Four years ago when the City of Guelph revamped the entire Guelph Tranist route and schedule system it did not go exactly according to plan. Adjustments were made, Transit tried to address the whole new set of problems created by the change with some degree of success, but a lot of transit riders will agree that it's far from smooth sailing riding the bus in the Royal City. Now, Tranist thinks they may have found some answers via a ridership survey taken earlier this year. Will these new routes and new schedules be the answer to Guelph's transit woes?
Amongst the proposed changes are new lines, including the express "Mainline," which will travel north and south from Woolwich to Norfolk to Gordon. Servicing east and west in the city's north end will be the new "Speedvale" route, which will not travel downtown, another new feature of some of the expanded routes, like the new "City Loop." That new loop will provide bi-directional service along major roads like Victoria Road, Stone Road, Edinburgh Road, Willow Road and Woodlawn Road, but will also not stop downtown.
Additionally, a new Westmount line will allow direct travel from downtown to destinations like St. Joseph's Health Centre and Our Lady of Lourdes High School, while Clair will shuttle people from the University Centre to destinations in the south end like the Pergola Commons shopping centre and the Hanlon Industrial Park.
Existing routes are also facing changes, some minor and some major. The Stone Road Mall route will now bypass some of the side roads it runs between downtown and Edinburgh, the Willow West route will now travel in the reverse direction, the Imperial route will be renamed and expanded to include stops on Fife Road, Elmira Road, and Conestoga College, and the Northwest Industrial route will be adjusted as some of its current route will be taken over by the City Loop.
The College Edinburgh, Harvard Ironwood, Kortright Downey, General Hospital, University College, and Stone Road Express will remain unchanged under the current plan.
Just as ambitiously, the city is also looking at adjusting service times. Presently, buses on all routes run 30 minutes through the day and every 20 minutes during peak periods at morning and evening rush hour. Under the new plan though, some transit routes will run every 10-15 minutes during peak periods, maintain their current 20 minute schedule, or will stay at 30 minutes all day long. The Mainline is an example of a route that will run every 10 minutes, while York, Willow West and the Northeast Industrial are examples of the 30 minute peak schedule.
The report adds that once the new routes are finalized, Tranist will then review the plan for new stops and shelters.
For anyone wanting to lodge their input with the city, you can get in touch with them directly through social media or attend one of three information sessions next week: Tuesday, March 24 at 1-3 pm and 5-8 pm in the Galleria at City Hall, and Thursday, March 26 from 1-3 pm at the University Centre at the University of Guelph. You can find all the pertinent links here.