Staff Report #5
January 29, 2020
To All Commissioners
Re: 2019– 2020 Road Construction Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
Given the number, nature and extent of construction projects spread across the City, schedule adherence was significantly impacted on many routes through the 2019 construction season. The annual operating budget provides for the addition of construction trippers to mitigate the impacts of construction; however, they are generally only effective for maintaining schedules when used for construction that requires significant detours resulting in a substantial increase in running time due to distance travelled. Additional tripper buses were not utilized for the major construction projects in 2019 as many of the routes remained on regular routing through the construction zones or only had minor detours that did not add significant distance to the route. The addition of buses through construction areas such as the ones experienced in 2019 often add to the already congested corridors due to slowdowns caused by the work underway. As outlined in the chart below, schedule adherence greatly improved on the routes that travelled through major construction areas once the work was completed.
As was the case in 2018, LTC administration continued to work closely with civic administration as well as the specific contractors on each major construction project to ensure regular communication regarding the status of projects in an effort to mitigate the impact of construction on service and ridership by allowing buses to operate in work zones where it is deemed safe to do so. LTC continued to attended weekly meetings with civic administration in 2019, specifically to discuss the impacts of ongoing and upcoming downtown construction projects and will resume attendance when the group reconvenes in March 2020.
The Dundas Place construction project continued through the 2019 construction season and was officially opened entirely on December 14, 2019. Although this project is not on a transit route, the traffic that would have normally operated on Dundas as their preferred route was re-directed to King St and Queens Ave. The additional traffic on King and Queens where LTC buses operate, added to the congestion and contributed to schedule adherence similar to those experienced in 2018.
In addition to the work taking place on Dundas St, York St. was also closed between Ridout and Wellington impacting transit service. While transit service is limited along York Street, traffic was again detoured along King and Queens resulting in additional congestion and adherence delays. For a portion of the project period, the York and Richmond intersection was also closed resulting in detours for routes travelling north/south on Richmond further impacting schedule reliability for the routes operating along this corridor.
Wellington St Channeling
Compounding the service reliability issues on routes travelling through the core between September and December 2019, lane restrictions at Wellington and Dundas resulted in increased congestion and additional impacts to service reliability on all routes travelling through the core.
Oxford and Talbot Intersection Improvements
The Oxford and Talbot intersection experienced two separate improvement projects impacting the service travelling through this area. From April to May 2019, work to improve the manholes in the area was completed. This resulted in lane closures causing significant delays for routes travelling through the area. From late June to late September a signal rebuild took place at this intersection resulting in even more drastic impacts to schedule reliability on the routes in the area due to lane channelization.
Route 15 Impacts
Route 15 experienced significant impacts on schedule adherence and reliability due to multiple projects throughout the construction season. In addition to navigating the slowdowns through the core, there were also construction projects on Cathcart/Devonshire between April and September, various projects on Baseline Rd. West throughout the construction season and a project on Cheapside during July. Trippers were added to help to maintain schedule reliability noting that due to the magnitude of the construction along the route, there was still significant impacts to the customers as a result of service delays.
Wilton Grove Road
On July 5, 2019 Route 30 resumed regular routing after nine months of operating on detour which resulted in complete loss of service for businesses and passengers between Hubrey and Cheese Factory Rd. Further impacts will be experienced on Route 30 as part of the 2020 construction season, as detailed below.
2020 Major Construction Projects
At time of writing there are five known major construction projects that will have significant impact on the transit service during the 2020 construction season.
Work on Richmond between York and Dundas is scheduled to commence in April and is projected to be completed at the end of November 2020. During this time, Routes 4, 6, 15, and 104 will be impacted both northbound and southbound, additionally Routes 3, 13 and 90 will be impacted in the southbound direction only. The anticipated detour will be to utilize Wellington Rd northbound and Ridout St. southbound. A portion of this construction project will also involve the complete closure of the Richmond and King intersection for approximately two months. In addition to the north and south routes, nine routes travelling east on King will be detoured to York St. This is going to have a significant impact on schedule reliability and the customers’ ability to transfer in the core area.
Dundas St from Wellington to Adelaide
Work to construct a new Cycle Track on Dundas Street between Wellington and Adelaide is scheduled to commence this year. Details with respect to the timing of the construction are not known at this time. London Transit administration will continue to work with civic administration and the contractor for the project as there will be permanent impacts to bus stop locations as well as how and where the bus stops are serviced.
Dundas between English and Ontario
Full road reconstruction will be taking placing on Dundas between English and Ontario as part of the 2020 construction season. During the work, the road will be completely closed resulting in detours for Routes 2, 20 and 94 for the duration of the project. As part of the reconstruction, cycle lanes will also be installed along this portion of Dundas which again may have impacts on the current stop locations in this area.
Wilton Grove Road
Further Road work will be taking place along Wilton Grove between Highbury and Old Victoria Road. London Transit will be impacted by the work taking place between Highbury and Commerce which will again result in lengthy detours on Route 30 and the inability to service the Commerce, Max Brose and Cheese Factory Industrial area during the construction. Administration will be in regular communication with the contractors and the businesses in the area to provide regular updates with regard to any detour changes.
Work on Wonderland Road between Wharncliffe and Bradley will not only affect Route 12, but will also have operating impacts for the Wonderland Facility. London Transit will be in regular communication with the contractor on the project to ensure that at least one entrance/exit into the facility is maintained at all times throughout the project to ensure that operations can continue out of the facility. Slowdowns throughout the project are anticipated for Route 12 as well as for buses leaving and arriving from the garage.
The underlying goals with respect to communications regarding detours are to provide passengers and Operators with as much information as far in advance as possible, noting that dates and impacts can change without notice. Accomplishing both of these goals requires a balanced approach.
Overall the communication strategy for the 2019 construction season was successful with limited contacts regarding passengers unaware of detours and stop closures. The majority of contacts received regarding construction were related to schedule reliability with buses delayed due to operating conditions through construction zones, most specifically with Route 15 due to the significant delays related to navigating multiple construction areas. Stop level notices were used in communicating to customers along with time-stamped tweets which informed passengers of where slowdowns were occurring and directing them to Infoweb for real time bus arrival information. An assessment of the communication strategy for the 2020 construction season will be conducted before the start of the major construction projects.
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager