Jun 29, 2007

Do you want to know a secret?

Listen, Do you want to know a secret,

Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh.

Closer, Let me whisper in your ear,

Say the words you long to hear,

You are going to miss your bus.

This is what happens, when changes are made to the schedules and no one has been told. I’m not talking about the new R-915 Taunton or the R-916 Rossland. Almost all of the AM rush hour runs from the Ajax Go Station are scheduled to depart at an earlier time. The new run guides were posted on the DRT web page. There is nothing on the site to let anyone know that the running times have been changed. As of Friday June 29 the new booklets are now available. I suggest you ask your DRT driver for one.

Jun 23, 2007

Luminators and bus stops

On Friday afternoon, I was at the DRT Pickering base. This is a bus storage facility that The City of Pickering Works Department shares with DRT. This garage has a no nonsense lead hand (Louie) in charge. He showed me a pleasant surprise. All of the buses with luminators have been updated to reflect the new 915 and 916 routes. In addition, the Ajax routes have a route number and name. Another bonus is that the Audley North and South route are back into the luminator program. I am sure that David Harrison will be happy to hear this news.

Did anyone notice the change to the bus stops at the Ajax Go Station? As of Friday last, the route names were removed from the stops at the bus platforms. They have been replaced with stops that have the route number only. The same thing has happened at the Ajax Plaza Terminal and the Pickering Go Station.

Take note that the new R-916 Rossland route when traveling on Harwood will not enter the Ajax Plaza Terminal. North and south bus stops will be located on the street.

Jun 20, 2007

Guelph opts for high-tech cure

Guelph Transit will be the first in Canada, to use the Toronto based Grey Island Systems International Inc. global positioning system (Nextbus) to track buses. The software will relay the information via the internet, to bus stops, cell phones and computers. Customers will be able find out in real time the arrival of the next three buses. Guelph Transit also uses Live Map and Google Map with excellent results.

On April 5, 2006 my blog featured a similar post about Go Transit’s plans for use of GPS.

Read the full Guelph Transit report here…

It's not written in stone

If you make a visit to DRT’s web page, you will soon find out that some things are not written in stone. Durham Region Transit has made changes to the routing of the 916 Rossland. As posted earlier the route from Ajax Go Station was going to go south on Westney, east on Bayly St. and then north on Harwood Ave. to Rossland. Without fanfare it has now been changed… from Ajax GO Station via Fairall, Dowty, Hunt, Harwood, and Rossland. The reverse route will apply on the westbound trip to Ajax Go Station.

In addition, any customers that used to get off or on the R and M-40 Applecroft near Woodcock should take note that this stop will no longer be serviced.

There will no longer be any bus service on Chapman between Old Harwood and Coles. The M-40 will no longer enter the Durham Center. This is because of the new revised routing that begins on June 25, 2007. I would suggest that your best bet would be to walk to Hardwood and board the R-916 Rossland. The service on Harwood runs every 20 minutes.


Jun 17, 2007

Dump the Pump Day

On Thursday June 21, 2007, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will sponsor the “Second Annual National Dump the Pump Day.” The day is dedicated to raising awareness that public transportation helps improve the environment and conserve fuel. Public transportation agencies from coast to coast will join together to ask the public to park their cars and ride public transportation instead. Dump the pump day appears to be active only in the USA.

Link to APTA…

Go has new locomotives

Read the full report here…

Jun 16, 2007

$17.5 billion transit plan - seniors to get a free ride

What has the title of this post have in common with each other? Nothing. “The $17.5 billion transit plan” is Dalton McGuinty’s fantasy election bribe and seniors get a free ride is a fact. There will be enough said and written by other people about the Liberal’s transit carrot. You can start with the well informed David Harrison with his post. I have been around long enough to know that Dalton McGuinty transit plan is motivated wholly by self interest.

The good news about the seniors is that Ottawa bus riders over age 65 won't have to pay to use the service on Wednesdays during July and August.

Alain Mercier, OC Transpo's director of transit, said the city's public transit company is trying to get more people to use buses, and convince seniors that they're safer and more comfortable than they might think.

"So the best way of doing that … was essentially taking the summer, where it's a nice environment outside, where our ridership is a little bit lower, and saying, 'Let's open the system to all seniors,'" Mercier told CBC on Tuesday evening at OC Transpo's first public open house at city hall.

Accessible transit specialist Kathy Riley said OC Transpo is also trying to address seniors' concerns about buses that lurch forward suddenly from a stop.

"Some of the seniors are fearful of taking the bus … because they don't want to fall," she said.

The drivers will be asked to ensure all seniors are seated before putting the bus in motion.

Reported by the CBC.

Jun 14, 2007

CUTA presents 2007 National Corporate Recognition Awards

The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) represents the public transit community in Canada and they have just completed their annual conference of 2007. At this conference CUTA presented the National Corporate Recognition Awards. These awards are based on the recommendation of individual employees to recognize a major contribution or an outstanding achievement in the areas of Safety, Innovation and Outstanding Achievement/Exceptional Performance on behalf of the local transit system. This year's recipients are:

  • Charlottetown Transit System - Increasing Ridership by Forming Partnerships

  • GO Transit, Agence métropolitaine de transport and Société de transport de Laval - Providing assistance to Québec commuters

  • Thunder Bay Transit - Conventional Transit System 100% Fully Accessible

  • Toronto Transit Commission - Operation Doolittle: Counterfeit Fare Media Investigation

  • Transit Windsor - International Transfer Exchange between Windsor and Detroit

  • Whistler and Valley Express (WAVE) Transit System - Whistler Transit Ltd., Resort Municipality of Whistler and BC Transit - WAVE Holiday Annual Ridership Performance

Read the full report here...

After reading the report I was disappointed to see that Regina Transit received an award for a full advertising wrap on one of their buses. A wrap that covers up the windows is safety hazard. At the request of some local police forces these wraps have been banned. If the police have a situation occurring on a bus that they are not able to see what is happening inside the vehicle, (remember tinted windows on cars) this could place the police and public in harms way. Ad-wrapped buses are dark inside--on a bright day, walking onto one of those buses can be like stepping into a cave until your eyes adjust. The wraps block views from the windows, too: looking out through the layer of mesh covering the window severely limits visibility, a mere annoyance if you're simply trying to enjoy the view, but a real pain if you're on an unfamiliar route and are on the lookout for addresses or landmarks.

Jun 12, 2007

New route maps

On their web page DRT has posted the new route maps for changes to the R-20 M-20 Westney and the R-40 M–40 Applecroft routes. The R-23 Nottingham will be discontinued and the Applecroft will replace portions of the route. A bonus to this service is that the Nottingham area will now receive hourly midday and Saturday service. Also the R-916 Rossland will replace the portions of the Nottingham on Harwood. These changes take effect on June 25, 2007. I strongly recommend that you examine the maps to see if you have to make changes to DRT travel arrangements.

Direct links to Westney map and Applecroft map.

Jun 11, 2007

Election on the horizon

There must be an election coming up. Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory thinks GO Transit should fire the people in charge if the service can't regularly meet acceptable standards. People in charge should be held accountable but this will not fix the delays. Besides, highly paid civil servants seem to have very expensive severance packages.

Read the full report…

Go Transit side of the delays from 2004 – 2005

Jun 9, 2007

The TTC and the smart-card system

After years of rejection the TTC is finally considering the smart card fare system to replace the current tickets, tokens and passes. By a bus driver standards the cost are high. For the TTC and the government the cost are only a spit in the bucket. Two hundred and sixty ($260) million to install and twelve ($12) million in annual operating costs.
AjaxTransit smart card
Ajax Transit smart card

Read full report here...

Mississauga Transit coming clean

Mississauga Transit will be the first Canadian transit system to use hydrogen fuel-injection. The hydrogen unit will be placed into a bus on an experimental trial. Hy-Drive is the manufacturing company that produces the units. Hy-Drive guarantees there will be an eight per cent improvement in fuel efficiency or it will take the unit back. In some cases, reductions have reached as high as 32 per cent. With a guarantee like that this could be a way for Durham Region Transit to reduce their operating cost.

Read the full report here...

Jun 8, 2007

Here we Go Again

Go transit is is on roll. New bus and train routes have started or will start in the near future. Improvements to the Lakeshore West rail corridor have begun with construction on the addition of a third mainline track between Mississauga and Oakville.

Read the full report…

Barrie railway station will soon be a GO

Jun 6, 2007

Clean Air Day

Today is not only the anniversary of D-Day but is also Clean Air Day in Canada. Along with the Toronto Transit Commission the residents in the city of Belleville are also now being told which days are the most opportune for them to use the transit system. The large digital signs (luminator) on the front of buses have recently begun informing people when a smog alert is in effect for the city. Accompanied with short sayings such as “Go Green, Go Transit” the local system is trying to show people that they can do their part to reduce emissions. The Government of Canada has proclaimed this week, June 3 to 9, as Environment Week. Today Burlington, Guelph and Kingston Transit offer passengers free rides. This year DRT is holding a photography contest that depicts using public transportation instead of driving a car.