Staff Report #6
August 30, 2023
To All Commissioners
Re: Service Improvement Implementation Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The following report provides an update regarding the status of the implementation of the previously approved 2021 and 2022 service plan changes for the both the Conventional and Specialized services.
As discussed in previous reports, there was no service growth budget allocated to 2023 given the deferral in implementing the 2021 and 2022 service plans as the result of the pandemic and related resource shortages. The plan for 2023 was to implement the deferred service improvements as resources became available throughout the year, versus waiting until September to implement all changes at once.
In April 2023, approximately 12,000 of the 36,000 hours of outstanding service were implemented. These changes focused on improving frequency during periods where routes were operating at 60-minute headways and reducing this to 30-minutes. These changes were well received by both passengers and Operators.
Additional service changes were implemented in June 2023 which focused on adding additional round trip time on Route 2 in order to improve schedule adherence and reliability of the route. While the full impact of this modification has not been assessed due to ongoing construction and related detours, it is anticipated that reliability of the service will be significantly improved as a result of the change. Frequency improvements on Route 20 were also introduced as part of the summer modifications.
In addition to the above noted changes, Route 38 was also introduced in June to provide service to the Innovation Park Industrial area. Since the introduction of service, ridership on the route has continued to climb and currently averages around 120 boardings per day. A detailed review of the ridership data determined that approximately 70% of riders are Fanshawe College students travelling to the Advanced Business and Industry Solutions building. The remaining 30% of ridership is split between adult fare riders (tickets, stored value passes, Citipass and weekday pass) and Western students.
In addition to the return of fall service levels effective September 3, 2023, additional service improvements will be implemented as set out in Table I below.
Table I – September Service Changes
|16||Increase round trip time to 90 minutes and increase frequency from 17 minutes to 15 minutes between 9PM and 12AM|
|24||Introduce service between 6AM and 10AM and between 5PM and 9PM on a 40 minute frequency|
|25||Increase frequency to 20 minutes between 6PM and 9PM|
|36||Introduce an A routing operating north of Oxford along Clarke Road, Huron and Robin’s Hill Road.
Both the 36 and 36A will operate between Fanshawe College and the Airport with a 15 minute frequency on the common sections of the route.
Both the 36 and 36A will be extended to operate until 7:30PM
|93||Increase frequency to 25 minutes between 8AM and 10AM and 5PM and 12AM|
|102||Increase frequency to 15 minutes between 6PM and 12AM|
|106||Increase frequency to 10 minutes between 6PM and 9PM|
With the implementation of the above noted service changes, approximately 27,000 hours of the approved 36,000 outstanding service hours have been implemented. The remainder of the service improvements will be implemented in early 2024 as resources are available.
A communications campaign to inform passengers of the changes effective September 3, 2023 has been rolled out and includes on board posters, information on the corporate website and social media, and updated Ride Guide Maps. Additionally, communications have been provided directly to Fanshawe College and Western with regards to changes that impact their students.
Planning staff will be undertaking ridership counts and assessments of all of the implemented service changes over the next several weeks with a detailed assessment to be included in the draft 2024 Service Plan Report which is scheduled to be presented at the October 2023 meeting.
Given the manner in which the specialized service operates, service improvements can be made throughout the year, as resources become available. As has been communicated in previous reports, the contractor for the specialized service has encountered challenges with the current labour market and has struggled to attract drivers consistent with the experience of London Transit. Additionally, as set out in Staff Report #3 dated August 30, 2023, the contractor has experienced significant delays in the delivery of the vehicles required to expand the service.
Throughout 2023, administration has worked with the contractor to identify solutions to these issues which would allow for the required expansion of service levels. The table below sets out a high level overview of the progression to date as well as the planned full service levels by the fall of 2023.
|Average Weekday Service Hours||395||450||570|
|Average Weekday Rides||830||945||1,200|
The additional vehicles are scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2023, and the contractor is currently working on the recruitment of Operators to have the required workforce available as soon as the vehicles are ready for service. It is expected that service levels will be increased to match the expected 2023 levels by the end of the year.
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager