Jul 28, 2006

TTC is getting greener

TTC buses are going to get a little bit more green.

The TTC has picked up an option to purchase 220 new diesel-electric hybrid buses in 2007, capitalizing on agreements with the federal and provincial governments that will have the city pay roughly 30 per cent of the $170 million bill.

"Hybrids are a no-brainer as long as the federal and provincial governments live up to their funding commitments," said TTC deputy general manager Bob Boutilier. Continued…

Jul 22, 2006

Transit devotees riding on faith

Statistics Canada's latest figures on the daily commute ought to be sobering for city politicians and planners who argue the city's future rests on a $4.4-billion expansion of public transit.

The average commute by car in Ottawa last year was 57 minutes, but for transit riders, the figure was 94 minutes. That's simply uncompetitive. No doubt there are bus routes that compare favourably with the car for particular riders and particular destinations, but the overall picture is that bus commuters have to spend a lot more time getting to work and back. The gap between car and bus commute times here is at least better than the national average of 46 minutes, but it's still a lot of time to give up every day for the pleasures of riding an OC Transpo bus.

There is a clientele for public transit in Ottawa consisting of about 17 per cent of commuters. Some take it by choice or conviction, others by necessity. The problem the city hasn't come to grips with is how to persuade more people to make the transit choice. Continued…

Brampton Ridership Increase Well Above National Average

Brampton Transit continues to place above the Canadian average in ridership increases, finishing the first half of 2006 with a 12 per cent increase over the same period in 2005.

"Brampton Transit's 12 per cent ridership increase in the first six months of 2006 is outstanding," said Michael Roschlau, President of the Canadian Urban Transit Association whose membership includes 120 transit services across Canada. "It shows a further strengthening in ridership following the already exceptional 7.6 per cent increase in 2005, which was three times the Canadian national average. Clearly, Brampton's new transit service is responding to demand and people are responding by using it." Continued…

Jul 21, 2006

Orders boost New Flyer

A Winnipeg bus maker is steering into some profit.

Yesterday, New Flyer Industries Inc. announced orders for 465 new buses, worth about $182 million US in revenues.

This includes 381 firm orders, with options for 84 more.

New Flyer has booked contracts for up to 1,400 buses so far this year, worth more than $521 million in expected revenues.

The company's backlog is about $2 billion US. Continued…

Nova snags deal to build 731 buses

A more economical and environment-friendly model of urban transit bus is about to be built here.

Nova Bus Corp., the Canadian subsidiary of Sweden's Volvo AB, has inked a deal to deliver a total of 731 hybrid low-floor buses to municipalities across the province - including Montreal and Laval.

"It's one of our biggest contracts ever and a good opportunity for us," Nova marketing manager Nadine Bernard said yesterday. Continued…

Damping down din of TTC

Ever notice that it always seems to be wet around some stretches of streetcar tracks? Believe it or not, the problem is the noise, not a leak.

We get lots of emails and calls about water leaks, but a half-dozen that came in this spring had something in common: readers noticed water pooling in TTC streetcar tracks. Contiued…

TTC Joins 20th Century, Gets Debit

The TTC has apparently joined the 20th century and given its customers the ability to buy their metropasses with debit cards! According to IT Business.ca, the TTC signed a contract with IBM over three years ago but has just started to roll out two machines at Finch and one at Eglinton stations. The TTC will be installing seven more machines throughout the system. Sadly only one of the three machines are currently functional.

Jul 19, 2006

Buses run, transit talks stand still

My comments: What's it going to be? Will there be a transit strike or a lockout in Durham Region? Or will there be settlement between Durham Region Transit and CAW Local 222? Should the transit riders be getting ready for the worst. CAW will be holding a membership meeting on Sunday, July 23 at 11:30 a.m. Stay tuned for futher updates. Continued...