Summary of Notes
Industrial Service Transit Summit
May 15, 2018
The standard fixed-route approach is a regular route that operates on a fixed schedule and serves the industrial areas. A fixed-route service to an industrial area is a traditional, standard transit service approach.
- Simple to understand
- Lots of residential development occurring along Commissioners Rd. Between Summerside and Hamilton Rd. Could provide ridership productivity for Innovation Park Service
- A potential walk distance of 400m is not really an issue for employers. They would be very happy with just a basic/limited level of service.
- At the very least service could be provided to the corner of Commissioners and Hamilton where a walkway leads into Innovation Park
- Ability to rely on service and coordinate shift times to match bus schedule
- May have less coverage or require more walking than other options, but some service nearby is better than no service
- More marketable for employers when multiple routes can connect to Route 30. For instance in September when we add 10/14 early enough to White Oaks, employers can now say transit service from Wonderland, Highbury, and Wellington will get them to work in a timely fashion
- Always know what time the bus is coming, set schedule, reliable, makes last minute employee fill-ins for shifts possible
- Launching idea of transit to call centre people, to get employees to their jobs
- Reliable at certain times of the day
- More options for candidates
- Can provide for most of the shift times
- Could just run it during peak times
- No problem hitting the 15 riders per hour target if notice is given so they can open their options to hire employees that depend on the bus
- Area growth will provide opportunity to reevaluate transit service and possible expansion or stretching of the existing service
- Scheduled service that can be relied on
- Will need to hit minimum ridership thresholds to be sustainable (15 per hour)
- Schedule is fixed based on distance
- Earliest/Latest trips are driven by the connectivity to the rest of the network
- Will not help with day shift (starting between 5:30am and 7:00am)
- Schedule may not line up with shift times
- Requires more service investment if providing to and from work trips (ex: 11pm service)
- Not reliable, running late, long time on the bus, not frequent enough
- Economics aren’t reliable, use shuttle service like Hospitals do. Some places won’t buy extra land for parking and promote shuttling/ride-sharing amongst employees
- Area isn’t transit user friendly
- No lighting, no sidewalks
- Long walk all the way around building from road (10 min walk from Bradley)
- No one wants to change shift times
- Trucks parked on roads all day/safety
- Service does not begin early enough for some employer’s shift times and an overnight shift could catch the bus home if they waited 30-40 minutes.
- Would prefer to have the resources currently being used on the fixed-route service put into an alternative model
- Fixed-route service does not currently serve the airport area where it is needed and there needs to be an expansion
- Current time of system doesn’t work
- Start times of route wouldn’t be early enough to get employees to work for 5:30am
- Some employers indicated flexibility to change shift times, others did not
- Getting to work by transit should be the primary focus. Once at work it is much easier to car-pool home with co-workers.
- Many businesses were willing to accommodate individuals who relied on the bus allowing them to start their work 15-30 minutes earlier or later depending; however, it doesn’t feel ‘fair’ to the rest of the employees and is not an encouraged practice
- Service to get people home from an afternoon shift would be very beneficial
- Employers have hired on large numbers of seasonal staff who are only hired if they can guarantee they have a way to get to work every day.
- Retention of new or seasonal employees is more difficult now with wage minimums at $14/hour; they see themselves competing with retail and coffee shops for the same employees who are not burdened with the time or expense of vehicle ownership or long transit commutes.
- Employer offers a flex time shift for workers that rely on transit however the fixed route service that we currently run does not service the end of their late shift which finishes at midnight Monday thru Thursday.
- Felt that the need for service and LTC ridership counts was a chicken and egg postulation and that if the service was there more would take advantage of it (to defer car ownership)
The tripper model is an extension of the general fixed-route service. Additional buses are sent out to supplement the fixed-route service during short-term peak demand periods (such as same shift start or end time for multiple employers) to protect against overcrowding. Sufficient demand must warrant an operation of a tripper before it is added to the schedule. For industrial area service, trippers would generally be focused on employee shift times.
- Limited shift times for big employers mean a lot of people moving at one specific time.
- Ability to deliver cost-effective service when shift times are coordinated (ex 11pm)
- Cost effective, if all companies had the same start/finish times this idea would be great.
- Charge employees $5/day to shuttle them to/from work
- Covers key areas that need service, use private model
- This concept is used at GRT, helps with demands. Use at times of 6am-9am and 2pm to 5pm. Employees are willing to pay a bit more to get a shuttle/tripper service
- A more flexible schedule
- More options for hiring candidates
- Less expensive than a fixed-route
- Provides service at the times when it is needed
- Better than nothing. Will handle pulse ridership needs. Flexible to change if there was a need to adjust at any time.
- Still provides fixed-route service on LTC buses.
- Number of passengers needs to hit minimum boarding targets (similar to fixed-route service)
- Benefits companies with fixed times or where times line up with tripper, but not others outside of those times
- If production ends earlier and people are able to leave early, they’d have to wait for the bus to go home (not a common occurrence though)
- Less dependable/reliable
- Not a solution
- Shift start/end times are all different
- Confusing for passengers
- Will not increase the pool of employees
- Current time of system doesn’t work
- Challenges such as early start times (as early as 5:30am) or later end times (11:20pm) and employees who live all over the city – the connecting routes would also be required to run earlier/ later
- Shift times in the area are generally between 7:30-9:00 starts, and 16:00 to 17:00 finish.
Branch routes are a variant of a fixed-route service. Branch routes are a pattern of a regular route that deviates from the main route serving a different area and/or terminal point. These branch routes often have less frequent service than the main route and are more suitable to lower demand destinations such as industrial park areas.
- Could provide better span of service.
- Span of service seems to be a higher priority as compared to frequency.
- Less connections required
- People know exactly what times the route will branch off and can plan accordingly.
- Might only be every other bus or during peak times
- More options for hiring candidates
- Discussed the possibility of this as a solution for those needing a ride home at the the 22:30 – 23:30 hour where a bus (or buses) from another route could potentially deviate in order to get workers from the late shifts to a transit hub.
- Allows for service to be tailored to when it is needed for the area
- Easier to understand than some of the other options
- Provides scheduled service that is reliable.
- Require minimum boardings per revenue vehicle hour (15) to be met as it is generally the same as a fixed-route
- Schedule is fixed based on distance
- Earliest/latest trips are driven by the connectivity to the rest of the network
- Creates confusion; however, this could be okay since most riders could be regulars
- Trucks parked on roads all day/ safety
- Scheduling to meet early and late shifts
- Ridership could be low at first since no companies hire candidate that don’t have their own transportation
- Too close to the same idea as a fixed-route service which does not meet current needs
- Companies would like to have input into where the stops are located
This model is usually adopted in partnership with the employers who will request pick-up and drop-off transit service for their workers during peak shift periods. The shuttles would service only employees of the partnering employers, picking them up at either pre-determined ‘stops’ or at their homes, and dropping them off at the entrance to their place of employment (with the reverse trip being completed at the end of a shift). Employment or industrial shuttles do not run outside of the shift start and end times and do not typically serve the general public.
- Could operate outside of transit hours or have increased span of service
- Could use Argyle Mall and maybe downtown as shuttle points
- Relatively simple to understand
- Front door pick up and drop off is attractive for accessibility.
- Employers could work together to find appropriate shuttle times.
- More reliable
- Could be more cost-effective if partnerships formed between businesses
- More accountability
- Good model, great with shifts that have set times, don’t need to change shift times.
- Shuttles helps with OT shifts
- Flexibility for employees
- Eases on parking at factories
- Benefit to employees they could opt in or out of the service
- Open to everyone
- More options for hiring candidates
- Most had not considered this alternative, would be a way to provide data back to the city or LTC to show the need for additional service.
- Can take employees directly to the door to reduce unsafe walking from bus stops along roads without sidewalks
- Safer for late night shift times as employees don’t have to walk along unlit roads
- Can be customized to shift start and end times
- Provides reliable transportation from/to major bus stops or terminal points.
- This has been utilized in the past from other (large) employers
- Quicker set-up than regular bus service
- Dial-a-Ride option allows provision of service in areas with low density.
- Only employees of participating employers can utilize the service
- Other service would not generally be added to the area with this type of service for companies not participating in the shuttle program as minimum boardings would be unlikely to be met.
- Requires employer cost sharing to be implemented
- Some concern over the # of people who would use it
- Cost – especially for smaller employers
- May be challenging to meet accessibility requirements
- Potential liability for employers
- Fixed-route bus feels comfortable as it’s public space – issues could arise within a private contractor vehicle
- Doesn’t create ridership growth, not public service
- Not marketable
- More costly service, aggressive on employee for cost if they are paying for this service
- Only benefits employees without their own transportation from a human resources point of view
- Have to have a parking area/car pool lot
- Employer financial commitment
- Some employers in Wilton Grove already doing this and paying the full cost
- Other employers are doing this but charging their employees $5/day
- Employers in Stratford/Strathroy/Ingersoll are offering shuttles to central London and are able to get better talent than London industrial employers
- Would LTC help organize employers to provide this type of service?
- Significant interest in this option.
- Most companies at the table are willing to look into financial contributions to make this a reality on a pilot project basis (i.e 1 year)
First Mile/Last Mile
This model provides transit to customers in lower demand areas with connectivity to/from major destinations such as rapid transit stations, transit terminals, downtown core, etc.
- Attractive option to test out service
- Smaller capacity doesn’t require high ridership levels
- Good for data collection to see where people are going from and to
- Front door pick up and drop off is attractive for accessibility
- Most attractive option for short term flexibility to test out
- Know where the service is if connected via an app
- Door-to-Door potential
- Streamlining the request of service (if an app)
- Could operate outside of LTC operating hours
- Could provide Saturday/ Sunday service when fixed route is not feasible
- Information gathered through requests for service could inform the provision of fixed route in the future
- More options for hiring candidates without their own transportation
- Provide safety on/off
- Some discussion with regard to more technological solutions, mentioned if you use Uber it can be shared between passengers and the fare decreases by some factor per number of passengers.
- It would be more complex and reliable than a shuttle or conventional service
- Less stability than fixed service – when will I get there/ get picked up?
- Harder to adapt to a new service delivery model
- More confusing to change modes
- No street lights/sidewalks
- Companies won’t want to pay, this is an expensive option
- Would not consider this a reliable transportation source and would not hire employees relying on this form of transportation
- Idea to partner with school bus transportation providers since they don’t run very early or late
This model operates on a fixed route and fixed schedule for certain portions of the route. At the request of a passenger, the driver has the ability to ‘flex’ off the route to pre-designated areas to pick-up or drop-off a passenger.
- Right to the door
- Dropped off wherever they want
- More options for candidates
- Similar to the branch conversation, interest was expressed in more than just White Oaks as a destination.
- Allows for service when it is needed
- Can work better with shift start and end times than some of the other options
- Service can be tailored to meet demand in this case.
- This option has been used in other municipalities.
- Can have impacts on scheduling as the route only ‘flexes’ off the regular routing when requested, impacting arrival times for other passengers- If combined with a regular line bus
- Timing of arrival at destinations is not consistent/dependable
- Need to meet minimum boarding per revenue hour thresholds
- Less stability than fixed service – could be missed
- Chances for miscommunication between request and dispatch and driver and potential for things to go wrong
- Bus would not be on schedule
- Doesn’t work to communicate with drivers of when to pick-up/drop off passengers. Technology isn’t there yet for this. Also the community isn’t ready for this model.
- Potential problem for driver (if you drop them off I’ll be late for work)
- Who gets priority on drop off (5 people going to one location)
- Can be confusing to passengers wanting to catch the bus and knowing how far in advance to request the service
- Concern about reliability to get employees to work on time and pick them up at the end of the shift
- Very little interest from the group, due to the variable nature of the service and the potential for employees to be late for work.
Guaranteed Ride Home
This form of dynamic transit can be used as a ‘guaranteed ride home’. These programs are often funded by the employers to encourage their employees to take alternative modes to the private automobile or to support employees who do not have access to one.
- Could be a way for employers to invest by encouraging transit use by guaranteeing a ride home or emergency trip home; this would work as London Transit provides additional service
- Employees are in comfort in knowing they can get to/from work even if they stay behind for an overtime shift
- Helps employers get people in for shifts, good marketing tool, it’s viable if more people use it at the same time; have same start/finish time.
- More options for hiring staff, right now the companies included only hire individuals that have their own transportation
- Excellent service.
- Many companies could come together to share the cost.
- Requires funding by the employer
- Should just focus on getting a limited introduction of service first
- Employees may be willing to pay their own way for emergencies that come up or the rare time a shift ends late etc.
- Employers may have to take more cost of getting employees to/from work.
- Way too much money
- Once the benefit is there we would have to provide it to the whole place
- Would need to be combined with another option before it could be considered
- More interested in having reliable transit service before looking into this model
- Not supported due to expense and sheer number of employees per shift
Other General Comments
- Generally the Airport/Skyway group was not interested in a fixed-route service as they do not see it as being able to meet the needs of their employees and would rather see investment in an alternative model.
- Want something that is going to be more “right to the door” to avoid the current safety concerns in the area with there not being sidewalks.
- Want whichever model is decided to service the area better than the 36 does as it does not service all of the employers in the area (most are within 400 meters, but they do not think this is an acceptable walking distance)
- Need service for shifts ending at 11:30am and midnight that will connect to other routes
- Look at having different models to help this industrial servicing issue; not just one model.
- See what’s cheaper: ride-sharing, third party and what works best in different areas.
- Some employers are understanding of employees being a bit late due to bus schedules, but will not change their start/finish time. This is due to the companies clients’ demands from them. It will create a domino effect if schedules are altered
- Employees live all over the city and need good transit options from all over
- Many employers run shifts 6 days a week
- City is encouraging and developing industrial land in the South East but without appropriate transit service and then it asks the employers to help pay for transit
- The group expressed flexibility in the type of service that could be provided and were open to collaborate both on shift times and service provision and on cost-sharing.
- There was particular enthusiasm to share costs for stop infrastructure in the form of shelters or seating.
- There is willingness on the part of some employers to shift start times of shifts
- Service that addresses the start of day shift was not a deal breaker.
- Serving beginning of afternoon and evening shift is equally important.
- Many employers agreed that getting people to work was more important than providing service at end of shift.
- There is a walkway from intersection of Hamilton and Commissioners Rd that leads to Innovation Park.
- It is not uncommon for employees to hang around 30 mins at end of shift to wait for their shared ride home for transit.
- There was clear agreement that whatever service gets implemented, that it needs to be simple and easy to understand.
- The more complicated service models seem more appropriate as add-ons or enhancements once a basic service is already in place.
- Employers understood the value of them contributing to a service to guarantee it gets up and running and that it would last a length of time sufficient to attract riders.
- Not knowing the cost of contributing to a service, some employers were worried about how much management approval they would need (in several cases out of country management).