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City looks at upping transit service by 30 per cent, adding 45 per cent more stops

Guelph Transit releases 10-year plan for public input, council approval in November
20180815 guelph transit 2 ts
Tony Saxon/GuelphToday file photo

Correction: This article has been corrected to note the June 8 and 16 virtual town hall style meetings begin at 7 p.m.

The city’s transit system would look significantly different if a 10-year enhancement plan is approved. 

A staff proposal, released Wednesday for public comment, features transit hubs, express routes and routes that follow the city’s spine in a grid pattern as well as reaching the outer perimeter.

“I see great things coming out of Guelph Transit next year and beyond,” said Robin Gerus, general manager of Guelph Transit, in reference to the route review, as well as the potential re-establishment of a UPass program for University of Guelph students and the pending start of city bus electrification efforts, in addition to the recent launch of on-demand transit service pilot program in some areas of the city. 

“We’re in a good position right now to meet the expectations and needs … of the residents of the city of Guelph,” he added. “I think we’re moving in the right direction and we’re going to have a really good transit network and transit system.”

The phased-in route enhancement plan includes increasing the types of routes available (to five from three), a 30 per cent increase in overall service, 45 per cent more transit stops, additional Sunday service and connecting with growth areas such as the planned Guelph Innovation District and the Clair-Maltby area.

More frequent service is also planned for all intensification corridors and community nodes. 

This summary report includes a year-by-year breakdown of proposed changes.

“What we’re proposing for transit over the next decade allows us to deliver a more competitive, convenient and reliable transit system that meets the community’s needs today and beyond. It also moves us closer to meeting goals set out in the city’s strategic plan by improving connectivity of the whole transportation system — making it easy for people to travel within city limits,” Gerus said in a news release.

Public input is currently being collected through an online survey, with virtual town hall style meetings set for June 8 and 16, each beginning at 7 p.m. The sessions will be broadcast through Webex as well as at guelph.ca/live and on the city's Facebook page.

“Tell us what we got right, what you like, if there’s something we overlooked, if something doesn’t quite work, or if something in our proposed transit system or implementation plan is going to cause you a lot of headache,” said Andrea Mikkila, Guelph Transit’s acting-supervisor of planning and scheduling in the release.

The plan could see some revisions following public feedback, with a final report to council expected in November.