Staff Report #2
September 26, 2018
To All Commissioners
Re: Industrial Service Strategy Update
That the Commission:
- DIRECT administration to include consideration of modifications to Routes 28 and 30 in the Draft 2019 Service Plan, noting the intent of these modifications would be to provide enhanced transit service to the Exeter/White Oaks and Wilton Grove industrial areas;
- DIRECT administration to issue a Request for Proposal for the provision of a TransCab/Dial-a-Ride service from both Fanshawe College and Argyle Mall, noting the intent of providing connections from each of these terminal points to the Airport, Sovereign/River Road and Innovation Park industrial areas; and
- DIRECT administration to report back on the estimated costs of the TransCab/Dial-a-Ride service subsequent to the closing of the Request for Proposal in ii) above, including potential sources of funding for the service.
In November 2017, the Commission directed administration to review the Industrial Service Strategy and include consideration of service improvements in industrial areas as part of the 2019 Service Plan. The review of the strategy included the following:
- online and telephone interviews of Industrial area employers conducted by the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and London Transit
- a peer review of industrial and/or periphery service offered by other transit agencies across the country conducted by Dillon Consulting
- an Industrial Transit Summit which included industrial employers, Members of Council, agencies representing job seekers, the City of London and other key stakeholders
- existing industrial transit experience
Results of the above review were presented to the Commission at the June 2018 meeting (see Staff Report #1, dated June 27, 2018). At that time the Commission approved three alternative service delivery models to proceed with further analysis for the potential implementation of pilot programs in Industrial areas in London. A brief description of each of the three alternative models is set out below.
TransCab/Dial-a-Ride – are very similar delivery models in which a third party delivers the service through a pre-arranged financial and operating agreement with the transit provider. Passengers are required to share a vehicle with other passengers as needed and the service generally operates between a transit hub and employment area within a defined geographical boundary. There are two main distinctions between the Dial-a-Ride and TransCab delivery models;
- Determination of the amount of service provided – In Dial-a-Ride , the transit agency specifies the applicable service parameters including how much service is to be provided, while in TransCab models, the taxi companies determine how much service to supply
- Vehicle Size – typically Dial-a-Ride can include larger, accessible vehicles while TransCab is generally limited to taxi cars or vans with limited accessibility
Employment Shuttles – As noted above, employment shuttles are another alternative model that warrants further assessment for possible implementation. This model is usually adopted in partnership with the employers, who will request pick-up and drop-off transit service for their workers during peak shift periods. The shuttles would service only employees of the partnering employers, picking them up at either pre-determined “stops” or at their homes, and dropping them off at the entrance to their place of employment (with the reverse trip being completed at the end of a shift). Employment or industrial shuttles do not run outside of the shift start and end-times and do not typically serve the general public.
This option will require further discussion with employers in the various industrial areas to determine the level of interest in partnering with London Transit to provide a service of this nature. Generally employment shuttles are run by the transit property; however, third party options will also be assessed.
Trippers – While London Transit does already operate tripper services, the existing trippers are generally utilized to supplement existing service that is experiencing overcrowding. Trippers in industrial areas would generally be focused on employee shift times and not necessarily an extension of existing routes. Should trippers be selected as a model option, they would be run by London Transit and not a third party contract; additional vehicles may be required to add the service for PM Peak shift times.
Subsequent to the June 27, 2018 meeting, administration reached out to employers in each of the designated areas (Wilton Grove, Innovation Park, White Oak/Exeter, Airport and Sovereign/River Road) in an effort to determine meeting dates that best suited each of the groups. Once meeting dates were finalized, confirmations were sent to all employers who responded to the initial invitation. As part of the meeting confirmation notice, employers were asked to come to the meeting prepared to discuss the following:
- number of employers in the area looking to participate in the pilot programs
- level of participation from employers (i.e. cost sharing, communications, etc.)
- shift times, and related travel times for employees in each area
- estimates of actual ridership from each industrial area
Each of the meetings started with an overview of the options being considered as well as a description of the transit service that is currently in or near the area. Participants were led through a discussion on each of the options in an effort to determine the level of buy-in and support that could be expected going forward. A summary from each of the meetings is set out in Enclosure I.
Key summary findings from the meetings include:
- current transit operating times do not work for existing shift times in many of the industrial areas (not early or late enough to accommodate start and end times), with the exception of the White Oaks/Exeter area
- many of the employers are not able to alter shift times due to contractual obligations or supply/demand requirements
- ability to partner with London Transit and contribute financially to provide an alternative service model into the industrial areas was not known by many employers at this time as firm costs cannot currently be determined
- the demand for service in the industrial areas has not been quantified as existing employees have found alternative modes of transportation to get to work currently
Consideration was given to both individual meeting feedback as well as the overarching findings set out above when determining recommendations for next steps in each of the areas which is set out below and reflected in the report recommendations.
Airport – consider TransCab/Dial-a-Rride option that would provide first/last mile trips to/from Fanshawe College. This option is being recommended given the limited information available with respect to the number of employees who would utilize this service. It should be noted that none of the options, including the one being recommended, will address employees with a 6am shift start time or a 12am shift finish time.
Exeter/White Oaks – consider modifying Route 28 which currently operates between Lambeth and Westmount Mall to instead service the White Oaks/Exeter area and White Oaks Mall, noting that the service would still maintain the existing alignment through Lambeth. Further details and impacts will be presented as part of the Draft 2019 Service Plan at the October 31, 2018 Commission meeting.
Wilton Grove – consider implementing a late evening Tripper for Route 30 that would accommodate shift times (similar to that provided on Route 36). It should be noted that none of the options, including the one being recommended will address employees with a 6am shift start time or a 12am shift finish time. Further details and impacts will be presented as part of the Draft 2019 Service Plan at the October 31, 2018 Commission meeting.
Sovereign/River Road – consider TransCab/Dial-a-Ride option that would provide first/last mile trips to/from Argyle Mall. This option is being recommended given the limited information available with respect to the number of employees who would utilize this service. It should be noted that none of the options, including the one being recommended will address employees with a 6am shift start time or a 12am shift finish time.
Innovation Park – consider TransCab/Dial-a-Ride option that would provide first/last mile trips to/from Argyle Mall. This option is being recommended given the limited information available with respect to the number of employees who would utilize this service. It should be noted that none of the options, including the one being recommended will address employees with a 6am shift start time or a 12am shift finish time.
Recommendations with respect to the Exeter/White Oaks and Wilton Grove areas will be further assessed and included in the Draft 2019 Service Plan report, scheduled to be presented to the Commission in October 2018.
Recommendations with respect to the Airport, Sovereign/River Road, and Innovation Park areas will require the issuance of a request for proposal in order to determine potential third party providers for this service. Once the request for proposal closes, administration will have the ability to provide cost estimates for the services being proposed, noting that the usage level of the services will also have an impact on costs.
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager