Thu, 23 Jul 2015
Following extensive public consultation and review of its service, Council approved the Oakville Transit Five Year Plan — a comprehensive strategy that promises improved frequency and reliability of transit service throughout the town over the next five years while reducing forecasted reliance on tax support for transit by $1.7 million.
“Public transit plays a vital role in achieving our vision to be the most livable town in Canada,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This new five year plan makes innovative changes that will meet the needs of our community by making our transit system easier to use.”
The town held several focus groups, conducted hundreds of stakeholder interviews and through public surveys of both riders and non-riders, collected input into the plan that sets out the vision for transit until 2021. Public priorities included increased frequency of service, better communication to riders, and improved connectivity with GO, Mississauga, and Burlington Transit.
Keeping transit affordable for riders and taxpayers was another key theme heard throughout the public consultation and the proposed plan will actually reduce reliance on tax levy support by increasing revenue from ridership. The plan’s recommendations use $4.6 million in reallocated resources and reverses the current downward trend in cost recovery, driving up the revenue to cost ratio from 30 to 36 per cent, creating a financially sustainable service delivery model.
“This comprehensive plan seeks to streamline Oakville Transit’s operations with a prudent fiscal approach; specifically focusing on service improvements, affordability, sustainability and innovation,” said Barry Cole, director, Oakville Transit. “The plan has been carefully crafted to introduce a series of initiatives to improve the customer experience while making the most efficient use of existing resources.”
The main recommendations in the plan approved by Council include:
Transit review research confirmed that frequency of service is the single biggest driver of transit ridership. This plan seeks to increase frequency while minimizing additional investment.
Oakville Transit will see improved connectivity with GO train service as it delivers 15 minute frequency during peak service hours on Oakville Transit’s primary routes and matches GO Transit’s 30 minute frequency during the midday period.
In December, conventional and specialized transit services will access the new hospital using the three fully accessible bus stop locations on the hospital grounds.
In July, Oakville Transit introduced Home to Hub, an on-request transit service serving the new communities of North Oakville. This service enables early introduction of transit services to new developments.
Oakville Transit will maintain the three Senior Specials currently operating and “Free Mondays” for seniors will also be continued. Service improvements will provide Sheridan College students will more frequent service and increased direct access to the college.
Oakville Transit’s new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) scheduled to launch this December provides real-time bus location and dispatch to significantly improve service on time performance and reliability. In addition, the comingled Home to Hub on-request transit service is a brand new concept in transit service delivery.
ITS will provide objective, real-time evidence with which to measure success and make evidence-based decision making a reality.
While the full launch of the new transit service will be in September 2016 the following milestones to launch this year are:
Review the full report from the July 14, 2015, Community Services Committee. To learn more about the town’s transit services visit the Oakville Transit website.