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Buck a ride transit. Good or bad?


brianc1981
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What are peoples thoughts on the liberal promise of offering buck-a-ride transit on all transit systems in Ontario, including GO and Ontario Northland? I am curious to hear what everyone thinks regarding this. I have some thoughts but I will reserve my thoughts on this until I hear what other people think. Maybe my thoughts will change

 

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51 minutes ago, brianc1981 said:

What are peoples thoughts on the liberal promise of offering buck-a-ride transit on all transit systems in Ontario, including GO and Ontario Northland? I am curious to hear what everyone thinks regarding this. I have some thoughts but I will reserve my thoughts on this until I hear what other people think. Maybe my thoughts will change

 

Wont work. It will cause nothing but severely high taxes for everyone and cause municipalities to cut service to save money. It is just a Liberal tactic to add more taxes. Trudeau is also the reason to not vote for slime covered Liberals.

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1 hour ago, brianc1981 said:

What are peoples thoughts on the liberal promise of offering buck-a-ride transit on all transit systems in Ontario, including GO and Ontario Northland? I am curious to hear what everyone thinks regarding this. I have some thoughts but I will reserve my thoughts on this until I hear what other people think. Maybe my thoughts will change

Ontario Northland doesn't have the capacity to handle $1 fares especially with the supply and demand metric similar to airlines and the limited amount of buses and operators with the current bus shortage. Sometimes, they may add an overflow bus on some runs. But I can't imagine offering a $1 fare between North Bay and Toronto with the amount of resources and operating costs involved.

Go Transit may have more capacity on their trains, but buses it will be an uphill battle because they only have so many operators and seats. They are based on distance and have trialed lower fares for shorter distances along with creating new fare zones to compensate along with free transfers between local agencies without having to pay any extra. 

I think the big issue is more about frequency since a place like Toronto has a lot more transit than somewhere like York Region where the frequencies are extremely limited along some routes. Some people wouldn't take it even if it was $1/fare and given a two hour transfer. If the bus only operates every 75 minutes, how is that more effective than a 10 minute car ride to the same destination without waiting.

The proposal is simply to rebuild ridership that was lost due to COVID-19 and how transit agencies had big drops of around 80 to 90 percent. Of course, I think it will be difficult for transit agencies to work with a $1 transit fare for all fare classes even though the Liberal government will subsidize the costs of providing the $1 fare. 

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Idiot policy which makes no sense, developed by someone who's out of touch and clearly hasnt lived a life that resembles most Ontarians.

Funny thing is, it's these same people who are running the province thinking that they know best for most of the population.

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I don't think it is a bad idea necessarily. But it depends on what happens after the time frame of this. If the fares balloon back up to 3-4 dollars then I think it would fail. I would say that after the fares go back up from the $1 they should go up to say $1.50, then GO could go up to $3 or $4 a trip and the Northland could go up to say $2 or $3 per city you travel through. Farther you travel the more you pay.  The idea of this proposed fare structure is instead of building the 413 highway and the Bradford bypass, which is pegged to cost over 8 billion dollars, also of taxpayer money the Liberals want to spend less money and offer the buck a ride, and pay another decent amount to help transit systems expand schedules. 

I disagree with the buck a ride on Northland to a degree. I would charge a dollar per city, so if it stops in 10 places between where you board and where you get off then you pay $10. Not $1 for the whole trip. Also I feel that this buck a ride fare structure would only make sense, if the monthly pass that is supposed to be $40, works for all systems, so people living in Burlington could commute for $40 to Mississauga or Toronto every day, or from Oshawa to Toronto or wherever. This should also be a stepping stone to building a united transit system, that encompasses the GTA and perhaps the Golden Horseshoe. As there are a lot of areas that lack public transit and it would make sense from a logistical standpoint of being able to have one system that covers much more ground. I have stated on another topic on here that I have been working on a report that discusses the logistics of merging all systems from Hamilton to Durham and up to Milton, YRT and Bradford, as well as encompassing Orangeville, Guelph, and GRT as well as Niagara. This dollar a ride would be great to bring more people onto transit and then it can open doors to building new routes or merging routes together. 

Personally I am ok with the cheap fares as long as the transit systems evolve and grow across the province. My theory is the Liberal government, if they get in should invest in improving transit, reducing fares, canceling the proposed 413 highway that is highly controversial as it is, and use that money that is projected to be used for the highway and use it for building more transit services, merging the transit in the Golden Horseshoe to allow GO to expand service, and working on getting rid of the tolls on the 407, because that would move vehicles off of the 401, and if the transit is cheaper and better for the most part, more people may take transit and stop driving everywhere or at least reduce the amount of driving they do, so it would help reduce congestion on roads. But in order for this to all work, transit systems cannot offer very unreliable frequencies on bus routes such as in York where some routes are 42 minutes or 39 minutes or 75 minutes or whatever weird frequencies there are. I also think merging all these systems together there could be more local routes and services and then GO bus routes could be made to be less milk run services in some areas such as the GO bus that runs along Kingston/Dundas/King in Durham region, along the same route as local DRT buses. The GO buses could be moved onto more highways or discontinued and replaced with more local routes, and then the buses used on the local type routes could be moved onto more express services that could be used to boost service for longer runs. 

Also buck a ride would boost service and it would be good for building or planning routes that could benefit where people travel more, especially if more people work from home instead of commuting to downtown. This buck a ride gets people on transit and then when they transit planners see where the people travel to the most, then they could increase services to those areas. It would also help to encourage more people to leave the car at home than it reduces vehicles on the roads and allows buses to run more often as they won't be sitting in traffic as much as they do when there are more vehicles on the roads. 

I know there is a lot I have mentioned here, but I do think there is a lot of good that this can do, especially with all the potential growth that is planned for the next many years in the GTA. It is going to be necessary to build new service and get more people out of the car, especially with gas nearing the $2 a litre mark plus the high cost of parking in Toronto. It makes way more sense to take transit instead of paying the gas and parking. 

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Like others said above it’s not the worst idea, but it is flawed. To offer GO and Ontario Northland at 1$ as well, will cripple the two services. With people already preferring GO instead of municipal to cross the gta you’ll have 100 people lined up for a bus that fits 55 or 81. The same with a coach bus that’s designed to transport people for travel will turn into a bus people will ride just because they can with nowhere to go in mind. 
 

with transit it’s more doable. 1$ a ride plus transfer ensures the people who ride the bus - who tend to be lower income residents working jobs that barely cover the bills, will become a “god send” for many. 40$ for a bus pass vs 125 is a couple dinners for a family that cannot afford it usually. However there are Issues with this. 

I’ll use OC transpo as this is where I live and work. In order for OC to provide 1$/40$ service they will need extra funding provided by the liberal government. This is obviously in their plan but there needs to be a clause in the funding stating the agency is not to cut service anywhere and they are to increase service as demand arises ( and it will when it’s a buck ). Without a clause such as this you will have the company panicking when their profit lines deteriorate ( even though they’re a public entity, they still need to at least try and be self absorbent ) And slowly attempt to scale back service whether it’s reducing headways or adding artics to replace 40ft and therefor cutting a trip. 

Then there’s the issue of the private contract sector. YRT gives a set budget to their contractors yearly to provide service as well as penalize them for small service related issues. That will crush the contractors bottom line and they will slowly back out of the bids in Ontario. Smaller towns will loose transit because they can’t support themselves with fare revenue and the funding they receive will be nowhere near enough to expand when majority of funding will go to GTHA agencies and OC 

 

do I hope it’s a successful campaign promise? Of course, the public deserves essential services to be affordable. However I only want to see this happen if there are promises to maintain and expand services without destroying taxes or putting the province in a larger debt than it already is 

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Let's remember the policy is only supposed to last 2 years, so ask yourselves whats going to happen after 2 years? Prices will be jacked up to where they were, if not higher to compensate for the "please vote for me" bribe, I mean policy.

Let's see where that money would be better put to use:

1) Having a GO-TTC Co-Fare (like the rest of the GTAH already has)

2) Further expanding GO Service

3) Giving the money to transit agencies throughout the province to improve service

4) Expanding Bike Share programs across the province

So in other words there is no shortage of how else the money could be spent, that are far more effective than the idiotic policy Del Duca came up with. This is just a few ideas, which took me less than 2 minutes to come up with far more effective policies

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On 5/6/2022 at 11:22 AM, lip said:

3) Giving the money to transit agencies throughout the province to improve service

 

This is the biggy.  Doesn't matter if people only have to pay $1 a ride, people won't want to ride on transit if the bus/train/tram never rocks up or the the routes are long so it takes 3x as long on transit as hopping in the car.

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If, and it’s still a big if, buck a ride happens, everyone I talked to about it thinks existing service might end up packed from people seeing “near-free” as a refuge from $2/litre gas.

In other words, due to the economics involved here, there is a real possibility the demand the artificially low pricing could induce could well exceed what existing services can carry.  And that could backfire in terms of unhappy customers swearing off transit after trying it for the first time in ages.

Of course, there’s also the possibility it might not move the needle a whole lot with choice riders depending on how wound up the fear of COVID-19 with them still is.

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Against. 1. it's only for 2 years. 2. In the context of Ottawa post COVID, when it comes to bus pass users, a very large portion of people have Equi-Pass which only cost $58.25 for a monthly pass instead of the usual $120 or so. So they'll only save about $18 which is the same vote buying tactic Ford implemented with cars. Other have explained above well enough, but it's a promise that is not sustainable. All routes could be free and I STILL wouldn't take OC Transpo despite $2/L gas. Terrible service (with current Fare prices of $3.70) and terrible connections. Takes 15 mins from Bayshore to Blair in a car vs 1.5 hrs on transit during rush hour when transit has all its buses and trains deployed.. Unless this fundamental problem changes, people will still opt to save to buy a car instead of choosing transit whether its free, $1, $10, etc.. Can't speak for the GTA but it will not work well in the NCR (National Capital Region).

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3 hours ago, Marc said:

This is the biggy.  Doesn't matter if people only have to pay $1 a ride, people won't want to ride on transit if the bus/train/tram never rocks up or the the routes are long so it takes 3x as long on transit as hopping in the car.

Exactly. For instance last night I waited 1 hour for the pathetic 501L because the TTC simply doesnt know how to operate service.

So at that point why the hell would i care if fares were $1? The ride would still take me 1 hour via transit, plus the 1 hour I just wasted waiting for the bus.

If I had a car I sure as damn wouldnt care about the $1 service, when my car could get me to my destination in 1/3rd the time. Most people at that point wouldve just taken an Uber/Cab but paying $40+ again because of garbage TTC service for the Nth time in 2 weeks, i wasnt interested in that.

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The unfortunate thing whatever your position on buck a ride is, is that since the idea has been there, it's a shame that the opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about fare and subsidy levels that's really badly needed has been completely overshadowed by the election campaign.  So far it's been a total loss on discussing what to do about transit fares, if anything, if not necessarily a temporary buck a ride program.

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