Staff Report #6
January 31, 2024
To All Commissioners
Re: Service Request Update – Conventional Transit
The report be NOTED and FILED.
At the November 29, 2023 meeting, the Commission approved, in principle, the Draft 2024 Service Plan. Following the meeting, the Planning department has been conducting public engagement through online surveys as well as emails and phone calls from residents. While a full evaluation of all the feedback has not yet been completed, some trends with requests for service in areas that traditionally have not warranted increased service levels are starting to emerge.
With an increase in enrollment at both Western and Fanshawe, challenges with housing availability near campus as well as the rising cost of housing in these areas, students are starting to move into areas further away from campus. As students continue to move further away from traditional student housing areas to living further away from campus, requests for additional service in areas that typically warranted lower frequency is continuing to increase. This is a trend that is being seen across the Province within other municipalities and transit agencies. Areas such as Upperpoint Gate (Oxford and Westdel Bourne) are becoming popular student housing areas. The closest route to this neighbourhood is the 17B which currently only operates weekdays until 6:30pm, with no weekend service. A weekday service extension until midnight would require approximately 2,800 annual service hours, noting this is just one example of increased demand in areas that historically did not warrant longer service hours or increased frequency.
All requests for additional service have to be evaluated and assessed against each other to determine the priorities for implementation in a given year, keeping in mind budget considerations. With over 300,000 hours of outstanding service requests including improvements to existing service and expansion into new residential and Industrial areas, not all requests for service will be able to be addressed in the short to medium term.
Consideration will be given to the changing demands for transit service in London as part of the assessment to prioritize service changes through the 2025-2029 Five Year Service Planning Process currently underway. The review will assess all outstanding requests for service changes and prioritize those considered to be the highest priority for implementation over the next five years while still meeting budget expectations.
A full review of all feedback received through the 2024 Draft Service Plan public engagement will be included in the final 2024 Service Plan report which will be presented to the Commission following finalization of the Municipal Council Multi-Year budget.
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager