Comment 116826

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted March 04, 2016 at 13:59:50 in reply to Comment 109940

I'm also wondering why they aren't considering possible federal funding. Federal is anxious to fund shovel-ready transit projects Canada-wide, and this could be one of them.

Side note #1: If only we market HSR better, with publicity, a HSR website, a HSR twitter, and some minor HSR service optimizations (predictability) -- we could win FEDERAL funding for the HSR bus garage expansion more quickly. Federal is currently quickly shoveling money right now to shovel-ready transit/infrastructure projects Canada-wide. Every unfunded transit related project that already had their EA and is shovel-ready, are potential recipients in the next 12 months. Why are we missing this opportunity to get the garage funded, and a potential HSR fleet expansion? In other words: Why are we leaving this MONEY on the table?* (This is a separate debate than "how much should the bus garage cost" which the article aims at)

Side note #2: Even today, I sometimes get confused whether I'm able to catch #10 B-Line Express (stops service shortly after ~7pm weekdays, doesn't run weekends) or have to wait for a #1. Google Maps on my phone helps, but it needs to be better. Not everyone uses a smartphone, or knows enough to use transit apps, to "trust" a bus stop. Consider the elderly, as well as those who can't afford data. I often don't bother, and often just grab a SoBi bike, or drive my car (to Aldershot GO), since my working hours often varies wildly due to working late. Depending on where I am in the city, I don't even know which bus stop actually has running buses -- there are multiple bus stops in Hamilton that confusing has no buses stopping at them for several daylight hours (they instead go to an adjacent bus stop for example). It is my opinion that all municipal bus stops (not clearly visibly labelled as "LIMITED SERVICE") should always have a bus passing the stop all day long. Toronto relies on this assumption. I like transit, but why is HSR so confusing sometimes to the point where I don't always bother? Let's fix HSR. Improve HSR clarity 100% across the board. Not just to improve transit numbers, but also to attract FUNDING -- MONEY. Studies/reports are important, but better service visibility, all across the board, reducing confusion, online and offline, makes it easier to keep all of this "on the radar" (including internal government communications, etc).*

We're the city where we can potentially get hurt the most by fare increases. Decreases in ridership could potentially hurt our merits of becoming a recipient of funding the bus garage by alternate funding sources (e.g. Federal funds, future Metrolinx quick-wins, 2018 election opportunities, etc).

While fare raises may be needed at some point due to inflation, we currently have built up many low-lying ridership-increase opportunities that are relatively cheap. At $2.15 (via Presto), we are one of the cheaper bus services and I understand this may not be sustainable. But that said, we could increase farebox recovery quite a bit in the next 1-2 years with some well-optimized changes including new users attracted by much easier schedule access.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-03-04 14:07:40

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