Apr 11, 2008

Local bus changes don't work for commuter

The follow is a concern from a DRT passenger. This is something that was pointed out to me a few months ago by the Whitby bus drivers. Since DRT made the schedule changes, ridership has dropped on this route.

To the editor:

For the last six years I, like many others, have relied on the Durham Transit bus route along Garden Street to take me from my home to the Whitby GO train station and back as part of my daily commute to work.

In the infinite wisdom of Durham Region Transit, they have revamped the old evening bus route along Garden Street and have replaced it with the 318 bus.

If you take the evening eastbound trains (e.g., 7:13 p.m. or later) from Union Station in Toronto to Whitby there is no bus waiting to pick you up at the train station to take you directly north along Garden Street when your train rolls in. Instead the new 318 bus will pick up passengers at half past the hour. That translates into a 25-minute wait at the train station!

I would like to know what the planners at Durham Region Transit were thinking. Apparently they forgot the needs of evening GO Train passengers to travel north.

Do any of the bus planners ride the buses themselves to and from work? This is one commuter who is now warming up his car to go to work.

Brad Drysdale


When you operate service on extended headways, making connections should be a priority. This is a very simple way to improve the quality of service.

Local bus changes don't work for commuter.


Nick J Boragina said...

Some systems in the GTA (Oakville comes to mind) run a GO-based transit network, where all of the buses in the system meet at the GO station whenever a GO train arrives. While DRT's move away from this shows a new level of maturity and is a symbol of a growing and independent system, I feel they are going about it the wrong way. Existing "bendy" routes - that is those routes that look like spagetti that snake though subdivisions, should infact continue to meet with GO trains. What DRT needs to do is to make it's new routes (the 900's for example) run on thier own rime. If DRT wants to move fully away from GO-based schedules, then it should impliment GO shuttles.

Andy said...

In Pickering, Ajax and Whitby the Go Stations are the center of the universe. In the rush hours the majority of passengers travel to or from the stations. This seems to change when we get to Oshawa. If someone arrives on the Go Train they do not want to wait long periods of time for local transit to arrive. They will find other ways of getting to their destination. DRT not only fails to keep ridership up but also will lose the fare subsidy from Go Transit.

David Harrison said...

Andy, the GO station is the centre of the DRT universe because the alternate connections are so underdeveloped. Once we have a BRT on Highway 2 and true east-west services on Taunton, Rossland, and Bayly-Bloor-Victoria, with sensible connections to TTC and YRT, we'll start seeing commuters coming out of those neighbourhood routes that Nick mentioned who are NOT going to the GO station.

But for now, it's not surprising that people only take the system to the destinations that the system is designed to take them.

Nick J Boragina said...

GO might be the focus (at present) of Ajax and Pickering, but anyone who has ever been to Oshawa GO off rush knows that DRT does not base all its connections on train times. This is more of the model that should be adpoted for a mature system; There has to be something between Oakville's the-train-is-god and the TTC's what-go-transit approaches.