Sep 23, 2007

What ever happen to...?

Every wonder what happens to old trains when Go Transit no longer needs or wants them? This one ended up in Dallas, Texas. Thanks to Jersey Mike for these great photos.

Sep 22, 2007

GO TRANSIT on-time service status

Go Transit had this posted on their train and bus on-time status web page.

Here is the information we have to report at 19:52, September 21, 2007:

GO train service is currently operating on time with the
following exceptions:

Because of yesterday evening’s events, some train crew members have now exceeded federal regulations limiting the number of hours they can work. We will make every effort, along with CN, to avoid delays.

GO TRANSIT on-time service status.

Sep 12, 2007

Revisit The Step Back System

The problem of implementing a “Step Back System” on Route 915 has been resolved. The order came down on September 11, that drivers will no longer be required to off load passengers mid route and return the bus garage. This is win win situation for DRT customers.

Sep 11, 2007

DRT - $2-million deficit

The local transit system is facing a potential deficit of $2 million and if things don’t turn around it could mean cutbacks.

“The size of this deficit was a surprise to me and a wake up to all of us on (Regional) council about trying to expand programs after the budget in which we haven’t budgeted for that expansion,” said Scugog Mayor Marilyn Pearce, the chairwoman of the Region’s finance and administration committee.

Read full report here... Regional transit faces $2-million deficit.

It seems strange that the timing of this announcement has been made on the first official day of the start of the provincial election. Has someone at Region been taking pointers from the City of Toronto and the TTC?

Discount transit passes expanded

Along with offering restricted monthly passes to eligible students for $43 a month, a savings of $22, a partnership between Durham District School Board and Durham Region Transit is allowing the pass to be upgraded to unrestricted for $13 more. The restricted student pass provides access Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Read the full report here.

Sep 6, 2007

Step Back System

DRT has come up with a strange way of ending Operator's (Drivers) shifts or giving them a break on the 915 Taunton route. As an example, the bus leaves Pickering Go Station and travels approximately 10 minutes of the 50 minutes of the total trip to the Ajax Go Station where the driver goes on break. This is accomplished by having all the passengers disembark from the bus and wait for the relief driver and the relief bus. When the system is backed up due to weather or traffic problems, the passengers have to leave the comfort of the bus and wait on the platform in all kinds of weather for whatever time it takes for the next bus to arrive.

The most logical thing to do would be for another Operator to come up from the Ajax garage and relieve the driver without disrupting the passengers. This way the passengers remain on the bus in comfort and it continues in service. That is what happens with the Flag bus. In transit, it is known as the Step Back System.
One would think that the Route Planners went to sleep on this one.

In this instance they not speak up loud enough for the customers. It seems that the service department doesn't know how to keep track of their buses when more than one Operator drives a single bus. That is a hard one for me to understand. There are number former experienced TTC employees in management positions at DRT who are familiar with the Step Back System. Surely, they could have spoken up and explained how to use this to the customers' advantage.

Up until now the policy (in Ajax - Pickering) has been for an Operator to finish the run at the end of the route. That way passengers will be inconvenienced as little as possible. Otherwise they should leave the passengers on the bus and have a driver waiting to take over so that they are not disrupted and the bus continues on route.


The Federal Government has a $80-million transit security contribution program. Round three of "Transit-Secure" has begun, with up to $19,067,586 to be provided
to rail and urban transit operators in some of Canada's largest urban centres.
Up to $712,500 will be provided to smaller operators to help them develop risk
assessments and comprehensive security plans. Durham Region will receive $56,250 for Risk assessments and security plans. The Feds consider DRT to be one of the smaller transit operators. You can read the full press release here.

Sep 2, 2007

Low-Floor School Bus

To best of my knowledge low floor school buses are not being used in Ontario. It seems to me if public transit needs to be accessible then it makes sense that school buses should also comply. When it comes to transit the British Isles and Europe are much further advance than North America. Have a look at this web page.

Go track expansion to Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo

Thanks to Stephen Rees for the above photo. According to reporter Doug Hallett of The Guelph Tribine, GO Transit have approved an environmental assessment of what would be involved in double tracking the rail line to Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo. After about 90 years, history is getting ready to repeat it's self.