Monday, May 13, 2013

DRT Pulse and what it means for Highway 2 GO bus passengers (west of Oshawa)

Durham Regional Transit (DRT) will be running a rapid bus line along Highway 2 (Kingston Road) every seven and half minutes (which is awesome) between Oshawa and Scarborough during morning and evening rush hour. The soft launch for this pilot is at the end of June.

What's not awesome is that university and college students lose the use of their U-pass on any GO bus that services this route. GO Transit will no longer accept DRT passes and tickets on these buses, either. This makes sense, but still, people are upset, mostly the students because they feel the GO bus is faster, cleaner and more reliable (all true, but it's luxury transit, which is why I and others call it the 'green limo'). In summary, riding the luxury green limo will no longer be a subsidized option for some Highway 2 passengers.

However, give DRT Pulse a chance before you complain. GO doesn't offer buses anywhere on its routes that arrive every seven and a half minutes during rush hour. I can keep dreaming for that to happen!

Source 1 and Source 2


Squiggles said...

I went online to search the DRT site to find a route for a possible field trip to be taken this weekend and saw the Pulse. Couldn't figure it out. It is nice, but they need to run a similar bus on the weekends, even if it runs only once an hour. It would make life easier for many people.

TomW said...

@squiggles: Ummm... Pulse will run every 15 minutes on Saturdays and 30 minutes on Sundays.

The only students I feel sorry for are those in Brooklin who used their U-Pass on the Hwy 7 routes. They aren't getting a a new DRT route, but will have to pay extra to use the GO bus. (Alternatively, they can use DRT routes 302 and 915 with their U-pass.)

TomW said...

Useful GO information:

Pulse schedules: (make sure you select the right date...)

Squiggles said...

Thanks Tom!

I didn't really look too far into it, just noticed the Pulse option with many routes starting in June (some start later than others).

It is great that they are doing the weekend thing. I know that I would venture forth more often if it didn't take 3 buses to get someplace.

TomW said...


Squiggles said...


That article was interesting. And I see the purpose. But if I was only doing one or two transfer, not a problem. But for a possible field trip on Saturday, there is 3 transfers involved and at least one of the waits is 30 mins. So that negates any benefits mentioned in the article.

But, with this new Pulse service (got a pamphlet on the bus last night) it will make things a lot easier.

Pengin said...

There's two things I'm worried about with this route. First of all, I live in south Ajax near the lake and there will no longer be a direct route to anything running on hwy 2. Right now I can take the beach bus to the go station and grab the 94 to work. Once the pulse is out I will either have to transfer to the 916(which is consistently late, even when arriving directly from the station) on Harwood and then to the pulse, or go to the station and pray I get there in time for the 915. It's very disheartening that even the Harwood bus doesn't go all the way up Harwood.

Secondly is my concern at the running times for anything after 11 on weekdays and 8 on Saturdays. I work late and felt somewhat safe with the more convenient times of the late night go bus. With the pulse, I run the risk oic being stuck alone in the dark for at least an hour on the side of the road! Not the safest place for a young woman.

ML said...

I agree with Pengin's comment. I travel to Ajax from Whitby using the current 94 Go Bus. I get off at the Ajax Go Terminal and walk a short distance to my job. This is pretty inconvenient and makes absolutely no sense. I know a lot of people mad about it. It's adding a ton of commute time, and I too work late, and I will miss the 10pm 916 by 5 minutes as it comes at 10:04 to where I need to catch it, and have to wait another hour until 11:15pm to catch it...OR the alternative of walking from Bayly and Harwood to Hwy 2......hmmm...makes sense to me. Way to go DRT. yet again you prove how stupid you are and how diligent your planning is...I would have just made the Pulse the same route as the 94 pretty much.

scott said...

The Pulse will leave me stranded at work in south Ajax when I'm not done til 11:45... and on the morning shift it will be impossible to get to work on time due to the extra transferring I'll have to do (I barely make it in on time as it is). The Pulse doesn't even go past downtown Oshawa so I wouldn't be able to get a connector anyway because the 402 doesn't run early enough. So now I have no choice but to find a ride to and from work--and let's be honest here, if I could do that I would have been doing it long ago because I don't really enjoy the current 90-minute trip one way, so unless things change drastically I'm looking at no bus and no ride. Does that mean no job? Yes, the Pulse is hurting me THAT much.

The DRT needs to wake up. We need REAL grid routes, ones that follow a single road without deviation. For instance, routes that run along Salem, Harwood, and Westney/Dreyer from Taunton southbound to their termination pojnts at or nearest to the lake. If routes like that existed then a vast majority of Ajax riders would be spared a tonne of trouble. Same goes for Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa, and even Bowmanville. The Pulse also needs to run at least to Bowmanville. And these changes need to happen ASAP, not 10 years from now. The bus service here is killing me.

It is painfully obvious that the dolts in charge of figuring this system out are NOT transit riders themselves because they clearly have no idea of how INconvenient, and in my case damaging, it really is.

Anonymous said...

How do i get to harwood plaza GO bus terminal from HWY2 . With the 94 Go bus Discontinued how will I get there at 6:40 AM to get to work for 7 AM? GO and the DRT needs to fix this ASAP.