Apparently the first day back after the Christmas holidays wasn't the best for DRT customers who used to take the Duffins mid day route in Ajax and the Route 10 running from Pickering to Ajax along Highway #2 and back to Pickering.
At Pickering Go Station there were many Pickering High School students looking for the best way to get to school first thing in the morning. They used to take the Route 10 and get off at Highway # 2 and Church Street and walk up to the school. DRT continues to list on their web site that the students can still take the R-10. ( Pickering High School Sept2007-June2008 ) Now they either have to take a bus to Highway # 2 and transfer to a GO Bus or take the 915 to Ajax and transfer to the R-32 Village Route. Both choices involve transferring and longer times to get to school. Coming home they will have to have DRT tickets or passes if they want to catch the GO bus coming back or else pay the full GO fare rate.
There were passengers standing at the old Route 10 platform at the Pickering Go Station waiting for the bus to arrive. Of course there is nothing posted at the stop informing customers that the Route 10 service has been discontinued. It would have been helpful if there was such a notice with instructions on alternative routes to take.
The afternoon mid day Harwood M-24 driver was busy at the Ajax Go Station having to stop at the Duffins platform after leaving the Harwood platform to inform the passengers awaiting the mid day Duffins bus that it no longer existed and explained alternatives, etc. There were so many customers waiting there in the afternoon that the driver ended up almost 25 minutes late and had to get the assistance of another driver to cover the 3:30 run. One would think they might have had an supervisor or another employee covering the Duffins platform for the first little while of this change to assist the customers and keep things moving smoothly.
It is service like this that drives customers away. It would have been better if notices were posted at all bus stops on routes that have been changed. These notices could have told of the changes and offered alternate routes. It’s bad enough that DRT has to cut service. Adding to this is DRT’s failure to communicate. Not everyone has access to a local newspaper or to the internet.
One good thing that has come from the service cuts is that the mayors, councillors and DRT staff have been having the phones ring off the hooks regarding the reduced service. People are disgusted.