Staff Report #6
March 30, 2022
To All Commissioners
Re: 2022 Service Plan – Conventional Transit
That the Commission:
I. APPROVE the 2022 Conventional Transit Service Plan as set out below noting the recommended changes represent approximately 17,500 additional service hours:
- Route 2: Weekday- Increase round trip time from 120 minutes to 135 minutes between 4pm and 6pm
- Route 16: Weekday- Increase round trip time from 80 minutes to 90 minutes and increase frequency from 17 minutes to 15 minutes between 9am and 2pm
- Route 20: Weekday- Increase frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes between 9am and 12pm
- Route 24
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 40 minutes to 30 minutes between 6am and 9pm
- Saturday- Introduce service between 6am and 10am on a 40 minute frequency
- Saturday- Introduce service between 5pm and 9pm on a 40 minute frequency
- Route 25
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 7am and 9am
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 9am and 12pm
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 12pm and 2pm
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 6pm and 9pm
- Route 36
- Weekday- Introduce an A and B Routing with Route 36A serving the Airport and the current Industrial area south of Oxford and Route 36B serving the airport and the Industrial area north of Oxford along Huron and Robin’s Hill Road
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes between 6am and 6pm
- Weekday- Extend service to 7:30 pm on a 15 minute frequency
- Route 93
- Saturday- Increase frequency from 36 minutes to 25 minutes between 8am and 10am
- Saturday- Increase frequency from 38 minutes to 25 minutes between 5pm and 9pm
- Saturday- Increase frequency from 36 minutes to 25 minutes between 9pm and 12am
- Route 102
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes between 6pm and 9pm
- Weekday- Increase frequency from 35 minutes to 20 minutes between 9pm and 12am
II. DIRECT administration to order the five expansion buses required for the 2022 Service Plan.
2020 was to have been the first year of London Transit’s second Five-Year Service Plan Framework (the Framework) which sets out six strategic directions in an effort to improve the transit experience system-wide:
- Enhance the Overall Levels of Service
- Explore Alternative Service Delivery Models in New Communities
- Improve Direct Connections
- Build on the Express Route Network
- Eliminate 60 Minute Headways
- Minimize Impacts on Existing Passengers
With the declaration of a Global Pandemic in March 2020 and the recommendation by civic administration that only urgent essential growth requests be considered for funding in 2020, the Commission approved the deferral of the 2020 Service Plan to be reviewed for implementation in 2021. The 2021 service plan was approved by the Commission for implementation in September 2021. As a result of ongoing COVID-19 related impacts, the implementation of the 2021 service plan was delayed noting the majority of the approved service plan changes are anticipated to be implemented May 1, 2021. The implementation of the new Route 95 Express and frequency improvements on Route 106 are anticipated to be implemented in September with the return of Post-Secondary Students at Western and Fanshawe College.
The 2022 Service Plan changes will represent the second year of implementation of the Five-Year Service Plan Framework as a result of the above mentioned COVID-19 related impacts. At the November 24, 2021 meeting, the Commission approved the 2022 Draft Conventional Service Plan and directed administration to finalize the plan for the March 30, 2022 meeting to align with the required approval of the Assessment Growth Business Case by Municipal Council which is the source of funding for the city’s share of the growth. The 2022 Service Plan changes focus on addressing schedule adherence issues, increasing capacity to reduce crowding and expansion of Industrial service. Table I sets out the recommended service changes for 2022.
Table I- Recommended 2022 Service Plan Changes
|Description of Proposed Service Change
|Annual Service Hours
|Weekday- Increase round trip time from 120 minutes to 135 minutes between 4pm and 6pm
|Weekday – Increase round trip time from 80 minutes to 90 minutes and Increase frequency from 17 minutes to 15 minutes between 9pm and 2pm
|Weekday- increase frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes between 9am and 2pm
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 40 minutes to 30 minutes between 6am and 9pm
|Saturday- Introduce service between 6am and 10am on a 40 minute frequency
|Saturday- Introduce service between 5pm and 9pm on a 40 minute frequency
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 7am and 9am
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 9am and 12pm
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 12pm and 2pm
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 20 minutes between 6pm and 9pm
|Introduce an A and B Routing with Route 36A serving the Airport and the current Industrial area south of Oxford and Route 36B serving the airport and the Industrial area north of Oxford along Huron and Robin’s Hill Road
Weekday- Increase frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes between 6am and 6pm
Expansion of Industrial service
|Weekday- Extend service to 7:30pm on a 15 minute frequency
|Saturday- Increase frequency from 36 minutes to 25 minutes between 8am and 10am
|Saturday- Increase frequency from 38 minutes to 25 minutes between 5pm and 9pm
|Saturday- Increase frequency from 36 minutes to 25 minutes between 9pm and 12am
|Description of Proposed Service Change
|Annual Service Hours
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 20 minutes to 15 minutes between 6pm and 9pm
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 35 minutes to 20 minutes between 9pm and 12am
As indicated in the table above, the recommended service changes will require five expansion buses. The expansion bus requirements are included in the Commission’s 2022 Capital Budget Program, and as set out in the report recommendation, buses will be ordered subsequent to the approval of the 2022 Service Plan.
Traditionally, service changes take effect in September of each year. While this is what has been assumed in this report, and is considered the preference, the ability to move forward with all recommended changes in September may be impacted by employee resource and bus availability relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Administration will work toward ensuring adequate staffing levels and bus availability for a September implementation date, and will keep the Commission apprised as the year progresses.
The draft plan prioritized 24,036 annual service hours however the budget only allows for the addition of 18,000 hours in 2022. As such, further refinement of the draft plan was required and resulted in some draft recommendations being deferred for review as part of future service plan assessments. Table II below sets out the draft proposals that are recommended for deferral, noting that these changes will be subject to the service plan review process.
Table II- 2022 Recommended Deferrals from the Draft 2022 Service Plan
|Draft Proposed Recommendations
|Annual Service Hour Impact
|Weekday- Introduce 20-minute frequency between 9am and 2pm
|Defer for consideration as part of the 2023 Service Plan Review process
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 26 minutes to 20 minutes between 6am and 9am
|Weekday- Increase frequency from 23 minutes to 15 minutes between 2pm and 6pm
While one of the strategic directions from the Five Year Service Plan Framework is to grow the Express Route Network, it is recommended to defer the proposed changes to Route 94 for consideration as part of future service plan reviews. Route 94 is still a relatively new Express Route and the impacts of COVID-19 are still impacting the ridership base. The route will continue to be monitored and assessed as part of the annual service plan review process to prioritize when additional service is warranted.
Cherryhill Community Bus
The Community Bus service is specially designed to serve the needs of seniors and persons with mobility challenges. Service is provided, where possible, to the doors of specified seniors residences, medical facilities and shopping centres. The Cherryhill Community Bus service has been operating for many years and has continued to grow in popularity resulting in the need to add an additional bus five days a week and a third bus on Wednesdays for the growing ridership demand. Currently the two runs operating Monday through Friday operate 30-foot Eldorado buses. The smaller buses allow for the route to access the front door of some apartment buildings. The Eldorado buses are currently at the end of their useful life and as such will be retired in September 2022. A full review of the current community bus routing was completed to determine the impacts of moving away from the 30-foot buses. It was determined, that the impacts would be minimal with only five buildings on the route requiring a modification to the routing. Based on this assessment, the Community Bus routing through Cherryhill will be modified effective Tuesday September 6, 2022 to operate 40-foot buses. The modification will allow for more capacity on the buses to address the ever increasing ridership demand noted above.
Changes to pick-up locations will be communicated to the passengers via on-board posters, brochures and notices posted in the affected apartment buildings.
Alternative Service Delivery Models
One of the six strategic directions set out in the 2020-2024 Five-Year Service Plan, is to explore alternative service delivery models (ASDs) in areas of the city that are currently unserved due to low ridership potential. The phasing plan set out in the Framework called for the implementation of the first ASD in the Innovation Park Industrial area as well as expanding service hour coverage in the Sovereign Road area as part of the 2020 Service Plan improvements.
With the deferral of the 2020 Service Plan, the implementation of the ASD route was delayed to the 2021 service plan. As set out in Staff Repot #1 dated September 21, 2021, Dillon Consulting has completed the development of an Alternative Service Delivery Implementation Plan for the Innovation Park area. The next step is to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) from technology vendors for the software required for the ASD service, followed by a RFP for a service provider. Further updates on the process for implementation of the ASD will be provided to the Commission as appropriate.
Given the ongoing realities with the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person public engagement sessions were not held as part of the 2022 consultation process. To gather public feedback information was posted on the London Transit website and customers were encouraged to call or email a customer service representative with any questions or feedback on the proposed changes. Information regarding public engagement for the draft service plan was also posted on the corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts. Additionally, anyone wishing to discuss the proposed changes in more detail were invited to schedule a phone meeting with a member of the Planning Department.
The feedback received from the public was very limited with only two requests for phone meetings with the Planning Department and very limited contacts through Customer Service. Given the majority of the proposed changes were to improve schedule adherence or increase capacity it was not unexpected that engagement would be less than in previous years. Of the feedback received, the majority of customers expressed support for the proposed extension of the Route 36 into the Huron and Robin’s Hill Road area.
Subject to Commission approval of the 2022 Conventional Transit Service Plan, the next steps associated with the implementation of the service changes include:
- preparation/production of new schedules, layovers/time points, public timetables and Operator sign-up;
- updating the AVL system;
- updating schedule information for Google Maps; and
- undertaking a marketing program including printed Ride Guide maps, on-board and stop level notices, website updates and social media, as well as internal info screen postings, Operator information sessions and an internal newsletter.
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager