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Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Transit Ideas from Former Candidate

Some people get a taste for politics that never goes away. Such is the case with former Ward 4 candidate Steven Petric, who sent out a letter with a number of transit improvement suggestions to members of City Council (and cc'ing it to several members of the media, including myself). These ideas are pretty good, and good enough to be worth sharing. Petric's letter is much longer, but this is the summery of his various ideas.
I suggest that the Transit Commission through Council reconsider the Midday levels (9am-3:30pm) and maintain 20 minute service along with the introduction of the AM/PM Rush service of 15 minutes coming this fall.
I suggest that the Transit Commission through Council reconsider the Summer service levels by maintaining 20 minute service during the AM/PM Peak periods (Start of service to 9:00am and 3:30 to 7:00pm).
I suggest that the Transit Commission through Council reconsider the Holiday service levels by at least testing a run of 1 hour service levels and having staff report back on the results of implementing it.
I suggest that the Transit Commission through Council consider the following on fares:
1) Create a Low Income Transit pass for those who qualify (i.e. Ontario Works receptionists)
2) Offer the corporate discount city wide to all businesses of any size. It has worked very well in other cities, so let stop twiddling our thumbs (like usual) and make it a reality this year. (GRT: http://tinyurl.com/68l5slb / TTC: http://tinyurl.com/yg6apyh)
3) Create a new Youth/Child cash fare, additionally look at selling bulk passes within the schools with a similar corporate discount.
4) Offer a mail subscription based transit pass (i.e. TTC Metropass (http://tinyurl.com/yas7o29) that is lower in price.
5) Start selling tickets in 5, 10 and 20 packs and not just 10 packs.
6) Create a weekly pass (Adult only)
7) Find more places to sell passes and there is a huge gap between places where you can buy.
8) Take a serious look at the PRESTO card for 2011/2012. The current reason we do not have it now, according to the Transit boss, is University of Guelph students who already use a card to ride the buses – their student card, which includes a universal bus pass for which all U of G students must pay - something that is now been solved by GO Transit (basically set up like monthly pass but can split over the semester) and it can be done here. Article: http://tinyurl.com/6emobrs
I also have some small, simple ideas on improvements that should be considered this budget and next year:
1) Start service at 5:00 AM Weekdays - something that will greatly help those who work nights/early day shifts, those who need to make connection to commuter services (i.e. Greyhound and GO) and would be more in line of other transit systems. This idea would be much better then running GO express buses in the morning as being considered by the Transit Commission.
2) Extend services later by 30 minutes to 12:45 am - this allows many riders, including those who work later/overnight (i.e. Galaxy Movie theatre on North end of city) to travel home (i.e. from North to South end) without being stuck downtown or at another transit point.
3) Create a citywide late night bus service for Friday and Saturday in cooperation with University of Guelph Students. Current buses paid for by students should remain the same (show pass or pay cash fare), however, other buses not covered by the UoG Students could be charged a "premium rate" of $4.00 (No transfers would be allowed as well. This should cover cost to run these extra buses currently covered by UoG students.
4) Extend the Sunday service: Start the service 30 minutes earlier and late to allow those who work (especially retail) to get to and from work on time. Consider the 1 hour service level for extended evening service in 2012.
5) Improve the layout of the Guelph Transit website: Compared to other cities, ours is a messy mix of information, some of it outdated. Additionally, improved customer services/suggestions/ideas/complaints contact information needs to be more visible.
6) Install the Next Bus Announcement System long ago announced in 2006 and never implemented. Defiantly a legal issue here that the TTC went through and I bet will happen here as well.

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