So this coming Sunday, taking the bus is going to slightly different than it has been in the last couple of years. There are a lot of new changes to get your head around, so to get you started, here is a break down of all the changes coming to the system as of September 3, which is hopefully the simplest way to explain it all...
PART A: What's New?
There are five new routes in all.
#40 Scottsdale Express: This bus leaves Downtown and makes two stops, one at Centennial School and the other at Stone Road Mall. It runs every half hour from Monday to Friday from 2:30 pm till 6 pm.
#41 Downtown-University Express: With only two stops between the University Centre and Guelph Central Station, this bus will run 10 minute peak service in the morning (7 am-10 am) and the afternoon (2 pm-6 pm), and the rest of the day it will run every 10 or 20 minutes depending on the time (see the full schedule, and you'll get it). By advised though, this bus can become either the 17 or 18 Woodlawn Watson depending on the time. Double check with the driver if you're looking to connect with those routes.
#51 U Janefield: The "U" in front of a route name now denotes a University of Guelph-centric route that begins and ends at the University Centre. This one goes down Stone Road to Janefield, to College, to Scottsdale, and back to Stone Road with a stop at the mall included. It leaves the UC at 20 and 50 after the hour from 6:50 am to 5:50 pm Monday to Friday.
#52 U Kortright: This bus will travel from the University Centre, down Gordon to Kortright, then down Edinburgh South and back to Gordon and the UC. It will run ever half-hour in the morning (6:50 am-10:20 am) and the afternoon (1:20 pm-5:50 pm) Monday to Friday.
#99 Mainline: The big one! This new route will run every 10 minutes Monday to Friday from the Walmart SmartCentres on Woodlawn, to Guelph Central Station, to the University Centre, to Clair and Gordon, and all stops in between. On Saturday and Sunday, the #99 will depart Guelph Central Station every 15 minutes to Clair at Gordon and every 30 minutes for the Woodlawn SmartCentres, and on holidays that's extended to 30 minutes and an hour respectively. On top of that, the #99 will become the #16 Southgate on every third trip Monday through Friday, and on every other trip Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
PART B: What Routes and Schedules are Changing?
#1 Edinburgh College: This route has been shortened, turning at Gordon instead of travelling down to East Ring Rd. Otherwise it's the same service and it will run every half-hour from the University Centre all-day, every day.
Replaces the #1A College Edinburgh. Note the name of the route, it tells you which street the bus arrives at first, hence the direction it travels.
#2 College Edinburgh: The same route as the #1 Edinburgh College, but reversed.
Replaces the #1B College Edinburgh.
#3 Westmount: In a major rejiggering, the #3 has been shrunk down to servicing the Westmount Rd area including St. Joseph's Health Centre. So now it will depart Downtown, travel up to Suffolk, to Westmount, to Edinburgh, and to Woodlawn then turning onto Nicklin and heading back downtown. The #3 Westmount will run on 20-minute service from 7 am till 6 pm Monday to Friday, and every half-hour the rest of the time.
Replaces #3A and #3B East Loop.
#5 Goodwin: This route will now begin at the University Centre, and will not be travelling Downtown. Departing the UC, it will travel down Stone Rd E to Victoria Rd S, and down to Arkell Rd where the bus will follow the pre-existing path of the #5. The new #5 will offer 20-minute service from 7 am till 6 pm Monday to Friday and every half-hour the rest of the time.
Replaces the #5 and #5A Gordon.
#8 Stone Road Mall: The new route to Stone Road Mall will be more direct from Guelph Central Station down Wyndham, to Wellington, and westbound to Edinburgh instead of a tour through the Old University neighbourhood on the way there, and a drive down Waterloo Ave and surround areas on the way back. The #8 will run every 30 minutes Monday through Sunday.
#9 Waterloo: Instead of driving up Imperial to Willow, the route has been shortened to a loop down Fife Rd, up Elmira and back down West Acres Dr to Imperial again. The briefer #9 will be on a 30-minute schedule all-day.
#11 Willow West: This route will be going to 30-minute all-day service too. As for the route, instead of turning at Marksam, the bus will now turn at Silvercreek for a shortened run.
#15 University College: This route has been transformed into a larger and more direct loop that travels down Stone Rd to College Ave and around back to the University Centre via East Ring and South Ring Rds. This bus will no longer travel down Janefield and Wilsonview, and it runs every half-hour all-day, every day.
#16 Southgate: This run will no longer originate downtown, but will otherwise run the same circuit from Gordon and Clair, and around Southgate Dr and Clairfields Dr W and back again. Again, every third run of the #99 Mainline will become the Southgate bus when it reaches the Gordon/Clair intersection.
#17 Woodlawn Watson: This route will combine aspects of the East and West Loop to create a dedicated perimeter path with hubs at the University Centre in the south end of the city, and the Walmart SmartCentre in the north end. This bus will depart the UC every half-hour, travel west down Stone to Scottsdale, to College, down the Hanlon to Wellington, and then north on Elmira where it will then following the path of the West Loop down Woodlawn. Once the bus stops at the SmartCentre, it will pick up the old East Loop route back to the University Centre.
Replaces the #2A West Loop
#18 Watson Woodlawn: The same as the #17 Woodlawn Watson, but departing from the University Centre, and heading east on Stone Rd to Victoria Rd.
Replaces the #2B West Loop.
#20 Northwest Industrial: The route will be largely unchanged until it gets to the corner of Silvercreek and Speedvale when it turns west, crosses the Hanlon and turns south down Marksam until it reaches Willow Rd and continues on towards Downtown past Willow West Mall as it does now. The Industrial will run every 30 minutes all day, every day.
#56 U Colonial: In another big change, the main spine of this route is now on Gordon St, not Victoria Rd S. The bus will get to Colonial Dr via Gordon, Farley, Clair and Goodwin, before turning on Arkell and heading back to the University Centre. This route will run Monday to Friday, 20 minutes all day until 6 pm, and then every half-hour until half past midnight.
Replaces the #56 Victoria Express.
PART C: What Routes are Changing, But the Schedules are Staying the Same?
#10 Imperial: This route is more or less the same. The less part though is that the bus will now not go into the West End Rec Centre and instead just stop at the entrance on Imperial Road.
#12 General Hospital: Instead of departing from Guelph Central Station and travelling up Wyndham, the #12 will now travel up Woolwich and turn onto Eramosa Rd and then continue its current route.
#13 Victoria Road Recreation Centre: This route may constitute the most controversial of the changes. The bus will now proceed up Eramosa, turning at Stevenson and then travelling down to Cassino Dr to carry on the rest of the established route. The #13 will no longer travel down Metcalfe and Grange in order to get to Cassino.
PART D: What Schedules are Changing, But the Routes are Staying the Same?
There are two routes that are staying exactly the same in terms of the streets they drive, but the #4 York and the #14 Grange will now run every half-hour, all-day, Monday through Sunday.
PART E: What Routes Are Getting a Name Change?
There are three routes that are getting a name change, but otherwise there are no changes to them in either the route or the frequency they run. The #50 Stone Road Express, #57 Harvard Express, and #58 Edinburgh Express are now the #50 U Stone, #57 U Harvard, and the #58 U Edinburgh respectively to reflect the fact they're university-centric routes.
PART F: What is Staying Exactly the Same?
The #6 Harvard Ironwood and the #7 Kortright Downey are the only routes that will remain exactly as they are right now in both the streets travelled and the times the routes run.
PART G: Where Do I Make My Transfer Now?
Here's the layout of the new platforms at Guelph Central Station:
And the University Centre:
PART H: Where Can I Go For More Information?
The full list of schedules and maps is available at the Guelph Transit website here.