Apr 29, 2006

Illegal drivers caught in courthouse lot

My comments: This article is not about transit but it’s something that all bus drivers like to read about. How many times have you seen cars pass a school bus when it is stopped with it’s flashing red lights on? Or some jerk driving down the road as if he is in a race to get nowhere? Too many, eh? There never seems to be a police officer around at the time. The Durham Region Police seemed to have discovered a new way getting drivers after they lose their driving licence. Continued…

Flaws in the system?

My thoughts: Some of the good points about the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority...

* implement the GTA fare card to allow transit users to travel on systems from Durham to Hamilton;

* integrate municipal and regional transit planning;

* coordinate the purchase of transit vehicles to save money;

* manage GO Transit;

* develop and submit an annual capital plan and investment strategy, and;

* create a five-year integrated transportation plan for local transit, GO Transit and major roads.

At first it sounded so good. Now I am not so sure. The part that scares me the most is that the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) be allowed to borrow money to pay for infrastructure improvements, but the province didn't say how the board will pay the money back. Continued

Apr 25, 2006

Durham on board proposed transit authority

Smart cart that Ajax Transit used to use.

My thoughts: This one is going cost $ big bucks $. The major cost will not be felt by Durham Region. It will the Ontario government chipping in the most $ dollars $… we hope.

The foundation to unite transit from Hamilton to Oshawa and north through York Region was laid today.

Ontario Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar announced this morning at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto that he is introducing legislation later today to create the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority (GTTA) -- legislation Durham chairman Roger Anderson said could provide an opportunity for Durham Region Transit (DRT) to operate better. Continued...

Aging transit line faces 3 choices

“Turkey” is the word that former TTC general manager Al Savage used to describe the Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) line. Now the question has come as to what do you do with a turkey? The Scarborough RT line is in need of a major overhaul. In fact the wrong system was installed from day one. Extending the Bloor Danforth subway would have been the correct choice. Let’s wait and see if they blow this one again.

Apr 21, 2006

New toys for local transit?

On April 19, 2006, Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar announced that all transit vehicles in the province will be able to use technology to improve the efficiency of their travels along Ontario's roads.

With the traffic signal pre-emption technology, buses, streetcars and other transit maintenance vehicles can shorten a red, or lengthen a green traffic signal to their advantage when approaching an intersection. This technology is currently used only by emergency vehicles. Continue…

Oshawa's transit fare share not fair: Gray

It appears the Oshawa’s City councillor's have stood united about their stand on Durham transit budget. According to this article the council does not always operate like that.

When the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was formed in 1954 the Toronto Transit Commission had the duty of taking over all of the bus companies in the area. The outline areas (Scarborugh, North York etc.) had to pay more for their transit, than the City of Toronto. This was done with introduction of “zone fare system”. Passengers travelling into Toronto, were subjected to an additional fare payment when they crossed from one zone to another. This zone system, after many years of operation was merged into one zone for the entire Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

What I am getting at here is that when alamagamation first takes place there are losers and winners. This should be accepted by the Council members of Oshawa. Yes they more than likely did get the shaft when Durham Region took over all of the public transit within it’s boundaries. Really its about time that we move on and get this new transit system working.


Apr 20, 2006

City goes green with new hybrid buses

It looks like we will be seeing more of these buses on the road.

The first of the TTC's new "hybrid" buses arrive this week, marking the beginning of the first "environmentally friendly" bus fleet in Canada. Continued…

Apr 19, 2006

Durham unified transport authority a leader

While we await the creation of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, Durham Region is getting a head start. On Jan. 1, the separate bus systems in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and other communities joined together as Durham Region Transit (DRT). Continued…

Apr 16, 2006

All aboard for the King St. choo-choo

It looks like the TTC is about to screw up the service on King Street. What I mean is make it more inferior, as in quality, condition, or effect. I remember Bloor Danforth before the subway opened. They used to run multiple unit streetcars along those roads and the service had the same problems. In fact people used to jam into the lead car leaving the trailer with plenty of space. Toronto needs more subways and less streetcars.

Read about the TTC plan here…

Apr 15, 2006

GO Transit calls premier's bluff

GO Transit calls premier's bluff Passes 10-year expansion budget, but will only pay this year Municipalities object to raising property taxes for service. In a power play designed to get the attention of Premier Dalton McGuinty, municipal politicians who hold a majority on GO Transit's board passed a $1.7 billion, 10-year expansion budget while saying they won't pay for it beyond 2007.


Apr 14, 2006

GO faces belt-tightening

We’re used to hearing about money troubles at the TTC, and now it seems that GO Transit may have to cut back on its long anticipated expansion plans. If the regional governments that pay a third of GO’s growth costs can’t convince the province to allow for higher charges on new homes, the regions won’t be able to come up with enough cash. The rest of the expansion funding comes from federal and provincial coffers. Continued…

Apr 12, 2006

Dial-a-ride system to be introduced

SCUGOG -- Ridership levels show there's very little public interest in the current system, so Durham transit officials plan on ditching their scheduled bus routes for the Township.

Instead, they are shifting their focus to individual requests and moving people out of town. Continued…

Apr 9, 2006

Durham Region Transit Bus Stops

At first, when Durham Region Transit took over all of the public transit in the area, the DRT bus stops had a sticker placed on them. The photo on the left displays the new stickers. (Click all photos for a larger view.)
Out with the old and in with the new. This photo shows the new bus stop for DRT. Unfortunately they never reinstalled any bus stops that were previously missing.

Oops! This one has been missed. Even the Ajax Pickering Transit Authority missed this one. It still has the old markings from the days of Pickering Transit.

PS: This piece of history is now gone and the stop has the new logo.

Apr 5, 2006

Provincial dollars will get Durham transit moving

DURHAM -- Just when it seemed the Region had missed the Province’s transit funding bus, Durham has been awarded $10.6 million.

The dollars are much needed by Durham Region Transit (DRT), says Nester Pidwerbecki, vice-chairman of the transit commission and an Oshawa regional councillor.


GO Transit deploys GPS/AVL

Outsourced system will enable better bus tracking, management of maintenance

The Greater Toronto Transit Authority is rolling out a Web-based vehicle tracking system that will allow it to better monitor its approximately 300-unit bus fleet. GO Transit inked a five-year, $500,000 deal last November with Toronto-based Grey Island Systems International Inc. to install Grey Island's real-time, Internet-based GPS/AVL and telematics information systems, called InterFleet. Continued...

Apr 3, 2006

Commuters pay more for Toronto transit rides

It may have looked like an April Fool's prank, but Toronto commuters were asked to pay more to ride subways, streetcars and busses Saturday morning as fare hikes came into effect. Continued...

Apr 2, 2006

Fire Department Bus

This is a former handi-trans bus of Pickering Transit. I think it's either H11 or H12. The Fire Department took it over and gave it this beautiful red paint job. They use it at fire sites as a shelter for any resident that may need it. This photo was taken at the City Of Pickering works off Dersan St.

Apr 1, 2006

Durham getting used to being ignored

When Durham was largely ignored in last week's provincial budget it didn't come as a surprise to anyone who's lived here for any length of time. In fact, it's become an expectation for the hundreds of thousands living in the eastern shadow of Toronto. When Dwight Duncan announced transit funding and subway links for Toronto, it was in homage to the sea of Liberal red that is Metropolitan Toronto. With a provincial Liberal government in power it's always "Miller time" as the city spends, spends, spends and anticipates more provincial bail-out money next year to ease the municipal tax burden. Continuued