Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Don't you hate it when your GO bus service is being cut/modified and you're the last to know?

This is what happened with our good friend Bruce, who sent me this email:
GO bus route #67 currently services the carpool lot at Glenwoods Ave. and Woodbine Ave. in Keswick with YRT bus route #50 servicing the same stop. Beginning in January 2015, GO transit will no longer service this stop and will go no further north than Woodbine Ave. and HWY 404. YRT has no plans to service this stop and it would take me at least an hour to walk there. If I have to go through Newmarket I will incur a minimum of 1 hour extra commute in each direction. Have the morons setting these routes ever ridden public transit?

Bruce was told by a GO bus driver that he would no longer be able to travel his regular route.

Needless to say, Bruce was pretty cheesed, so he reached out to me to let me know of the situation. This got me thinking. How does GO Transit come to these decisions?

So I reached out to GO Transit with some questions and this is what I learned.

Is it normal for GO bus passengers to be shut out of bus changes - as in not being able to provide input about service decisions?

Changes and adjustments to GO bus routes take into account present and future ridership, service quality and reliability as well as resources available. We do our best to take into account customer comments coming through our Customer Service Representatives.

Are there stats for this route (#67) to demonstrate its ridership, such as its decline?

Approximately 15 riders per day/3 riders per trip use the Glenwoods stop and the majority of those either drive there or get dropped off/picked up. The new Park & Rides at the end of the newly opened 404 extension offers more amenities such as shelters, proper platforms and walkways for a greatly enhanced customer experience. York Region Transit will provide a bus service between the Glenwoods and new Woodbine Park & Ride to access GO Bus Route 67.

What supports a cut and how can a passenger request a review?

We constantly monitor and optimize services to maximize convenience to customers within the resources at our disposal. As an inter-regional carrier, GO Transit has to carefully balance the local and inter-municipal mobility needs in our service area while ensuring that local municipalities fulfill their role at connection points and within communities.

Also, please let me know if there is a policy about signage at bus destinations and departures (that are not at the station, such as a Carpool lot) to instruct passengers of route changes. And if there is, I'd like to know what is a considered a reasonable time line for posting these.

Route change signage are installed on the affected bus stops as soon as possible. Signs will be up early next week.


Squiggles said...

As for signage: I know when they cut a LSE bus this past summer, there were signs up for months before hand.

That doesn't seem to be the case here and that should be looked into. At least the Bus driver did step up to the plate and let the passengers know.

Robert Mackenzie said...

Not long after the 404 extension opened, a reader tweeted to Transit Toronto, complaining about GO's failure to use the new roadway. She claimed to have written GO about this and received no reply.

I suggested that perhaps GO wished not to annoy other passengers who might be disrupted by revising the route, but apparently that argument doesn't work, now that GO has, apparently, ignored them, too!

The good news is that YRT will revise its 51 Keswick local route to link Keswick with the new Highway 404 "park 'n' ride" carpool lots. No precise details how the rerouted service will work, but see:

Tal Hartsfeld said...

In other words: It's our system, we're in charge, we make all the decisions and always to suit our own agenda and for our own convenience, and it's on you to figure out a way to finagle and navigate your way around whatever we ultimately decide on whether for better or worse.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how this turned out , seeing as route 51 Keswick Local services the Park & Ride for almost every single GO bus trip except for one or two.