Jun 18, 2010

DRT surveys Ajax riders about route changes

Durham Region Transit is inviting Ajax bus riders to provide their two cents about recent route changes.
DRT made numerous changes to routes in May in response to the closure of Fairall Street for construction. The street is often used by buses to travel from the GO station to other parts of Ajax
.
The changes are meant to be temporary, but DRT is conducting a survey where the feedback might result in permanent changes to some routes.

Due on July 15, the survey is available online at durhamregiontransit.com or riders can pick up a copy from their bus driver. They can be returned to any bus driver, faxed to 905-666-6193 or mailed to: Durham Region Transit, 605 Rossland Rd. E., Box 623 Whitby, Ontario, L1N 6A3.

Link:  Durham Region Transit surveys Ajax riders about route changes

Jun 12, 2010

Bye-bye bus bays: Ottawa cutting out stops

The City of Ottawa is on a mission to eliminate bus bays that are scattered throughout the city in an effort to encourage more people to use public transit.
The city is currently doing restoration work along Greenbank Road between Baseline and West Hunt Club, including taking out the divots in the curb where buses can pull out of traffic to take on and drop off passengers.

The elimination of these bays is part of a policy the city implemented before the 2001 amalgamation, said Bay Councillor Alex Cullen, chair of the city’s transit committee.

“The city originally thought (bus bays) would be a convenient way to pick up and drop off passengers … but the buses get marooned, particularly during rush-hour traffic, and this throws them off their schedule,” Cullen said. So the city has been removing the road features when the time comes for major reconstruction.

College Councillor Rick Chiarelli does not agree with elimination of the bus bays. “We built those for a reason: so the buses could pull in and cars could keep going.”

While the intent of the policy change was to encourage people to take the bus, Chiarelli said, he does not think this is the right way to do it. Removing the bus bays will only slow other vehicle traffic, he said, which might make buses more attractive by comparison, but “I don’t think you can punish people into taking the bus.”

Cullen said the city had received some letters from drivers who thought the removal of bus bays was an inconvenience, but maintaining the reliability of the city’s transit system would be a priority.

“I think it’s important that our transit system work well, and the short inconvenience that cars will have to go through when a bus stops is minor,” Cullen said.

Rick Zarzosa, chief engineer of the city’s transit priority section, said the bus bays were being removed as part of roadway reconstruction throughout the city.

A few bus bays on Meadowlands Drive have already been removed, and those on Bronson Avenue, Hunt Club Road and March Road are next on the list.

Zarzosa said he could not provide an exact number of bus bays in the city.

“Without the bus bays, we save money on the transit-operation side and the on-winter road maintenance,” he said, adding that fewer buses were required when time was saved and buses kept to their schedules.

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/bays+City+cutting+stops/3133908/story.html#ixzz0qdyyHVzt



Jun 3, 2010

TRANSIT FARE MEDIA FIASCO AT DRT

On June 1st the stores at the Pickering Go Station were closed due to construction and won't open again for some months.

One major problem is that the store that sold all Durham Region Transit passes and tickets has closed and now DRT has advised that the only places to buy passes and tickets for riders using the GO Station is at the Pickering City Hall, on Glenanna north of the 401 or at the Pickering Recreation Complex which is also north of the 401 on Valley Farm Road.

Customers who come into Pickering on the GO Trains or Buses will now have to make a special trip to one of the 3 locations above to purchase fare media. This will no doubt cause some angry complaints from customers who wonder why something cannot be set up at the Go Station even if only for a few hours per day. Not only will some of these passengers have to make the extra trip but they will have to pay full fare to do so for one of the trips that won't originate at the Go Station.

The City Hall is only open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but the other locations are open 7 days per week and the Recreation Centre has the longest hours. Surely DRT could come up with some way to sell tickets and passes at the GO Station if only on a part time basis.