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44 minutes ago, wt_enthusiast_photos said:

Two words. BUDGET CUTS 

Nothing to do with budget…nothing at all…. Infact, in some ways, such as labour cost, having a garage on route where you don’t have to pay travel time, it was arguablly significally cheaper to run the 72/73 then the multiple routes they have now to replace it. 

The way the changes were presented to operators was very consistent to my observations during many years signed up on the circle routes. Ridership on the 72/73 was very inconsistent, depending on the day, where on the route it was, day and the time of day. The levels of ridership were divided much like the the circle routes are divided today. Brentwood to chinook being the lowest ridership (minus peak school times), Brentwood to whitehorn with moderate (minus peak school times, chinook to forest lawn being the most hit miss (some trips full, some trips empty, given the unusual schedules of the industrial park, and late at night the foothills mustard seed which generated tons of ridership),  and forest lawn to whitehorn being the highest

 

Transit studies staff rode with operators, myself included, daily, for nearly a signup to track trends of passengers, specifically where they boarded and how far passengers travel on those routes, more specifically how much travel was there within those “divisions”. I know when i drove, mostly afternoons/afternoon peak/evenings/weekends, the travel between “divisions” was minimal. 


After extensive analysis, which includes thousands of responses of essentially where does your transit trip start abd where does your transit trip end, service design came up with the plan, along with several other routes, that we have today. It allows increased headways on the higher demand portions and lower headway on lower demand portions of the route. It also takes into account some of those responses to try to make connections easier.
 

I miss the circle route too, i’m not going to lie, but facts are important….

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On 4/9/2022 at 12:31 PM, Nick B said:

 

I realize I don't know the full story here but I'm sure I speak for most if not all members of the fare paying, tax paying, riding public when I say that it's exactly things like this happening blatantly in front of my own eyes that make me question the integrity of the people at the top who run the transit operation and cause me to lose confidence in this mode of transport for my own needs. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't the case. No I don't know management's exact reasoning behind the decisions they made and frankly I couldn't care less; this city needs and deserves better transit and what we have right now is not it.

There are a number of factors that tie into why the current signup is how it is.

The biggest factor was the staff shortages that occurred because of COVID, early in the new year. At its peak, nearly 35% of the operator pool was out sick due to COVID. The city cut runs where they could but ultimately, 2 things occurred. Service was unpredictable, as a result of cutting a block here and there, where some trips itd be 30 minutes, some 60 for example.  The other thing that happened was backlash/a revolt from operators and the union. Operators at all seniority levels, including 30+ year operators, who have had essentially the same work for several years, had their signups removed, to try to salvage service, and put on spare board, some of them, for the first time in their entire careers. As a result, the city was pressured into moving up the signup to February, from March, and had to base it off the current conditions. Because of the significant costs that go into a signup, everything from planning to operators signing up to pocket schedules, etc, it was agreed upon by all parties that regardless if the covid situation improved, this signup would be in place until the summer.

 

Now what were those conditions? Of course operator absenteeism was one of them. Infact, should things had gotten worse, operators signed a plan a and plan b signup, just incase more work needed to be cut. However, the biggest factor the city had to deal with was the fiscal realities of sustaining the system moving forward. When the signup was written, and ultimately started, the city, transit specifically, was tens of millions of dollars in the hole in operations funding. The city is not legally allowed to run an operational deficit. With no desire to raise fares (more then they had to) and raise property taxes to try to eliminate the deficit, The signup was based on the fact that if there was no additional funds provided by the federal and provincial government, transit would essentially have 1 year (4 signups) to try to recover that money themselves by finding savings, such as run cuts. Luckily the feds came though, with the condition the provs match it which they did. As a result, we will start seeing significant increases to service starting in the summer, with more in the fall, including the expected reopening of Anderson Garage.

As for the bus shortages resulting in run cuts, i can assure you this has been a non issue since february and is quite bluntly fake news. Vehicle commitment (the amount of vehicles required per garage per shift) is very sustainable, even with an 18% buffer for mechanical issues, and even with 7700 series buses being retired regularly, thanks to a very detailed strategy to utilize buses from Anderson, while we take delivery a new order of 40 foot buses.

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I don't know when this was added to Calgary Transit's "Service Updates" page … but there is a slight bump to morning service on Route 301 southbound:

Quote

Two new weekday trips have been added, leaving from North Pointe at 7:17 a.m. & 7:35 a.m. These trips new trips will show on our online tools (website, app, Teleride or Teletext) sometime later in May.

 

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And further to my previous message, there appear to be new departures on 301 southbound from North Pointe at 7:53, 8:11 and 8:31 a.m. listed in the schedule on the Transit website starting Monday, April 25.

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People who speak on behalf of Calgary Transit on social media really need to get with the program. Given all the information shared here by @Gsgeek540 and everything else that has happened related to the pandemic, I'm fairly certain the reason stated below is entirely NOT why Route 37 has better frequency on weekends than on weekdays at present.

 

 

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1 hour ago, downbeat said:

People who speak on behalf of Calgary Transit on social media really need to get with the program. Given all the information shared here by @Gsgeek540 and everything else that has happened related to the pandemic, I'm fairly certain the reason stated below is entirely NOT why Route 37 has better frequency on weekends than on weekdays at present.

 

 

As far as I can discern the schedulers have forgotten about weekend service altogether. It's been years since I've seen major service improvements to weekend service outside of say the 2018 and 2019 route reviews. When it's cutting time? The recent cuts made for say 30-40 minute weekday frequencies on routes that still see 18-20 minute service in weekends.

Examples include: 

1- 30 minutes weekdays, 25 minutes weekends

8- 35 minutes midday weekdays, 25 midday weekends

14- 45 minutes weekdays, 30 minutes weekends

37- 30-36 minutes weekdays, 18-30 minutes weekends

301-18 daytime 40 evening weekdays, 21 all day weekends

I understand that the goal was probably not to downgrade weekend service anymore than the September 2019 and May 2020 cuts but, as shown above, people tend to start noticing stuff like this.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LRT said:

Cool!


Looks pretty grainy can’t really make much out of it. No year either by the looks of it.. Just the month..

 

August - 13 is what the date on the plate said. The photo loads fine for me.

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39 minutes ago, BC_YYC said:

August - 13 is what the date on the plate said. The photo loads fine for me.

Not sure what’s going on with that shot. It’s the only one that’s coming in grainy for me.

Has anyone run the VIN?

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4 minutes ago, LRT said:

Not sure what’s going on with that shot. It’s the only one that’s coming in grainy for me.

Has anyone run the VIN?

It is indeed the same as 6072….. I rode it from Elbow to Sandstone and have confirmed it is a match.

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7 minutes ago, LRT said:

Not sure what’s going on with that shot. It’s the only one that’s coming in grainy for me.

Has anyone run the VIN?

Here's a free vin check it's literally just the history of 6072.

j23l8.png

y07ph.png

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I think the only articulated bus operating today (it’s on Route 1) passed me while I was out for a walk earlier. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the 60-footers appear to have been benched today, according to Transit 55.

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://livewirecalgary.com/2022/04/29/calgary-transit-operators-mechanics-and-buses-pandemic-recovery/

Quote

While they struggle to ramp up hiring and training of drivers, there’s the issue of buses, too.

[Sharon] Fleming [Director of Calgary Transit] said 125 buses weren’t needed as service levels were cut. Most of those were older buses. Now, they need to conduct inspections, clean them, and make sure they’re road ready.

They can do that relatively quickly, she said. If they had the manpower.

Between 20 and 25 mechanics, foremen and building operators also need to be hired to bring the mechanical group up to capacity. That’s been a challenge as oil and gas prices are high and many mechanics have left to pursue oilfield work.

There’s one other big roadblock to ramping up bus inspections and servicing.

“We need to basically recommission the entire maintenance facility at Anderson that’s been kind of mothballed through COVID,” said Fleming.

“So, we’ll have to inspect that facility, the tools and equipment, the bus wash, just to get that whole maintenance facility back up in order to support the buses as they do get recommissioned.”

 

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3 hours ago, School Bus 101 said:

 

3 hours ago, School Bus 101 said:

Its too bad that it was shortsighted decision making at various levels that led to all this being a major issue that could’ve  been mitigated much better imo, especially now that they’re in need of hiring more drivers since most of those that weren’t recalled back after a year being laid off basically said screw it.

 

Despite the staff shortages, I think it was also a mistake leaving units at Anderson sitting there collecting dust for so long (except those taken out to replace retired 7700s) instead of rotating those units between others every couple of signups or so so that they would see some use. But again, those staffing shortages probably did prohibit that from happening, which goes back to the thing of not responding fast enough in general throughout the pandemic, lack of oversight, and just being a little too late most of the time (whether its sudden signup changes, operators being taken out of signed pieces arbitrarily, and lack of response towards social disorder along the system, etc). It’s really sad thinking about it.

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3 hours ago, R. Meu said:

….most of those that weren’t recalled back after a year being laid off basically said screw it

Thats a completely inaccurate statement. I believe the number was roughly 5% of operators that were laid off due to COVID opted not to return. I’m sure one member of this forum, who falls in that category of being laid off for more then a year, can speak to the itch of them and their peers wanting to get back to work and how quick they were at jumping at the opportunity as soon as it was available.


To be completely honest, the reason that everyone was infact offered recall as soon as they were was because of City Council ending the matching of retiring employees vacation at the end of 2021 that resulted in the one of the highest years of retirements. It was those people leaving that opened the door for many of those laid off operators as soon as they did.

 

I think alot of what is being suggested above is preposterous and would require essentially a bottomless bank account to manage. There was no modern day book for how to handle a major pandemic. The actions that were taken by the City were taken to keep the city, when they took action, were taken to A. Keep the City safe and B. Keep the city afloat financially. There were some incredibly bleek service plans in the event that transit kept bleeding money the way they were. If it wasnt for the feds and provs topping up transit twice, who knows where transit would be.

 

Regarding social disorder, as much as it is happening on transit property, there is a shared responsibility, amongst all levels of government to handle the problem proactively and responsibility. Throwing people into a drunk/drug tank over night doesn’t solve anything. Unfortunately, there are a lack of resources available, such as rehab facilities, to truly be able to clean up and get your life back on track. Transit is the victim of not having those resources available from the levels of government. Calgary Transit has peace officers. Aside from passing the buck to agencies that can assist or to Calgary Police, they are very restricted on what they can do. Take masks for example. Most Calgary Transit Peace Officers cannot enforce the provincial mask mandate on transit at this time.

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12 hours ago, Gsgeek540 said:

I think alot of what is being suggested above is preposterous and would require essentially a bottomless bank account to manage. There was no modern day book for how to handle a major pandemic. The actions that were taken by the City were taken to keep the city, when they took action, were taken to A. Keep the City safe and B. Keep the city afloat financially. There were some incredibly bleek service plans in the event that transit kept bleeding money the way they were. If it wasnt for the feds and provs topping up transit twice, who knows where transit would be.

I understand there is no “handbook” as to how to handle a pandemic, and this goes beyond just transit, but with anything in general. However, my opinion is the response here should’ve been better, and more fluid. First, the recent changes from January 17 and February 14 are prime examples of that. It begs the question: why wasn’t there a signup C for example, if service got better? Instead of just Signup A (reduced changes) and Signup B (if the situation gotten worse), why wasn’t there a third option (instead of relying on adding not so impactful extras as we’re going along right now). Second, was handing out overtime (for example) all over the place to operators really one of the solutions to solve the issues of manpower when transit has been bleeding money until the cash injections from the feds and prov over the last two years? I think there probably was a better way forward than that. 

12 hours ago, Gsgeek540 said:

Regarding social disorder, as much as it is happening on transit property, there is a shared responsibility, amongst all levels of government to handle the problem proactively and responsibility. Throwing people into a drunk/drug tank over night doesn’t solve anything. Unfortunately, there are a lack of resources available, such as rehab facilities, to truly be able to clean up and get your life back on track. Transit is the victim of not having those resources available from the levels of government. Calgary Transit has peace officers. Aside from passing the buck to agencies that can assist or to Calgary Police, they are very restricted on what they can do. Take masks for example. Most Calgary Transit Peace Officers cannot enforce the provincial mask mandate on transit at this time.

I understand its a shared responsibility on all levels, but going forward more has to be done regarding it and it has to be done quicker. I’m sure public opinion today regarding the manner is that its not safe in general, especially after rush hour periods and a lot of riders are frustrated regarding the manner and some (including myself) have written to their city councillors about this issue.

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3 minor Route changes starting next signup.

Route 23 - Extended to South Health Campus

Route 75 (Esentially old Route 406) - No longer goes to Mckenzie Towne Terminal. Services the Mahogany portion of the Route 468

Route 79 (Essentially old Route 468) - Services Seton, the currently unserviced parts of SE Auburn Bay, currently unserviced parts of the Comercial developments on south side of Mahogany

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It's awesome that Mahogany will finally get a direct bus to an LRT station but I sure hope they give that community a faster route to Somerset when it gets fully built out and until the Green Line opens rather than having it snake through Cranston and Auburn Bay like that. As we've learned from routes like the old 72/73 and Northwest Loops (and can still see today on current multi-community feeders like the 93, 123 and 11/12), having one long route serving 3-4+ areas is horribly inefficient and offers little to no benefit for the majority of riders. Especially if ridership levels between areas/destinations along the route is highly imbalanced which is often the case.

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4 hours ago, Gsgeek540 said:

3 minor Route changes starting next signup.

Will Route 23 keep its current, extensive service span? If so, that’s good news for the deep southeast, especially later on weekends.

And now that I think of it, will these route changes restore more of the service span lost to cuts pre-pandemic?

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3 hours ago, downbeat said:

Will Route 23 keep its current, extensive service span? If so, that’s good news for the deep southeast, especially later on weekends.

From what i have seen, it appears so yes. Headway books haven’t been released quite yet. Perusal took place this week and operators begin sign on May 9 so we should have a better idea between now or then

 

3 hours ago, downbeat said:

And now that I think of it, will these route changes restore more of the service span lost to cuts pre-pandemic?

Although there is noticeable amount of service recovery for the summer signup, many of the pre pandemic restorations will occur in the September signup, as that will be the first signup fully written with the sustainability/recovery funding from the provincial and federal governments in mind. If not for that funding, the september signup was expected to be status quo or even less service then the current signup.

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19 hours ago, downbeat said:

Will Route 23 keep its current, extensive service span? If so, that’s good news for the deep southeast, especially later on weekends.

Confirmed yes

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