dj.surf.lfs

Simcoe County Transit

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A Transit Feasibility and Implementation Study is underway in Simcoe County. 

Details from the March 22, 2016 Interim Report:

Simcoe.png

Proposed Inter-Municipal Routes

  1. Midland - Barrie
  2. Collingwood - Wasaga Beach - Stayner - Barrie
  3. Barrie - Orillia
  4. Alliston - Cooksville - Bond Head - Bradford
  5. Midland - Victoria Harbour - Coldwater - Orillia

These routes would integrate with existing Inter-Municipal and "Intra-Hub" routes:

  • Barrie - Stroud - Bradford - Newmarket (GO Transit Route 68)
  • Barrie - Angus - Borden (Barrie Transit Route 90)
  • Midland - Penetanguishene (Midland Transit)
  • Collingwood - Wasaga Beach (Wasaga Beach Transit)
  • Collingwood - Blue Mountain (Colltrans)

Staged launching would see one or two routes introduced at a time with 12 round trips/day/route. Full route rollout (all routes launched at the same time) would see only 2-3 round trips/day/route initially due to higher capital and operating costs.

Suggested fare is $7/ride with transfers included to/from local systems (Barrie, BWG, Colltrans, Midland, Orillia, Wasaga Beach).

A Final Report will be presented to council later this year with the following items:

  • Capital costs
  • Operating costs and contract agreement
  • Details of local routing and transfer locations with local systems
  • Infrastructure requirements (vehicle types, bus stops)
  • Fare agreements

http://docs.simcoe.ca/ws_cos/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased&dDocName=rsc501154

Simcoe.png.763f3c9a1d6e23bb64ac581258b40

Simcoe.png.763f3c9a1d6e23bb64ac581258b40d7d.png

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As somebody who lives in Simcoe County, I approve of this!

I approve of all of this, but only have a few improvements that could be made.

Ramara is completely left out of this. I can see this causing some tension between them and the County. I know it's a very small area, but at the very least, two routes could be launched for this area from Orillia. One heading south to Beaverton via Highway 12, Brechin and the beach roads through the Talbot, and one north one heading up Rama Road to either Washago or Severn Bridge, providing service to communities on that road such as Rama First Nation and Washago, and could over the long-term provide connections with Muskoka MET either by extending MET Route 3 into Washago, maybe both buses meeting at the CN station since they provide ample room to park buses in (could even centralise intercity bus services here too), or by extending the Simcoe local route into Severn Bridge near the border.

I also think that Alliston to Barrie would be a huge travel market, and a direct route to Barrie via Thornton and Cookstown would really benefit them, instead of having to go to Bradford and purchase a GO ticket to ride 68 to Barrie, which would be a longer trip, and also believe that a local route could possibly operate from Alliston to Tottenham via Beeton, or possibly into Dufferin, or even another route to Shelburne, if Dufferin indeed does decide to go ahead with their interurban bus route that I believe was discussed in the Orangeville thread and was talked about in Dufferin-based newspapers.

Lastly, a connection to Gravenhurst, possibly either by an express from Barrie via Orillia or a route truncated to Orillia could run. If MET does expand to a full system, connections could be made with their system, possibly using the Gravenhurst CN Station, that was previously served by the Northlander train and is currently served by Ontario Northland intercity buses, as a transfer point. MET Route 7 runs from Honey Harbour to Midland, but does not stop in Simcoe County. An agreement could be made with MET where Simcoe County fares could be used on this bus from Midland as far as Port Severn, which is the Muskoka border, to say, go to Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene or Port McNicoll.

Another area that isn't included in this plan, that I think would work, is a route from Midland to the Cedar Point ferry docks, to connect Christian Island to the transit system. This route would also serve Penetanguishene and Lafontaine along the way. They could time arrivals and departures from Midland and the ferry so that connections with the boat or buses can take place.

The last town not included here, is Creemore. Years ago, they were served by a line run operated by a local independent operator, I can't remember the name of them nor can I even think of what they used for it. A local from Collingwood would fit them well. Also, Elmvale is served by one to two trips a day of Hammond between Barrie and Midland, and is a fairly large town (by rural Simcoe County standards). Something could be done for them too. Possibly a unified station in the downtown owned by the County where Hammond and Greyhound (Owen Sound-Barrie-Toronto) could meet?

 

I've actually been writing a plan for a couple of years for something like this. I wonder if there's any more open houses planned near Barrie? I might go to one. I'm really happy that they're working on this though.

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Most the routes you suggested were considered in the previous interim report - and basically none of them made the cut this round due to higher cost and low ridership. Only the most important inter-municipal links were shortlisted. Potential future implementation timeline is as follows:

  • Wasaga Beach-Creemore-Alliston: 5-10 years
  • Orillia-Cumberland Beach: beyond 10 years
  • Bradford-Beeton-Tottenham: beyond 10 years
  • Gravenhurst Link: not recommended

http://www.simcoe.ca/Planning/Documents/Final%20Second%20interim%20report%20v1.0.pdf

Other considerations:

  • Hammond's Corridor 11 bus already runs Barrie-Gravenhurst-Huntsville. Fare/transfer agreement with Hammond would seem more appropriate here than running a competing route.
  • Orillia-Beaverton: Durham Region Transit will implement Route 653 between Orillia and Beaverton in 2017 (see DRT 5-year Rural-North Strategy). Service is demand-responsive and will run once weekly, increased to twice weekly in 2019.
  • Alliston-Barrie: No need for two separate routes to both Barrie and Bradford here. A single frequent route connecting with GO Route 68 (and future hourly GO Train) in Bradford can easily accommodate both markets, takes advantage of a provincial service and is way cheapter for the County. Again, fare agreement may be negotiated with GO for reduced transfer cost.

There are no more public information sessions as the study is coming to its final stages. A final report will be presented later this year.

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1 hour ago, dj.surf.lfs said:

Most the routes you suggested were considered in the previous interim report - and basically none of them made the cut this round due to higher cost and low ridership. Only the most important inter-municipal links were shortlisted. Potential future implementation timeline is as follows:

  • Wasaga Beach-Creemore-Alliston: 5-10 years
  • Orillia-Cumberland Beach: beyond 10 years
  • Bradford-Beeton-Tottenham: beyond 10 years
  • Gravenhurst Link: not recommended

http://www.simcoe.ca/Planning/Documents/Final%20Second%20interim%20report%20v1.0.pdf

Other considerations:

  • Hammond's Corridor 11 bus already runs Barrie-Gravenhurst-Huntsville. Fare/transfer agreement with Hammond would seem more appropriate here than running a competing route.
  • Orillia-Beaverton: Durham Region Transit will implement Route 653 between Orillia and Beaverton in 2017 (see DRT 5-year Rural-North Strategy). Service is demand-responsive and will run once weekly, increased to twice weekly in 2019.
  • Alliston-Barrie: No need for two separate routes to both Barrie and Bradford here. A single frequent route connecting with GO Route 68 (and future hourly GO Train) in Bradford can easily accommodate both markets, takes advantage of a provincial service and is way cheapter for the County. Again, fare agreement may be negotiated with GO for reduced transfer cost.

There are no more public information sessions as the study is coming to its final stages. A final report will be presented later this year.

Ah, thanks. :)

I do agree with relying on different regions to back up the network, but up here, there's a really insular mentality when it comes to politics and economics, stuff like "why do I wanna ride this out-of-towner's bus in my own county? We hate them!" stuff like that. Kinda like how Georgina over in York irrationally hates Markham for whatever backward reasons, or how some old grumps in rural Simcoe County complain about developers and Torontonians when it comes to housing and farmland. They're really big on "shop local, drive local, support local", which is a good thing, but sometimes it can become really politicised, like when companies from other counties or even other towns get City or County contracts. Like how Laurentian pulled out of Barrie because of money and a feud with the local college that was hosting them, or related, how Barrie is desperate for a university just because Orillia already has one. Innisfil for instance wants a transit system. Barrie offered to extend a route, but because the Province annexed land for us in 2010, Innisfil put on angry attack adverts on the local TV station and in newspapers complaining about it, and ended up quashing the talks for a BT route extension for five years and extension of water service southward because of it.

I don't agree with it, but that's the way it is up here. I'll take whatever comes to me tbh.

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8 hours ago, MCI102A3 said:

 

The last town not included here, is Creemore. Years ago, they were served by a line run operated by a local independent operator, I can't remember the name of them nor can I even think of what they used for it.

Sounds like PMCL

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Just now, TheAverageJoe said:

Sounds like PMCL

Don't think it was PMCL. It was a local company that I believe was based in Creemore and only ran as far as Collingwood. I might ask my driver sources if they'd be familiar with it. I think they might've had a school board contract for school buses as well. Their schedule used to be listed on one of the community access sites back in the day.

There were more smaller companies up here back in the 2000s than there are now. There was another company in Oro called "Cardela" that has a coach fleet. The only one I saw from them was a late-70s/early-80s Prevost running down the southbound 400. Another line-run operator was Honey Harbour-Port Severn Bus Lines, which had school bus contracts to haul students from the towns of the company's namesake to school in Midland, and used their school buses to run shopping routes to Midland once a week. They were bought by Laidlaw shortly before First took everything over, circa 2008. The base-model Thomas FS-65s with 8-ways and CAT engines that run for various First yards in North Simcoe, they're of HHPSBL heritage, and were the last buses that company bought before the owner cashed out. The shopping shuttle from Honey Harbour to Midland that they used to run, the new MET Route 7 operated by Hammond contracted to Muskoka Region pretty much covers the same territory that the old company covered.

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There's an article in the newspaper this week, talking about this. According to the Barrie Advance, the plan is to roll out these routes over five years. Route 1 - Midland-Barrie will be the first next year, Barrie-Orillia Route 3 in 2018, Collingwood-Barrie in 2019 and the Midland-Orillia and Bradford-Alliston routes in 2020.

I must say that I'm looking forward to this, and will be on the first run to Midland, whenever that is.

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http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/regional-bus-transit-coming-to-simcoe-county-1.3093171#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=AS1c2wi

In addition to the phased launch of the inter-municipal network, Simcoe County will take over the following "intra-hub" links in 2018:

  • Barrie - Angus
  • Collingwood - Wasaga Beach
  • Midland - Penetanguishene

Barrie - Orillia route will be funded by Cities of Barrie and Orillia, as they are outside the jurisdiction of Simcoe County.

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Simcoe County's 2017 Budget passed this morning. Transit portion includes $895,000 for the purchase of six cutaway vehicles plus $644,000 operating budget for the Barrie-Midland route.

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http://www.ourmidland.ca/general-news/shared-news/shared-beausoleil-first-nation-looking-to-expand-transit-options-2016-10-06

Apparently Beausoleil First Nation (Christian Island) wants in on the transit action too?

And this is the first I've heard of an existing bus service from them? Wonder if they're using their late-model Thomas HDX for this or one of their cutaways?

 

EDIT: TRANSIT-SCHED-OCT-2016.png Looks like they use a Ram ProMaster (Fiat Ducato) minibus for this route.

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Who currently runs the Midland - Penetanguishene  Route and what kind of equipement is used.

I was doing research on a bus that showed up here in Montreal recently.

Autocar Royal, a Prevost LeMirage XL-II that was equipped with a Farebox and currently running for Autobus Dufresne (Parent Company) on the CITHSL Contract. According to this page (https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-gazette-volume-149-issue-06-february-6-2016/ontario-highway-transport-board), they were awarded the contract, just wanted to know if they still operate it and was type of vehicule is being used with this coach being in Montreal now.

 

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12 hours ago, MTL66 said:

Who currently runs the Midland - Penetanguishene  Route and what kind of equipement is used.

I was doing research on a bus that showed up here in Montreal recently.

Autocar Royal, a Prevost LeMirage XL-II that was equipped with a Farebox and currently running for Autobus Dufresne (Parent Company) on the CITHSL Contract. According to this page (https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-gazette-volume-149-issue-06-february-6-2016/ontario-highway-transport-board), they were awarded the contract, just wanted to know if they still operate it and was type of vehicule is being used with this coach being in Montreal now.

 

Hammond briefly ran the three ex-Getaway Coach Lines ex-GO XL-IIs when they first took over the company a few years ago. Last pics I saw of them was of 928-930 parked at the Bracebridge yard with the plates removed. I'm not familiar with what the interior looked like, but don't think they had fareboxes in them, at least when I saw them running. nowadays they run whatever's available, everything from coaches, to activity buses and even Sprinters and cutaways.

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13 hours ago, MCI102A3 said:

Hammond briefly ran the three ex-Getaway Coach Lines ex-GO XL-IIs when they first took over the company a few years ago. Last pics I saw of them was of 928-930 parked at the Bracebridge yard with the plates removed. I'm not familiar with what the interior looked like, but don't think they had fareboxes in them, at least when I saw them running. nowadays they run whatever's available, everything from coaches, to activity buses and even Sprinters and cutaways.

So Hammond runs the service? I wonder what that contract was awarded for in that case.

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11 hours ago, MTL66 said:

So Hammond runs the service? I wonder what that contract was awarded for in that case.

Hammond runs the service, but currently it's not under any government contract. It's an OHTB-regulated service that Hammond took over when they purchased Getaway Coach, which in turn used to be operated by PMCL and Greyhound back in the day.

I have a feeling that this route will be going the way of the dinosaurs though once the County starts Route 1 this year, as it only makes one trip a day on weekdays and four trips on weekends, while the County's route will be more frequent, and much cheaper.

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