Sunday, 23 September 2018

Entry# 60 Changes coming to Conestoga College Fall 2019

Starting next year, the buses that service Conestoga College will be getting a new terminal as well as more frequent service. As an alumni of Conestoga College, this is the next step for the college to get more frequent service, similar to the University area in Waterloo. This year and next year, Grand River Transit will be focusing their attention to South West Kitchener, and possibly Cambridge, so the routes will be restructured in such a way that they will either terminate at Cambridge Centre or Ainslie Terminal or the College itself. This year, Grand River Transit introduced a new branch on route 10 (10A via Old Carriage), route 16 to operate until 11pm, route 76 to service Robert Ferrie Drive and Thomas Slee Drive and route 110 to operate every 15 minutes Monday to Friday.

Next year, the service changes to the college are as follows

Route 16 will be getting new weekend service and at the launch of the ION LRT, route 16 will be extended to Uptown Waterloo

Route 57 will be resutrcured to service Ainslie Terminal and Conestoga College via Galt and Blair

Route 61 will be getting more service during the spring every 30 minutes and will operate until midnight

Route 76 will be operating every 30 minutes Monday to Friday

Route 201 will be servicing Conestoga College with more frequent service at the Launch of ION

Route 203 will be operating from Cambridge Centre to Conestoga College all day Monday to Friday during the Spring-Fall-Winter terms

New College transit facility will be located near the "A" Wing parking lot (off of Doon Valley Drive across from the college daycare.

As you can see from above, the college will be getting a lot more bus service from Grand River Transit. These changes will accommodate the ever-growing student population at Conestoga College.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Entry #59 My Review of the 2018 Grand River Transit Service Changes

As of September 7 2015, Grand River Transit has altered many routes even discontinued others, the routes that have been changed are 10 Conestoga College/Fairview Park, 16 Strasburg, 33 Huron, 53 Franklin, 73 Northland, 75 Saginaw, 76 Doon South and the routes being discontinued are 33 Trillium, and route 78 Hanson. These changes needed to occur to provide more direct service between key locations and neighbourhoods. So without further question, here is my review of the new Grand River Transit 2018 service changes:

Route 10 Pioneer

Renamed route to Pioneer, added a second branch via Old Carriage Drive and Homer Watson Boulevard, named 10A, removed Bechtel extension during the weekdays due to route 16 operating; both branches operate every 30 minutes to mimic 15 minutes, Sunday service increased to 30 minutes. The 10 is a tricky one, I do understand that the 16 does need assistance when it comes to the student loads during the school year, that's why the 10A was implemented. Although, a suggestion that could be made to Grand River Transit would be, operating route 10A on weekends, while doing the Bechtel extension would help the people at the college during weekends as well as accommodate the students that live on Old Carriage Drive, and the 10A could help route 16 once it operates 7 days a week with the launch of ION LRT with the students. The 10A should be operating 7 days a week, as compensation for route 16 not operating on the weekends, that way, not just the students living on Old Carriage Drive can get to and from places they want to visit on weekends.


Route 110 College/Fairview Express

Increased frequency to every 15 minutes during the day, and 30 minutes from the College to Fairview every 30 minutes. This is another example of Grand River Transit getting it right, the college area is getting busier and busier, by providing more frequent service, similar to the University area, the students will have no problem getting to and from the College.



Route 16 Strasburg

Extended service hours until 11:30pm, removed Behin Drive extension. This is another example of Grand River Transit getting it right. By extending the 16 later in the night, will mean, route 10 can get a lot of the student pressure off and jump on the 16 and get to home or get to Forest Glen in evening and make connects to the various routes at Forest Glen. When ION LRT starts, route 16 will be operating 7 days a week every 30 minutes.



Route 26 Trillium

New route covers previous route 33 via Trillium. This route will operate during peak-periods from Forest Glen plaza to Trillium and Groff along Strasburg Road, MacIntyre Drive, and Trillium Dive every 30 minutes. Back when I was in high school, I remember route 26, as it was my main route to get to and from home to school. Although it does please me that I'm seeing it return and it does being back pleasant memories for myself. Grand River Transit did do good on this route, there is possibility to improve the 26. An example of it would be to extend the 26 to Conestoga College (to acclimate the 16 and 116 during the school year and summer school season) this would provide a fast connection to the college and Forest Glen.


Route 33 Huron

Revised route to service The Sunrise Centre and ION Block Line Station via Forest Glen Plaza along Wilderness Drive, Activa Drive, Fischer-Hallman Road, Seabrook Drive, Ludolph Street, Huron Road, Woodbine Avenue, Parkvale Drive, Strasburg Road, Block Line Road, Courtland Avenue E., Hayward Drive, and Lennix Louis Way. Something needed to be done with route 33. The amount of people that depend on it, not just during the AM and PM peak hours, but during the day, people in the Huron Village wanted a bus that can get them from point A to point B, and that was the 33, but back in 2008-2009, the ridership on route 26 was low, so route 33 replaced it, and ridership in the Huron Village picked up, the industrial area remained the same. Now route 33 will be operating Monday to Friday every 30 minutes all day. I can see this route, if it gets busy enough, and it probably will, I can see route 33 operating 7 days a week, every 15 minutes, with the possibility of operating until 12:30am or later. This is a change that needed to happen and it will happen for the better.


Route 53 Franklin

Extended service into the early evening every 30 minutes. Route 53 will operate from 6:15am to 8:15pm. This is another example of Grand River Transit getting it right. Back a few years ago route 53 lost its evening and weekend service due to low ridership, now seeing that the demand for early evening service is there, there is a possibility it could run until 10:30pm and possibly get its weekend service back on schedule, but that is up to Grand River Transit.


Route 73 Northlake
Revised route to connect to Northfield ION Station via Kumpf and Randall Industrial area as well as extended Northlake loop to Rideau River Street in North Waterloo. Again, this is another great step in providing more service in communities. By extending route 73 further into the Northlake community, this bus plus route can possibly become a full conventional bus one day, providing service Monday to Friday, with hopefully the possibility of weekend service every 30 minutes.


Route 75 Saginaw

Added 40 minute service on Saturdays from 9am to 7pm as well as Sunday service from 10am to 6pm. This is anther great step in the right direction for weekend service. As a frequent Grand River Transit rider and transit maven, this additional service on route 75 is defenatly a huge step in the right direction. With only route 60 being the core route in that area, and it operates 7 days a week, the addition to route 75 operating can provide an alternative, and more direct way to connect the residents in the Shade Mills community.


Route 76 Doon South

Extended route along New Dundee Drive, Thomas Slee Drive, Robert Ferrier Drive, with an extension to South Creek via Robert Ferrie Drive. This is another great example of a route building up service in a neighbourhood so that people can go to school, work and possibly get their shopping done. This extension of route 76 will be excellent, and possibly will move to al day service within the year 2019 or 2020.


Route 78 Hanson: Route 78 connected the Hanson-Hayward-Fallowfield communities via the Forest Glen terminal. Route 78 operated every 30 minutes Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm. As of September 4, route 78 will be discontinued and a modified route 33 will be extended to replace it. I have done many trips on route 78, and they were not busy at all, maybe 2 people here or there, but what I would not mid seeing is adding a second branch to the 33, and modifying it to service Block Line Station via Fallowfield Drive and Homer Watson Boulevard. This would provide service along Fallowfield Drive. When route 12 was on the Fallowfield detour a couple years ago, man, many passengers used the 12 along Fallowfield, thus indicating that there is a demand for ridership along Fallowfield Drive. By adding a second branch to route 33, this would help the people along Fallowfield Drive.


This is my review of the new Grand River Transit service improvements.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Entry #58 2018 Service Changes

Hello internet surfers,

the 2018 service changes are coming, but not all of the changes are coming at once. Here are the following service changes

Waterloo

- Revised route 73 between Northfield Station and Northlake via Kumpf Drive.
- Extended service into the Rideau River Neighbourhood.

Kitchener

Route 10 Pioneer/110 College Express
- Split route 10 into 2 branches; 10 (current routing) and 10A (via Old Carriage Drive; weekdays only)
- Both branches operate every 30 minutes to mimic the 15 minute service
- Route 110 to operate every 15 minutes Monday to Friday

I can argue that 10A should operate 7 days a week and the current 10 routing should be weekdays.

Route 16 Strasburg
- Extended service from 6:30pm to 11:30pm

This needed to happen. Route 16 is incredibly busy, now what needs to happen to the 16 is weekend service.

Route 26 Trillium (Former route 33 Trillium/Groff)
- New route that operates from Forest Glen Plaza to the Trillium Industrial Park during peak periods.
- Once the ION LRT starts operating the routing for route 26 will change.

Route 33 Huron
- Expanded route between Sunrise Centre and Block Line Station via Forest Glen Plaza.
- Service to be extended from Peak Periods to 5:45am to 11:30pm Monday to Friday

- This needed to happen with the 33. The residence of Huron Park needed all day service. The only thing I can say the 33 needs now is weekend service. Having the 33 operate 7 days a week, would benefit the Huron Park residence.

Route 76 Doon South

- Revised route along Thomas Slee and Robert Ferrie Drive. Route 78 resources would be allocated to route 76.

Route 78 Hanson
- Route discontinued

Cambridge

Route 53 Franklin
- Extended service from 6:15pm to 8:45pm

Route 75 Saginaw
- New Weekend service

203 Maple Grove iXpress
- Extended service from 10pm to 11:30pm on Weekends

These are all good service changes for September.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Entry #57: Service Extensions

Since the Grand River Transit redesign, there's only a hand full of routes that have extensions on them or the extension has become part of the full routing. The routes that still have route extensions are routes 9 Lakeshore, 10 Conestoga College, 11 Country Hills, 16 Strasburg, 55 St. Andrews, and 59 Christopher. These are the only routes that have extensions, the 13 Laurelwood has an extension and runs year-round to Laurelwood/Blue Beach and route 23 has the Oldfield/Springmount extension incorporated into the route. 
The 9 extension, which the 9 serves the Waterloo Industrial Park (mainly Kumpf Drive) assists the industrial workers at night, the 9 extension operates at Sunday to Friday at 9pm. After 6:30pm on weekdays, route 10 is extended down Doon Villiage Road, Bechtel Drive, Pioneer Road, to Conestoga College and after the 10 serves Conestoga College it is extended to the College Residence. As a former Conestoga College student, I can say, that the 10 turning around within the College residence is a very bad idea. I personally believe that route 10 should be following the 61 routing out to the Cambridge Campus and turning around and coming back to the Doon Campus but have a layover at the Door Campus before departing back to Fairview. This way the 10 can not just collect students within Kitchener, it can also get the students in the Cambridge Campus. Route 11 has an extension, but it only operates on Sundays, but because of the roundabout construction on Ottawa Street, it runs 7 days a week, temporally though. The 11 is extended along Ottawa Street to Strasburg Road, and back onto Kingswood Drive. This way all of Kingswood has service. I have not been on the 11's extension since the start of the roundabout construction, I cannot say if the extension is busy or not. Route 16 Strasburg's extension is very interesting. When the 16 leaves Forest Glen Plaza to Conestoga College, it travels down all of Biehn Drive, turns around at the bottom and makes a right onto Black Walnut Drive continuing to Conestoga College. My first year at Conestoga College, I did take the 16 as the was part of its midday service, once I took it, i realized how useless the extension is. No one gets picked up, except for one person, I personally believe that the 16 should not have the Biehn extension, instead, have the 16 operate 2 ways to and from Conestoga College and Forest Glen into the Huron Village neighbourhood. The routing for the 16 would be Huron-Parkvale-Woodbine-Huron-Battler-Old Huron-Biehn-Black Walnut-Bechtel-Pioneer-Old Carriage-Homer Watson-Conestoga College Boulevard and into the college. 16 returning to Forest Glen plaza would be Doon Valley-Homer Watson-Old Carriage-Pioneer-Bechtel-Black Walnut-Biehn/Old Huron-Battler-Huron-Woodbine-Parkvale-Huron-Strasburg to Forest Glen. This way, the residence in the Huron Village would have more bus service during the day. For Cambridge route 55 St. Andrews, its service extension is traveling along Main Street and Grand Avenue, this extension is similar to route 11, it only operates on Sundays. Route 59 service extension is not very beneficial as it removes service from Langlaw Drive and has Service to the South Cambridge Shopping Centre, again just like the 55 and 11, it only operates on Sundays. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Entry #56: 2017 Construction Season

It's construction season once again in Waterloo Region and with that comes many detours for transit riders. When the route you usually use every day can change during the Spring-Summer times, which means for other regular riders on the route, plan your trips accordingly and find the closest temporary stop for the route.

When construction season comes around, I personally believe that Waterloo Regional council and the transit planners should sit down and look at the areas that are going under construction, and add additional frequency to the routes. For example, Routes 200 iXpress, 1 Queen-River, 3 Ottawa South, 8 University-Fairview Park, 11, Country Hills, 20 Victoria-Frederick, and 22 Laurentian West.

Here are my thoughts on what the frequency of the routes should be during this construction season:

Route 1 Queen-River
Increased frequency between Fairview Park and Charles St. Terminal to 15 minutes

Routes 3 Ottawa South, 11 Country Hills, and 22 Laurentian West
Scheduling should be adjusted to accommodate traffic volumes along Ottawa Street

Route 8 University-Fairview Park/200 iXpress
Increased frequency on entire route due to road reconstruction along Weber Street

Route 20 Victoria-Frederick
Scheduling should be adjusted from 30 minutes to 20 minutes to accommodate traffic volumes along Victoria Street and Water Street

These are only my own thoughts, and probably won't be implemented.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Entry #55: Intercity Service

Before I get into any explanation on why I'm talking about intercity service for Waterloo Region (with respect to GO Transit) I will define the term intercity service.

Intercity Service: Transit that allows people to connect from one city to another using one or two buses or another method of transit service. For example GO Transit has 3 routes in Kitchener-Waterloo, the first is Route 25 Square One - connects UW and Mississauga, the second is Route 30 Bramlea GO-Kitchener GO, the third is new route 24 Cambridge-Milton - Connects Ainslie Street-Milton via Hespeler Rd., and Hwy 401 to Milton. These routes move people from Kitchener and Waterloo to Brampton, Milton and Mississauga cities without the hassle of traffic, and people save money on parking.

The reason why I am explaining intercity service is because, when I visit Toronto, there are busses from Mississauga, Brampton, York Region at certain subway stations and malls. This allows commuters during the AM and PM peak hours to get to and from work smoothly without the hassle of driving in heavy traffic. Then I got thinking, how come Waterloo Region doesn't have a couple busses operate from Kitchener to Guelph, or a couple busses operate from Cambridge to Brantford? By looking at how many people commute from Waterloo Region to Guelph and Brantford is a very large number, and by providing a more direct link between the cities surrounding Waterloo Region, more people would see Grand River Transit as a very good alternative to driving and spending a lot of money on gas.

The routes from Kitchener and Cambridge I would modify to go to Guelph and Brantford I will post below, please feel free to provide feed back. These ideas are just thoughts I came up with, and probably won't happen, but it is a good idea to get the gears for Regional Council going.

David's proposed Kitchener-Guelph Intercity service

Route 2 Forest Heights, 8 via Franklin 23 Idlewood
- Modify and combine routes 2 and 23 into a crosstown service connecting Fairview Park and the Boardwalk along the Ottawa Street North, Fairway North, Franklin Street Fischer-Hallman Road, Trussler Road, Ira Needles Boulevard and Frederick Street corridors.
- 2A will service Fairway North and Ottawa North to The Boardwalk, 2B will service Franklin-Frederick Street corridors.
- New Sunday service introduced on both branches.

Route 20 Victoria
- Revised route 20 to service the length of Victoria Street from The Boardwalk to the Downtown Guelph with making stops at Charles St. Terminal.
- Service frequency would be increased to 15 minutes
- Ner service along Centennial-Forwell Industrial area.

Route 34 Bingemans
- Extend route 34 from Shirley Avenue to University of Guelph via Victoria Street and return Downtown Kitchener. Route would have 7 day service.

David's Proposed Cambridge-Brantford Intercity service

200 iXpress
- Extend route from Ainslie to Brantford via Hwy 24 and King George Road and Lynden Mall. Frequency would remain the same.

Route 51 Hespeler Rd.
- Extend route 51 from Ainslie Terminal to downtown Brantford via Hwy 24 and King George Road. Frequency would remain the same.

Route 52 Coronation
- Extend route to downtown Brantford via the city of Paris along Hwy 2 and 403 and route would also connect to Lynden Mall. Frequency would remain the same.

Not only would people have more option of getting to work, but also going to visit Toronto, Mississauga, Orangeville, Brampton and so on. These are options to get people to see transit services as a money saver when travelling without the hassle of traffic and parking.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Entry #54: 2 years Later - 2015 Service Changes in Review

Back in September of 2015, the following routes we're changed and streamlined as The Region of Waterloo prepares for the ION LRT. After I've discussed the changes made by the Region, I will provide my own ideas for these routes and how they could have been improved.
The following routes were changed back in 2015:

Route 1 Queen-River

New East-West crosstown route that combined routes 1 Stanley Park and 25 Queen South that connects Fairview Park and The Boardwalk along the Ira Needles-Queen Street-Krug Street-River Road-Fairway Road corridors
15 Minute peak-hour service, 30 minute midday, evening and weekend

Route 2 Forest Heights
Combined route 2 Forest Hill and 24 Highland into an East-West route that connects Downtown and the Forest Heights West neighbourhood. Service has been extended from 6:30pm to 10pm.
New Saturday service from 7:30am to 10pm.
No Sunday Service

Route 7B
Streamlined route 7B the length of Weber Street

Route 8 via Franklin
Removed East Avenue extension, service to be streamlined along Weber Street to Ottawa Street.

Route 20 Victoria-Frederick
New East-West crosstown route that connects Stanley Park Mall and The Boardwalk along the Victoria Street-Frederick Street corridors. Route 20 also serves the Victoria Hills-Central Frederick-Heritage Park Neighbourhoods.
15 Minute peak-hour service, 30 minute midday, evening and weekend

Route 22 Laurentian West
New Sunday service from Highland Hills to Forest Glen Plaza

Route 23 Idlewood
modified route 23 to service Fairview Park Mall and Stanley Park Mall along the Fairway North corridor and the Idlewood-Lackner Woods neighbourhood. Service from 5:30am 10:30pm on weekdays and 6:30am to 9:30pm on Saturdays. No Sunday Service.

Route 27 Chicopee
Improved frequency of service to 30 minutes during evenings.

New Route 34 Bingemans
New 30 minute peak hour route that services the Bingeman Centre-Shirley Avenue industrial area.

200 iXpress
Streamlined to Hespeler Road

203 Maple Grove iXpress
New weekend service from 6:30am to 10pm on Saturdays and 9am to 10pm on Sundays.

204 Victoria-Highland iXpress
New East-West crosstown express route that connects Ottawa and Lackner and the Boardwalk walk along the Victoria Street-Highland Road corridors. 15 minute peak-hour service, 30 evening and weekend.


These are a lot of changes that happened in 2015. Since then many of these changes have been taken in with increased ridership, while others, have remained the same ridership. Now I will add my own personal ideas for the September 2015 changes

David's ideal 2015 Service Changes

Route 1 Queen-River
Since the combination of routes 1 Stanley Park and 25 Queen South, route 1 Queen-River has become an extremely busy route, you could say it has become busier than route 7. My idea for route 1 is to increase the frequency of service from 30 minutes during the midday and Saturdays to 15 minutes from 7am to 6pm. This way, adding 4 more buses to route 1 can help with the over crowding. No change to Sunday service.

Route 2 Forest Heights-Idlewood
Back in 2015, route 2 should have been removed from Charles St. Terminal due to a majority of the routes being removed and should have been proposed to be combined with route 23 as an East-West crosstown route, something similar to route 20 Victoria-Frederick. Route 2 should also have been proposed to service the Sunrise Centre, not just to make connections with routes 201 iXpress and route 22 Laurentian West, but to provide a more direct link to Sunrise Centre, due to the 22 taking so long and depending which direction a person catches it. When looking at the routing for route 2 (after  servicing Stanley Park Mall via Zeller) I would have the 2 going towards Driftwood/Westheights, go Ottawa-Courtland-Stirling-Highland-Hoffman-Homer Watson-Stirling-Greenbrook-Fischer-Hallman-Ottawa-Trussler-Highview-Driftwood-Westhights-Rolling Meadows then the same way back to Fairview Park. In addition to removing the 2 from Downtown, I would look at adding Sunday service between Fairview Park and Stanley Park Mall only, every 30 minutes from 10am to 7:30pm. Route 2, during the AM and PM peak hours would interline with route 8 via Franklin/Wilson, and during midday, and weekends, route 7 and 7A would interline.

Route 7 Mainline
discontinued the 7F via Wilson, increased 7A to every 15 Minutes and interlined 7A with route 2 on midday, evenings and weekends. 7F would be modified by the 8 via Franklin.

Route 8 via Franklin
With the 8 franklin and the 7B both servicing Weber street, it seems redundant to have both service Weber, so, I would extend the 8 via Franklin along Fourth/Wilson and interline it with the 2 during the AM and PM rush-hours. This would provide more direct service to downtown.

Route 20 Victoria-Frederick
The biggest complaint I've heard from passengers is that the 20 no longer services Charles St. Station downtown Kitchener. That is a mistake. The 20 should remain at Charles St. until the King/Victoria station has become operational. This way the 20 can provide connections to Frederick Street Mall, Stanley Park Mall and the Boardwalk without competing with route 1 Queen-River.

Route 22 Laurentian West
Route 22 should be combined with route 11 Country Hills. I like the idea that the 11 and 22 interline at Forest Glen, but by combining routes 11 and 22 into a crosstown route, it would help provide a more direct way from Highland Hills to downtown.

Route 27 Chicopee
Route 27 is one of the quietists routes at GRT. Route 27 should be combined with a busier route, like route 10, so it can get ridership levels up. The 27 also needs its summer day service reinstated because a lot of people need the 27 to Freeport Health Centre.

Route 34 Bingemans
Bingemans's finally has bus service, but it is only during the AM and PM peak-hour. Personally, I'd have the 34 (during the Summer time and any other time Bingemans has an event) is to have the 34 service Bingemans property. Saturday and Sunday service would also help the 34.

203 iXpress
Since the introduction of the 203 iXpress going from Cambridge Centre to Conestoga College, which is the time it's busiest, the short-turn at Sportsworld needs to go. There are students wanting the 203 serving Doon and Cambridge Campuses not just during the AM and PM peak-hour, even weekends, this way the 203 can get ridership levels like the 201-202 and 204 iXpress.

204 iXpress
The only change I have for the 204 is to have it start at 7:30am and end it at 12am. This way people can make their connections downtown and along the route.

These are my changes that probably would help and get more ridership within the Region as well as get people and GRT ready to be integrated with ION.