Staff Report #7 – 2024 Work Program – Specialized Operations– First Quarter Update

Staff Report #7

April 24, 2024

To All Commissioners

Re: 2024 Work Program – Specialized Operations– First Quarter Update


The report be NOTED and FILED.


The following report is provided as an update on significant projects as set out in the 2024 Work Program that were scheduled to commence and/or be substantially completed in the first quarter, with the lead on same being the primary responsibility of the Director of Operations.

1.4 – 2024 Specialized Service Improvements

Collection of data with respect to completed trip times, requested trip times and common pick up and drop off locations has been completed in an effort to identify the days/time periods that additional resources will be dedicated to as growth hours are implemented. The review indicated that the highest unmet demand for trips is occurring between 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Sunday morning time period has experienced increased demand and Saturdays during the day and evening hours are in need of some improvement.

As such, subsequent to Municipal Council approval of the multi-year budget and associated growth hours for the Specialized Service, the 2024 service improvements will be directed to improve those identified periods. Until such time as additional vehicles can be purchased and placed into service, adjustments are limited to those that can be made to off-peak periods, when existing vehicles in the fleet are available. As such, effective mid-April, an additional vehicle has been added to the service in the weekday evening periods from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, a bus has been added on Saturdays from 8:00am – 10:00pm, and two buses have been added on Sunday mornings from 8:30am – 2:00pm. The remaining growth hours for 2024 will be added to the service upon the receipt of the three additional peak period vehicles, which is anticipated to be in September. Those vehicles are planned to be added to the service from 8:00am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday.

In light of the multi-year budget approvals for growth hours, the contractor has been advised to purchase the requisite vehicles required for the 2025 service improvements, and to ensure they are available for service in January 2025 so the full 10,000 hours can be implemented.

4.5 a) – Assessment of New Vehicles on Specialized

As outlined in Staff Report #4 dated January 31, 2024, a number of concerns with respect to the new vehicle design and resulting performance of same were received subsequent to the vehicles being placed into service. While the review did not identify specific safety issues related to the use of the vehicles, given concerns raised by customers utilizing power wheelchairs and their associated comfort with utilizing the ramp to enter and exit the vehicle, the decision was made to restrict riders that require a lift from being assigned to these vehicles. This vehicle continues to perform well in the provision of ambulatory trips, and as such, the ten vehicles of this type will continue to be utilized as part of the fleet delivering specialized services, however going forward, fleet expansion vehicles will return to the standard configuration. The contractor has indicated that delivery times for the original vehicle specification have significantly improved and as such, returning to the original specification should not pose an impediment to increasing service hours.

12.9 – Specialized Booking System replacement

As recommended and approved in Staff Report #1 dated February 28, 2024, administration has initiated the system upgrade process with the vendor.

To date, administration has met with representatives from TripSpark and the respective teams are working through the details in the Software License and Maintenance Agreement, which is anticipated to be concluded in the coming weeks. Until such time as the detailed work plan is completed, milestone dates cannot be confirmed; however, discussions to date have not resulted in any indication that dates will vary significantly from those set out in the February report.

Recommended by:

Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations

Concurred in by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager