-route? If half the buses short-turn due to varying demand, did we really gain that much from "integrating" the routes to begin with?

There are also operational concerns. Once a route becomes several hours in each direction, it sprouts its own set of challenges. And the solutions are expensive (extra buses to fill gaps, long layovers to pad long trips, extreme deadheads/travel times, ripple effect of distant detours/delays, etc). At that point, we've lost any theoretical savings from integrating the routes.

Just because a route -could- be super-long doesn't necessarily mean that it -should- be super-long.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

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.

Fair point.

There aren't too many examples of this in the GTA, however. In the few cases of "near misses", I'd suggest a GO Transit intervention: either in the form of a GO-operated route, or potential GO funding for the local systems to bridge any gaps. Again, though -- those few gaps hardly justify obliterating all local transit systems.

Also, keep in mind the sheer size. Vancouver area is big -- but it's a fraction of the size of the GTA. Translink in its entirely is smaller than TTC -- never mind the ~2,000 additional vehicles that round out the full GTA transit network.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

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.

Another fair point.

Throughout the whole GTA, though, there's only a handful of "Burnhamthorpes". Turning these corridors over to neighbouring providers would free up maybe a dozen TTC buses total.

And keep in mind the impact to subway-bound customers from further afield -- now, their fast-ish ride to the subway is doing double-duty as a local bus in Toronto. Could add 10+ minutes to each trip. Maintaining frequency on these routes would require additional buses on the part of Mississauga Transit. Yet again, any potential savings have now been offset.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

There are many advantages to taking all the scheduling and planning and letting one set of planners plan the network.

I disagree on several accounts.

From a workload standpoint, more service in more places means more administrators. It'd take the same basic complement of schedulers and planners to put OGTA on the road. To do their jobs effectively, they'd need to be scattered throughout the service area. This would -not- be some magical crew of high-capacity super-planners, working in perfect harmony under the golden dome of OGTA. That's just not how transit works.

Then, the "one set of planners" idea disregards the local, community-driven component of planning. I can see where centralized planning works for major projects of regional significance. But for short, local bus routes? Come on. Could OGTA planners be responsive to very real -- but very local -- needs? If there's a small new development in Brampton, would OGTA have the agility -- or the interest -- to coordinate with every local stakeholder? Would the centralized OGTA planner know how to pronounce "Chinguacousy"? This level of local engagement is extremely important for transit. It would suffer greatly under OGTA -- and transit would devolve from a valuable community asset into a distant bureaucratic nuisance.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

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.

Yes. True. And that's the inconvenient reality of delivering large public projects. I admit, the current cast of characters in GTA and Ontario are putting the difficulty on full display.

Still, I have yet to see -any- credible case that total provincial control would make things better. It could easily make things -worse-: if OGTA sets policy and service levels and operational practices for local transit, how will pro-transit communities be able to maintain/enhance transit? What if local priorities don't match Queen's Park priorities?

Look at the Harris years. The Province obliterated transit funding. Thought it was painful for TTC, it could have been far more severe. At least Toronto was able to backfill some of the service with local dollars. How would this have looked if there weren't a TTC?

 

On 1/1/2022 at 1:47 PM, brianc1981 said:

One of the things that would stop this from happening is the different unions that transit agencies have.

It's just too easy to blame unions. They have skin in the game, to be sure. But union issues are one of about a million complexities of merging several dozen transit systems.

Plus, would the union(s) not have a valid, legally sound point? If I am a bus operator for OGTA, shouldn't I be paid the same as all other bus operators for OGTA?

I'd venture to say that, right now, Burlington Transit posts lower costs than TTC. In that sense, we're likely -saving- money with multiple operators that can adjust to their local labour markets.

In theory, OGTA could set up different divisions to pay at different rates. But, operationally, that's no meaningful improvement over the current set-up.

Some people dream of an OGTA that would contract out all service to private vendors. OK. So now, a nimble, responsive, cost-efficient local operation like Burlington Transit... gets traded in for a centralized procurement bureaucracy and an even -more- distant corporate operating bureaucracy. It might save a few crumbs in the short run, but ultimately end up costing more -- all while disengaging the community from its transit service. Again, I must ask, what has anyone gained in this situation?

Bottom line: different communities have different needs, which is why they have different transit systems. I don't see it as entirely bad thing -- and never quite understand why so many onlookers do.

 

22 hours ago, brianc1981 said:

All the buses and systems would have presto,

I fully agree with you here.

There is major need to smooth fares -- or at least fare collection methods. Somewhere here, there's a map showing a simplified "all-GTA" fare zone system. That is a very good proposal. Here's where the province could incentivize local providers to participate.

That, I believe, would be a much more useful way for the Province to intervene. It also seems a lot more achievable than the Province taking control of all operations.

 

In any case, I am glad we can trade ideas here. We might not necessarily agree -- but I certainly value other viewpoints. Glad I could pick up some interesting ideas from your concept -- I hope you can see some validity in mine!

Cheers.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Border City Transit said:

In any case, I am glad we can trade ideas here. We might not necessarily agree -- but I certainly value other viewpoints. Glad I could pick up some interesting ideas from your concept -- I hope you can see some validity in mine!

Cheers.

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. 

 

8 minutes ago, Border City Transit said:

Another fair point.

Throughout the whole GTA, though, there's only a handful of "Burnhamthorpes". Turning these corridors over to neighbouring providers would free up maybe a dozen TTC buses total.

And keep in mind the impact to subway-bound customers from further afield -- now, their fast-ish ride to the subway is doing double-duty as a local bus in Toronto. Could add 10+ minutes to each trip. Maintaining frequency on these routes would require additional buses on the part of Mississauga Transit. Yet again, any potential savings have now been offset.

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. 

 

17 minutes ago, Border City Transit said:

First, the One Giant Transit Agency concept (let's call it 'OGTA') greatly overestimates how many people attempt long, cross-regional trips on a regular basis. If you live in Oshawa, you don't likely spend too much time in Milton. If you're in Guelph, you probably don't make daily trips to Newmarket.

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. 

 

26 minutes ago, Border City Transit said:

Take Lakeshore, for instance. In Mississauga, it's kind of a forgettable, average-density street. In Oakville, it's a key feature of the downtown. These areas have very different demands and play very different roles in their cities. Though they're "linear", there isn't tremendous demand to travel between them. What would be a good frequency for this super-route? If half the buses short-turn due to varying demand, did we really gain that much from "integrating" the routes to begin with?

There are also operational concerns. Once a route becomes several hours in each direction, it sprouts its own set of challenges. And the solutions are expensive (extra buses to fill gaps, long layovers to pad long trips, extreme deadheads/travel times, ripple effect of distant detours/delays, etc). At that point, we've lost any theoretical savings from integrating the routes.

Just because a route -could- be super-long doesn't necessarily mean that it -should- be super-long.

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. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

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 would have serious concerns as a municipal tax payer (and transit fare payer) in Toronto to then have those funds be used to subsidize (or improve) service in an area other than Toronto.

Overall I would expect the are far more people travelling into Toronto for work/school, etc... than vice versa so joining other systems to TTC is of far greater benefit to them than to the TTC. Not sure about the situtation in the suburbs, although I would expect more people travelling from Oakville to Mississauga than the other way.

On a side note, rather than joining the systems together and going through the painful process of figuring things out with unions, management, funding, etc... I would first see if we can integrate fare systems better through better use of Presto.  If Presto cards were able to be read touchlessly then you could figure out where someone got off and apply (transfer) the correct fare to the correct system.  For example, suppose you get rid of TTC 50 Burnhamthorpe bus and replace it with some Miway bus and someone boards an eastbound bus (in Toronto) and then through further readings of their Presto card the system figures out that the person got off downtown Toronto the card then subtracts a TTC fare and sends the funds to the TTC.  If the same person boarded a westbound bus in Toronto and got off in Toronto it again sends payment of TTC fare to TTC, if on the other hand they get off in Mississauga it subtracts Miway fare and sends payment to Miway.  One could then devise a fare structure for travel between cities over greater distances such that its not necessarily a sum of the two fares and that each system gets a cut.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Someguy3071 said:

Border City Transit is right on the money. I'll wait for brianc1981 to finish his report but from his posts it seems that he has already decided that merging all local agencies is a good idea and his report will reflect that belief. 

That been the goal since 2007 with one uniform, one colour bus with many operators like London UK. The current systems would look after scheduling for routes as ML doesn't want to do then, but would have say on intercity lines to a point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

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. 

TTC is already exploring these opportunities with YRT (and Miway and further down the line with others like Brampton and DRT).  Replacing TTC service with YRT may work in some situations if for example most people are only going as far as say Sheppard on Don Mills.  However, if people are actually travelling through Sheppard mostly then by replacing branch of 25 Don Mills fully with YRT 90 you are essentially making service worse for TTC customers while potentially improving frequency north of Steeles which is of little value to people in Toronto.

On the other hand there is likely merit in merging Zum 501 with Viva Orange and perhaps 502 with Miway 103 - provided of course that service levels on each route don't suffer.  

TTC service from Finch to Amazon may happen on its own at some point after all service to Amazon compound on other routes only started in March 2021 so its not inconceivable that TTC may make a branch of 939 to go up to the compound at some point.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/16/2022 at 6:36 PM, Mike said:

On the other hand there is likely merit in merging Zum 501 with Viva Orange and perhaps 502 with Miway 103 - provided of course that service levels on each route don't suffer. 

No point for the 502 merging with the 103 in the future since the Hurontario LRT is under construction. Even so travel times would be higher due to the construction delays, and the 103 is the bypass through Square One while 502 terminates there. It also wouldn’t be really feasible if they both operated the route similar to the 185 Dixie Express 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Kelvin3157 said:

No point for the 502 merging with the 103 in the future since the Hurontario LRT is under construction. Even so travel times would be higher due to the construction delays, and the 103 is the bypass through Square One while 502 terminates there. It also wouldn’t be really feasible if they both operated the route similar to the 185 Dixie Express 

That is only good to the end of 2024 when the LRT starts running.

Once the LRT starts running, BT 2 and MT 2 could run service jointly that will bypass Sq One every 15-20 minutes as all existing stops for MT will still be service due to spacing between LRT stops or BT 2 remain as is and MT going to Steeles only.

Both 502 south of Steeles and 103 will cease to exist once the LRT starts running.

BT 2 could stop at Steeles since next to no riders are going to the 407 stop in the first place. See next to no cars there these days as well going back before COVID.

There is still a plan to have an LRT stop at 407, but way down the road when the 407 BRT is in place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/16/2022 at 6:36 PM, Mike said:

TTC service from Finch to Amazon may happen on its own at some point after all service to Amazon compound on other routes only started in March 2021 so its not inconceivable that TTC may make a branch of 939 to go up to the compound at some point.

May not be needed since 116 Morningside will be extended to Steeles very soon when the roadway expansion opens, although, I do like the idea.

The extension also gives way for a 42 Cummer service expansion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/20/2022 at 3:20 PM, MRD10 said:

May not be needed since 116 Morningside will be extended to Steeles very soon when the roadway expansion opens, although, I do like the idea.

The extension also gives way for a 42 Cummer service expansion.

With the opening Morningside Extension they can extend the 939 to Amazon Centre as well the 116 to give people a way to get there from several different directions.  When is the extension suppose to open?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Mike said:

With the opening Morningside Extension they can extend the 939 to Amazon Centre as well the 116 to give people a way to get there from several different directions.  When is the extension suppose to open?

https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/get-involved/public-consultations/infrastructure-projects/steelesmorningside/

This is the official city link to the extension. At the moment, a full opening is unknown... and I'll explain why.

Long ago, before Amazon even thought of submitting a request for development, Toronto planned for the extension to have one level railway crossing. Of course, a level crossing will simply not do with the high level of traffic Amazon will generate. This is added with a brand new mega Canada Post plant on the southwest of the future Morningside-Steeles intersection (Amazon is on the southeast).

Since Amazon could not wait for the city to construct the full extension, they formed a partnership. Amazon would construct the upper portion of the extension as a private road, which would be transferred to city management at a later date. This allows Amazon to sort-of manage their high traffic while providing adequate time to the city to redesign the level crossing to an underpass, like the one at Morningside-Finch. 

As I write this, I now realize I may have wrote more that was needed 😅. To put it in short, it is unknown when the city will fully open the Morningside Extension, however it is partially open due to a partnership with the city and Amazon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Effective last summer, I formalized a corporation tasked with the purpose of providing transit solutions across all parts of Ontario that do not already have transit. This should help with the goal of "one big system" in the sense that there should be a "system" everywhere. For now, the goal is to bridge all gaps.

My company aims to partner with rural and small communities, existing providers, and businesses partners, to develop a province wide transit solution all under one banner and one vision so that no community is left behind. In the long run, this company will promote amalgamations, legislation, market development and coordination so that transit can be a choice no matter where you live or where you're going.

Currently, the public transit industry is fragmented and uncoordinated as a result of complex political environments and competing interests. This is where the benefit of a private venture with private capital seeking collaboration, efficiency, and growth can drive transit toward greater success in a more environmentally and socially conscious age.

Hopefully in due time, services can start to begin as the country reopens and demand for transportation solutions stabilizes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but since the project potentially involves several agencies in the Greater Golden Horseshoe this seemed appropriate.

Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (It's only 68 pages!)

With an excerpt from page 25 of the file:

1646932345451.png1646932386405.png

There's a disclaimer that this isn't an exhaustive list of transit priorities in the GGH, but this close to an election I wonder if they're going to use this as a lure for votes.  The 413 is shown on the map as well, which all of the other parties at Queen's Park have said would not be built if they win the election.

Scugog Island seems an odd place for a new regional connection bypassing Port Perry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Gil said:

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but since the project potentially involves several agencies in the Greater Golden Horseshoe this seemed appropriate.

Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (It's only 68 pages!)

With an excerpt from page 25 of the file:

They mention "new Hwy7 from Guelph to Kitchener" - are they planning on making a 4-lane highway instead of current 2 or a different alignment with ramps like Hwy 7/8 in Kitchener?

Also, they mention Morriston bypass - any thoughts on that one?  Is the plan to connect Hwy 6 north and south of 401 with a new road so that you can travel through on Hwy 6 instead of via 401?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/10/2022 at 4:01 PM, Mike said:

They mention "new Hwy7 from Guelph to Kitchener" - are they planning on making a 4-lane highway instead of current 2 or a different alignment with ramps like Hwy 7/8 in Kitchener?

Also, they mention Morriston bypass - any thoughts on that one?  Is the plan to connect Hwy 6 north and south of 401 with a new road so that you can travel through on Hwy 6 instead of via 401?

I think the Guelph to Kitchener is a new alignment with controlled access like a freeway.  The current Hwy. 7 will continue to exist for local traffic/businesses.  I think the plan is to connect it with the Hanlon Pkwy./Hwy. 6 south to the 401.

Is that Brantford-Cambridge highway a relatively new idea?  For continuity sake, perhaps connecting it to the Morriston bypass?  What would this highway be called, the 424?  If Hwy. 6 was upgraded to full expressway status (it's doing so incrementally already) between the 401 and 403, it's going to need a different number since 406 is already taken.

[Going off on a tangent]

The 403 make more sense as the 405, while the 405 in Niagara should have been the 408 since it paralleled the final leg of Hwy. 8 to the US border.  Hell, even renumbering the Mississauga portion of the 403 as simply the continuation of the 410 makes sense now that the 407 isn't the missing link between the two segments.  Maybe then give the 406 the 403 title and complete it to Port Colborne and then everything's settled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given that the highway numbers have been around for decades it would just cause some unnecessary confusion if you start renumbering highways for no good reason.

I would keep 411 for the eventual conversion of hwy 11.  For hwy 6 can use 408 or 414.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Gil said:

The 403 make more sense as the 405, while the 405 in Niagara should have been the 408 since it paralleled the final leg of Hwy. 8 to the US border.  Hell, even renumbering the Mississauga portion of the 403 as simply the continuation of the 410 makes sense now that the 407 isn't the missing link between the two segments.  Maybe then give the 406 the 403 title and complete it to Port Colborne and then everything's settled.

This makes no sense at all to renumber existing highways. Just use new numbers and be done with it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Someguy3071 said:

This makes no sense at all to renumber existing highways. Just use new numbers and be done with it. 

At the risk of going further off on this tangent...

Other than possibly the 403 in Mississauga, the other numbers I was discussing are what they SHOULD have been numbered based on existing adjacent highways and not what initially appears to be sequential (aside from the QEW) based on opening/planning.  At some point, it seems MTO switched from one to the other with the highways taking on the number of a parallel or replaced highway (the 427 and eventual 410 being an example of both). 

I don't see the point in having two disjointed segments of the 403 if there are no plans for the gap filled in by the 407 to be changed.  The segment of the QEW is co-signed with the 403 between the two segments and the exits in Mississauga were numbered based on the mileage of that routing.  The number of highways was used at one point in promotional material for businesses looking to locate in Mississauga in the 90s and pains were made to distinguish the 403 from the 410 to up the highway count!  The 403 is the only highway to 2 separate interchanges with both the 401 and QEW!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are are plenty of other examples of highways that join together and then split up again. For example 7 and 85 and 7 and 8, or 6 and 401.  Highway 2 has multiple exchanges to hwy 401 (I counted 6). 403 also has two different interchanges to 407.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...