MCI102A3

Barrie Transit

483 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Went out on Canada Day and I have to say the service was much worse than previous years which attributed to the lack of usage. 

This year:

  • Buses that finished on Sunday schedule were told to go out of service and head back to the yard
  • Some buses were parked at the terminal waiting for start time (11 PM) which I think drivers were not paid because they really were not driving/paid break. There were no 10:xx PM trips. Only one final trip. 
  • There was a huge lineup for some routes such as the 6A Letitia
  • Every single bus was told to load passengers and then depart at just after 11 PM at the downtown terminal and do a full trip until the end of their route, no return trip
  • A lot of confusion between passengers because they simply thought additional trips would be added especially if one bus is full, you would simply wait for the next trip or simply take the route going the other direction if possible 

Last year:

  • Drivers who finished at the regular Sunday times either extended until the end of Canada Day service or a relief driver would board and continue on the service
  • Additional trips were added. One example is the 8A-SB Yonge, it would normally finish at 8:50 PM on Sunday and then terminate at 10:20 PM. When it was extended, three additional trips were extended which the final departure time was 11:50 PM terminating at 1:20 AM
  • Trips were based on regular departure times, not everyone leaving at once

 

I think the contractor really dropped the ball this year just to simply save money by not running 10:xx trips and simply requesting drivers that finish on the Sunday schedule to head back to the yard. That was pretty confusing especially when it was simply easier to extend the trips until the end of service. It would have cleared a lot more of the crowd and at least, not worry about being stranded when thousands are in downtown. 

Doesn't the City set the policy for the operations though? If that's the case, they'll probably be having a word with the contractor. But if the City said yes to this, they should be railing both of them.

Can't wait to read the newspaper soon...

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8 hours ago, MCI102A3 said:

Doesn't the City set the policy for the operations though? If that's the case, they'll probably be having a word with the contractor. But if the City said yes to this, they should be railing both of them.

Can't wait to read the newspaper soon...

The city does, but this is the very first time I have seen them apply only 11 PM for every single route, no 10:xx PM departures that were in previous years. 

Not sure if the city is to blame which they did say the final departures are around 11 PM. But, it was a copy and paste notice from previous years which doesn't change. Except for the part that buses start at regular Sunday times instead of noon because of frustration regarding Canada Day service starting later. Most of the usage doesn't really occur until the evening (Post Fireworks crowd).

I was talking to a couple of people which the contractor is trying to cut costs where they can considering the "fixed cost" and being locked in for 20 years. Well, 19 years now since the new contract started on July 1, 2015. 

 

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5 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

The city does, but this is the very first time I have seen them apply only 11 PM for every single route, no 10:xx PM departures that were in previous years. 

Not sure if the city is to blame which they did say the final departures are around 11 PM. But, it was a copy and paste notice from previous years which doesn't change. Except for the part that buses start at regular Sunday times instead of noon because of frustration regarding Canada Day service starting later. Most of the usage doesn't really occur until the evening (Post Fireworks crowd).

I was talking to a couple of people which the contractor is trying to cut costs where they can considering the "fixed cost" and being locked in for 20 years. Well, 19 years now since the new contract started on July 1, 2015. 

 

Wow, so much for it being "performance-based", like?

I wonder where this cost-cutting is gonna lead? We were promised "15-minute service on major routes" in 2013 and got anything but that.

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3 hours ago, MCI102A3 said:

Wow, so much for it being "performance-based", like?

I wonder where this cost-cutting is gonna lead? We were promised "15-minute service on major routes" in 2013 and got anything but that.

I will say the first thing the cost cutting is going to lead to lower service quality/experience. I understand that labour costs are expensive, but they can't just try and cut costs elsewhere that is essential to what the labour needs to work effectively. Especially when they already agreed to take on the full risks as stated in the contract. 

They don't have enough buses and labour to provide 15 minute service. Instead of 15 minute service on Bayfield (the workhorse), it is now 30 minutes if even lucky considering the Route 1 is a 45 minute route with 3 buses instead of the previous 60 minutes with 4. The new route 1 scheduling is so tight, there is no room for error. Along with how they simply want to run a 45 minute headway during evenings and Sundays. It shouldn't be an issue with garage space can easily store a lot more buses than the previous yard at 85 Brock Street which is still up for sale. No one wants to purchase since the facilities are in very rough shape that whoever purchases the property will have to pay for demolition and site cleanup costs when factoring all the diesel and other containments from buses.

The reason why they chose the public private partnership or P3 for short is to show value for taxpayers by getting a much lower rate than running in-house. Having a contractor experienced in the field of delivering transit services rather than having to try and start from scratch and finding people with similar experience who can provide the same services. 

I think it would be more efficient to keep things in-house rather than the use of contractors. York Region Transit uses the same model which IMO benefits the contractors more than the users of the service. Especially with the saying, public service, private profit. 

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12 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

I will say the first thing the cost cutting is going to lead to lower service quality/experience. I understand that labour costs are expensive, but they can't just try and cut costs elsewhere that is essential to what the labour needs to work effectively. Especially when they already agreed to take on the full risks as stated in the contract. 

They don't have enough buses and labour to provide 15 minute service. Instead of 15 minute service on Bayfield (the workhorse), it is now 30 minutes if even lucky considering the Route 1 is a 45 minute route with 3 buses instead of the previous 60 minutes with 4. The new route 1 scheduling is so tight, there is no room for error. Along with how they simply want to run a 45 minute headway during evenings and Sundays. It shouldn't be an issue with garage space can easily store a lot more buses than the previous yard at 85 Brock Street which is still up for sale. No one wants to purchase since the facilities are in very rough shape that whoever purchases the property will have to pay for demolition and site cleanup costs when factoring all the diesel and other containments from buses.

The reason why they chose the public private partnership or P3 for short is to show value for taxpayers by getting a much lower rate than running in-house. Having a contractor experienced in the field of delivering transit services rather than having to try and start from scratch and finding people with similar experience who can provide the same services. 

I think it would be more efficient to keep things in-house rather than the use of contractors. York Region Transit uses the same model which IMO benefits the contractors more than the users of the service. Especially with the saying, public service, private profit. 

Ditto on contracting out.

If there was a mayoral candidate that promised to go in-house, I'd volunteer 15 hour days for him or her. It's the same thing that happened with BR in the 90s. They privatised it and brought in a whole load of different companies that got rich from it (many of which now operate in Canada, First being the biggest example locally), but in the end, it's the passenger that suffers. Like what's happening with Southern Railway this year.

reminds me of an old Monty Python line about The Machine that goes "Ping"...

"We leased this back from the company we sold it to. That way it appears on the current budget and not the capital account".

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If anybody is interested to know, me and a friend drove by the old PMCL yard on Brock Street. It's for sale now, and there's nothing in the yard.

After First lost the contract, the yard was used by the odd Greyhound I believe, but was mainly used to store school buses which ran in the Downtown and North end of Barrie. You can look at some recent Streetviews on Google and see the school buses in the yard.

Wonder who might buy it? Hammond? They seem like a logical choice since they have quite a bit of operations here and their current yard out in Oro means lots of deadheading between there and the station for line runs.

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Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne and Jeff Lehman announce new transit funding to buy 13 new regular buses and 6 para-transit buses: 

http://globalnews.ca/news/2897510/feds-finally-ready-to-fork-over-cash-for-ontario-transit-funding-deal/

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2016/08/22/trudeau-in-barrie-tuesday-at-transit-garage

This announcement is most likely to coincide with the replacement of the 2004 D40LFs (66704 to 67904) unless they are going for refurbishment. Only bus I know that has went for refurbishment as a trial is 69207 with completely new seats and some other internals. 

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7 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Justin Trudeau, Kathleen Wynne and Jeff Lehman announce new transit funding to buy 13 new regular buses and 6 para-transit buses: 

http://globalnews.ca/news/2897510/feds-finally-ready-to-fork-over-cash-for-ontario-transit-funding-deal/

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2016/08/22/trudeau-in-barrie-tuesday-at-transit-garage

This announcement is most likely to coincide with the replacement of the 2004 D40LFs (66704 to 67904) unless they are going for refurbishment. Only bus I know that has went for refurbishment as a trial is 69207 with completely new seats and some other internals. 

Yeah, I heard from the bosses when I was at Celebrate Barrie this year, that they wanted to refurbish some 04s, they said that they wanted to do four this year, and I would guess four more next year and the last four done the year after.

But with this announcement, who knows? I hope it isn't to replace the 04s, since we're running on a short fleet as it is already. Frick, 13 new buses plus the 13 existing D40LFs would be a bloody windfall for us!

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1 hour ago, MCI102A3 said:

Yeah, I heard from the bosses when I was at Celebrate Barrie this year, that they wanted to refurbish some 04s, they said that they wanted to do four this year, and I would guess four more next year and the last four done the year after.

But with this announcement, who knows? I hope it isn't to replace the 04s, since we're running on a short fleet as it is already. Frick, 13 new buses plus the 13 existing D40LFs would be a bloody windfall for us!

Me too. Especially when some routes such as 1 and 8 can benefit from 15 minute frequency from the current 30 minutes. Along with the need for additional capacity without having the fleet running a bit short on buses. There is way more than enough room to store an additional 13 buses at the transit garage. 

Last year, we had the bus shortage which resulted in rental buses being leased up until the end of 2015. 1940 is still here in Barrie just in case they run a bit short. 

The 2004 D40LFs still work well. Why replace something that still has usefulness. Just refurbish them to their optimal performance along with the consistency that most drivers are accustomed to. That is my logic of thinking because they aren't damaged goods and some transit agencies have kept buses running for 18 years. Some even 20 years depending on getting required components. 

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2 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Me too. Especially when some routes such as 1 and 8 can benefit from 15 minute frequency from the current 30 minutes. Along with the need for additional capacity without having the fleet running a bit short on buses. There is way more than enough room to store an additional 13 buses at the transit garage. 

Last year, we had the bus shortage which resulted in rental buses being leased up until the end of 2015. 1940 is still here in Barrie just in case they run a bit short. 

The 2004 D40LFs still work well. Why replace something that still has usefulness. Just refurbish them to their optimal performance along with the consistency that most drivers are accustomed to. That is my logic of thinking because they aren't damaged goods and some transit agencies have kept buses running for 18 years. Some even 20 years depending on getting required components. 

The 2004 D40LFs are tanks! They were built in an age where the design studios and engineers took MLEs into account when building them. If any of us gets a chance to speak to the mayor, bring that up. I'd go as far as to say we should buy all of our leasers from 2015 back for a further spare-ratio increase. 13 2004 D40LFs, four 2006 D40LFs, plus these new 13 that were announced today would be a windfall! Like we need to increase to 15 minute service on the 8A-8B and the 1A-1B (plus put the 1 back on Bayview when this is done), but we also need an adequate spare ratio for when buses start breaking down or when the existing fleet is put on shuttles to Midhurst and that kind of thing.

I think if any of us has a chance to speak to the mayor or to any of our aldermen, we need to bring that up and push this as something council can get behind. I think it's doable. It'd be a positive step as we'd be able to keep perfectly good buses on the road as well as increase service on the main routes.

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The funding schedule has been released. Here is the funding schedule: 

Location

Project Name

Federal Funding

Anticipated Start Date

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2016

$1,312,500

November 1, 2016

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2017

$1,050,000

June 1, 2017

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2018

$1,050,000

November 1, 2017

Barrie

Specialized Transit Bus Replacement 2017

$187,500

June 1, 2017

Barrie

Specialized Transit Bus Growth 2017

$400,000

June 1, 2017

Taken from http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/08/23/canada-and-ontario-sign-agreement-public-transit-infrastructure-funding

Mentioned is "conventional transit bus replacement" 2016, 2017 and 2018. With the funding agreement going through on the start date. 

Question though is how many buses are we receiving in those years. With up to 50 percent of the bus replacement covered by the federal government, they can afford to purchase additional units. Normally, it is 4 buses per year based on available budget which has been the normal since 2013. 

Especially with the federal cash flowing through twice for the 2017 and 2018 orders. 

Here are the bus orders over the years based on the Wiki for conventional buses:

2015: 4 Nova LFSes

2014: 4 XD40s

2013: 4 XD40s

2012: 3 XD40s and 2 El Dorados

2011: 3 XD40s

2009: 4 D40LFs

2008: 1 D40LF

2006: 4 D40LFs

2004: 13 D40LFs

2002: 5 D40LFs (still out of service)

Final comments:

Going to be hard to run a service if they are simply replacements and not expansion units. With some of the costs shared between the federal government, they can afford a few expansion units which are most likely not covered in the accounting. 

 

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17 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

The funding schedule has been released. Here is the funding schedule: 

Location

Project Name

Federal Funding

Anticipated Start Date

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2016

$1,312,500

November 1, 2016

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2017

$1,050,000

June 1, 2017

Barrie

Conventional Transit Bus Replacement 2018

$1,050,000

November 1, 2017

Barrie

Specialized Transit Bus Replacement 2017

$187,500

June 1, 2017

Barrie

Specialized Transit Bus Growth 2017

$400,000

June 1, 2017

Taken from http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/08/23/canada-and-ontario-sign-agreement-public-transit-infrastructure-funding

Mentioned is "conventional transit bus replacement" 2016, 2017 and 2018. With the funding agreement going through on the start date. 

Question though is how many buses are we receiving in those years. With up to 50 percent of the bus replacement covered by the federal government, they can afford to purchase additional units. Normally, it is 4 buses per year based on available budget which has been the normal since 2013. 

Especially with the federal cash flowing through twice for the 2017 and 2018 orders. 

Here are the bus orders over the years based on the Wiki for conventional buses:

2015: 4 Nova LFSes

2014: 4 XD40s

2013: 4 XD40s

2012: 3 XD40s and 2 El Dorados

2011: 3 XD40s

2009: 4 D40LFs

2008: 1 D40LF

2006: 4 D40LFs

2004: 13 D40LFs

2002: 5 D40LFs (still out of service)

Final comments:

Going to be hard to run a service if they are simply replacements and not expansion units. With some of the costs shared between the federal government, they can afford a few expansion units which are most likely not covered in the accounting. 

 

Yeah, it doesn't seem too right to me. I mean, we have a solution to solve the shortage here, but it doesn't seem like they know, or they don't care?

Well, City Council starts soon, I think I'll start attending some meetings.

Well, CTV News is on, let's see what they say.

(EDIT: Watched the news story, this topic was the first one they covered. The mayor talked about "life-cycle issues" with much of the older vehicles, and said that they're to be replaced. Rider reaction has been positive on the news broadcast for the new buses. But really, as much as I like to see new machines here, it's not enough. I plan on attending some city council meetings this fall in the name of advocacy for the system.)

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Allandale Go Station and Park Place platforms are changing effective September 25/16.

Allandale Go: 

  • Route 90A/90B platform will be replacing Route 1B platform
  • Route 1B will service an on-street stop (currently covered up right now), but it is right before the railway crossing not going directly into the station

http://www.barrie.ca/Living/Getting Around/BarrieTransit/Documents/Allandale-GO-Stn-Platform-Change-Sept2016.pdf

Park Place: 

  • 3B will stay on Bayview Drive servicing stop 737 (Bayview Drive and South Village Way) and NOT loop into Park Place

http://www.barrie.ca/Living/Getting Around/BarrieTransit/Documents/Park-Place-Platform-Change-Sept2016.pdf

Final comments:

Route 1 is one of the worst performing routes. It is not surprising if waiting at the top end (Georgian Mall) and not see two consecutive trips show up until a tripper is sent to pick everyone up at the mall. Removing the need to service the loop should free up around 5 minutes factoring the need to wait until making a safe left turn, load/unload inside the station, then loop around back onto regular route. 

Route 3 also has the same issue which looping around takes a bit of time. Though, Park Place isn't as busy especially with the looping around causing some confusion with the need for a few additional right turns. Along with needing to park which can also cause to make or break a schedule. 

It is nice they are trying to cut the loops around to free up time. Though, I do think more work can be done to improve. 

 

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I went Downtown on Monday for business, and took the bus.

1304 was on the 8B that I took, and I noticed that they have external announcements on some of them now. Not sure of the vendor, but it's probably Trapeze. The voice sounded a lot like the one that comes with the INIT externals on GO buses that I've rode on in the last year.

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1 hour ago, MCI102A3 said:

I went Downtown on Monday for business, and took the bus.

1304 was on the 8B that I took, and I noticed that they have external announcements on some of them now. Not sure of the vendor, but it's probably Trapeze. The voice sounded a lot like the one that comes with the INIT externals on GO buses that I've rode on in the last year.

Some of the buses do, but not all of them. Along with the external announcements, the destination sign changes automatically without needing to manually input the route code number. Not sure about if "Out of Service" is also automatically programmed in. I have yet to be on a bus that has "out of service" changed without manual input. 

Because most of my trips are planned so I don't get stranded and have to wait for an alternative. 

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Passed a Barrie Transit 2016 Nova LFS on delivery on 401 last thursday. No number, just blue stripe and had old 11 Bayview reading on the sign.

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So last we heard there was a 2016 LFS on the way to Barrie.

Has anybody seen one in town yet? Or anything else like leasers for that matter?

I haven't been able to go on the road for a while, so I'm totally out of the loop. Was gonna try to go out today but couldn't.

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On October 25, 2016 at 3:37 PM, MCI102A3 said:

So last we heard there was a 2016 LFS on the way to Barrie.

Has anybody seen one in town yet? Or anything else like leasers for that matter?

I haven't been able to go on the road for a while, so I'm totally out of the loop. Was gonna try to go out today but couldn't.

Sorry I haven't been on active on the forum that much. 1940 is still around. 

Still know that one 16xx unit is at the yard. Still none in-service yet. Last year, they were out by the end of October. This year, they seem to want to ensure there are no issues since equipment breakdowns, especially fare boxes are breaking down constantly and no solution to the problem. I will admit, they don't know what is causing malfunctions to occur such as coin rejections and/or transfers not printing properly. 

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22 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Sorry I haven't been on active on the forum that much. 1940 is still around. 

Still know that one 16xx unit is at the yard. Still none in-service yet. Last year, they were out by the end of October. This year, they seem to want to ensure there are no issues since equipment breakdowns, especially fare boxes are breaking down constantly and no solution to the problem. I will admit, they don't know what is causing malfunctions to occur such as coin rejections and/or transfers not printing properly. 

Ah, thanks for the info. Hopefully I'll be able to go out on the road soon and get those 16s. I wonder whether they've switched to Allison or if they're still ZF like the 15s?

Last week, a friend and I took a ride out to Angus on Route 90A. 1940 was our vehicle, and I filmed the whole trip from the front seat out the windshield. On a railway-related note, the closed down section of the Barrie-Collingwood Railway west of the CPR diamond in Utopia is being used to store those freight cars that Barrie is making money on. They go from just west of the CPR diamond to about 200 metres east of the 5th line crossing in Angus. And 1940 was a beast on that trip, one thing I really forget about is how the speed is more pronounced in a transit bus when you're doing "high speed", above 70km/h.

Another thing I've been curious of, is Route 11. In the beginning their plan was to put one of the Eldorados on that route, but nowadays I see both the Eldorados on either my local 4A-4B or on Route 90. I wonder whether they purchased a new Arboc for 11 or if they've finally converted 1104 back to conventional? Doesn't make sense at all to put a 40ft on that small route? I haven't had a chance to follow it at all since I'm quite far away from Park Place and I've had some stuff in the family to deal with...

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1104's been running route 11 most of the time, I did see one of the specialized fleet buses doing it one day recently though

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12 hours ago, dj.surf.lfs said:

1601 in service on 8A this morning.

Saw your photo in the Facebook group. Not much of a difference really other than the bus number. Along with the old destination sign code for Route 8. It displayed 8A Yonge/Southbound. Side panel will say "8A To Yonge/Via Anne." They forgot to update the code and upload it into the memory. 

Also spotted 1940 on the 8B-SB Essa at Maple and Ross at 3:10 PM. Still carrying around that leaser. 

1 hour ago, MCI102A3 said:

Ah, thanks for the info. Hopefully I'll be able to go out on the road soon and get those 16s. I wonder whether they've switched to Allison or if they're still ZF like the 15s?

Last week, a friend and I took a ride out to Angus on Route 90A. 1940 was our vehicle, and I filmed the whole trip from the front seat out the windshield. On a railway-related note, the closed down section of the Barrie-Collingwood Railway west of the CPR diamond in Utopia is being used to store those freight cars that Barrie is making money on. They go from just west of the CPR diamond to about 200 metres east of the 5th line crossing in Angus. And 1940 was a beast on that trip, one thing I really forget about is how the speed is more pronounced in a transit bus when you're doing "high speed", above 70km/h.

Another thing I've been curious of, is Route 11. In the beginning their plan was to put one of the Eldorados on that route, but nowadays I see both the Eldorados on either my local 4A-4B or on Route 90. I wonder whether they purchased a new Arboc for 11 or if they've finally converted 1104 back to conventional? Doesn't make sense at all to put a 40ft on that small route? I haven't had a chance to follow it at all since I'm quite far away from Park Place and I've had some stuff in the family to deal with...

1601 was still out at 8:50 PM. Couldn't get a photo because I was heading home and early morning class. 

I understand. I haven't been as active because of personal issues, but I still try to retain the content for when I do get a chance. 

In other news, all buses are displaying "Lest We Forget" on their destination signs. All buses have to put the sign up on Friday. Along with all routes (3, 6 and 8) have to use the on-street stops during the ceremony in the circle. For Route 6, they loop at the next available turnback point (RVH), but are allowed to pick up/drop off passengers at that stop during the detour. 

It is from 8:30 AM until around noon. I might get a photo of a bus with that destination sign if I have a chance and share here. 

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53 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

Saw your photo in the Facebook group. Not much of a difference really other than the bus number. Along with the old destination sign code for Route 8. It displayed 8A Yonge/Southbound. Side panel will say "8A To Yonge/Via Anne." They forgot to update the code and upload it into the memory. 

Also spotted 1940 on the 8B-SB Essa at Maple and Ross at 3:10 PM. Still carrying around that leaser. 

1601 was still out at 8:50 PM. Couldn't get a photo because I was heading home and early morning class. 

I understand. I haven't been as active because of personal issues, but I still try to retain the content for when I do get a chance. 

In other news, all buses are displaying "Lest We Forget" on their destination signs. All buses have to put the sign up on Friday. Along with all routes (3, 6 and 8) have to use the on-street stops during the ceremony in the circle. For Route 6, they loop at the next available turnback point (RVH), but are allowed to pick up/drop off passengers at that stop during the detour. 

It is from 8:30 AM until around noon. I might get a photo of a bus with that destination sign if I have a chance and share here. 

I'm planning on heading out tomorrow to buy a new ride card, if I can I'll do the 3:00 to 4:00 rush to see what comes through. I plan to head out for Remembrance Day though, we do it every year my gramps and I, and I make an effort to spot during the event.

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1602 was out on the 6A Letitia today. It will be out until 11:15 PM from the downtown terminal (last departure). 

The next stop announcement system is installed, but not plugged in. No photos because there wasn't enough time. Along with the old route code. Side destination sign says 6A Via College

Two more are supposed to be arriving. Then the 17xx units next year. I will keep a close eye for 1603 and 1604. They are taking a more staged approach rather than having all 4 out at once last year. 

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6 minutes ago, GTAmissions1 said:

1602 was out on the 6A Letitia today. It will be out until 11:15 PM from the downtown terminal (last departure). 

The next stop announcement system is installed, but not plugged in. No photos because there wasn't enough time. Along with the old route code. Side destination sign says 6A Via College

Two more are supposed to be arriving. Then the 17xx units next year. I will keep a close eye for 1603 and 1604. They are taking a more staged approach rather than having all 4 out at once last year. 

I went downtown today as well and spotted those two out. Also got a Hammond Mercedes and the Angel Tours "HALO" X3-45.

1601 was on the 7 while 1602 was on the 6. I didn't notice too many differences between those and the 15s.

IMG_8999RS.jpg

IMG_9028RS.jpg

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