Centred in Bancroft, Ontario, The Rural Overland Utility Transit (affectionately known as the TROUT), offers a unique four-component fully accessible public transit service in seven municipalities comprising the north half of Hastings County, and one Haliburton County municipality in a sparsely populated rural region of Southeastern Ontario.
Among challenges the TROUT faces are its large service area and small population base. The permanent population in the region is only 15,000, and the area served is 3380 km2, about two-thirds the size of Prince Edward Island. That’s an average population density of only 4.4 people per km2, requiring creative service strategies to accommodate the ridership base.
Therefore, the TROUT employs a four-part public transit service mix to meet its demographic and geographic challenges. We call it “TROUT Blended Flex Public Transit Service.” Continue reading
Addressing frequently asked questions about public transit, a public transit advocacy group recently asked and answered the question, “Who funds public transit?”
The London Ontario group, LTC Bus People stated that “although provincial and federal governments provide tax credits and sometimes grants for public transit, the ongoing funding of a transit system is the responsibility of municipal governments.”
Unfortunately, not all municipalities see it that way. After all, public transit costs money, and that cuts into already tight municipal budgets. Road maintenance alone in our rural region in Southeastern Ontario is a huge drain, and municipalities are constantly complaining about being saddled with services dumped on them by the province. Continue reading
Despite living in a world where digital technology has created a global network of interconnections that permeate into most cultures across the globe, our societies and cultures often operate in a disconnected landscape structured on the ideas that sculpted the societies and cultures of our recent past. In short, while globalization in its various forms has brought many positive advances to benefit the human condition (along with many negative ones), some cultures and societies have been better at adapting to (and managing) change than others. In places where the transition to new ways of living has been successful, a common theme is an appreciation by governments, planners, and the general public as to why change is needed, how it benefits the population, and what the outcomes will be.
While Canada has in the past been seen as a world leader in many respects, more recently our global credit for innovative approaches to common challenges (such as peacekeeping, environmental leadership, and democratic ideals) has been falling fast. From the inside looking out, those who are engaged in the cultural dialogues taking place across our country would agree that many of our political leaders (at all levels) are not doing much in the way of leading. Not to paint with too broad a brush, there are many exceptions to the rule (Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi for one), but more often than not, our political leaders have failed to live up to their end of the democratic bargain. In this respect, transportation planning is no different. Granted, we are fortunate enough to live in a geographically vast country with a relatively small population, and as such, our metropolitan regions have had no reason in the past to consider the incredible importance of functioning transportation systems in densely populated regions. More recently though, as population growth and urban sprawl have seen our cities expand horizontally rather than vertically, some Canadian cities—Vancouver, Calgary, and most recently Waterloo—have actually taken this issue quite seriously. Realizing that challenges such as gridlock and healthy urban living are tightly tied to the overall health of their region, leaders in these cities have engaged directly with the public to build systems that work to improve the quality of life for their citizens while also creating an environment where business, culture, and nature can all benefit. Incredibly inspiring, the choices made in these cities can serve as excellent examples for regions facing similar challenges. Continue reading
If you use public transit, you can claim the cost of certain public transit passes to reduce the taxes you owe.
You can claim the cost of monthly or annual passes for unlimited travel within Canada on any of the following: buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains, or ferries. You may also be able to claim the cost of shorter duration passes and electronic payment cards in certain circumstances.
When claiming the public transit amount, keep your transit pass in case the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks you to verify your claim. If you do not have your passes, you can also provide your receipts, cancelled cheques, or credit card statements to support your claim. Continue reading
The affordability of transit is playing a role in the growth of ridership across the US states a 2012 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another key finding was that Baby Boomers, empty nesters and young professionals are also using more public transit.
In our own community we have quite a few empty nesters and we are also attracting Baby Boomers as a retirement option. Having access to public transit only increases the desirability to choose our community to retire in… thus boosting our economy. As for the young professionals, most here drive but I for one don’t and would love to see the TROUT partner with Carlow Mayo as I know others that live here have similar feelings (see TROUT’S report). The access to have some independence without having to rely on a neighbour, family or friend only enhances the quality of life.
TROUT has made some great progress over the last couple of years and we will keep striving to achieve even greater accessibility and service.
Author: Sharron Clayton
Ridership on buses, subways and other modes of public transportation in the USA rose 1.5% to 10.5 billion trips last year, the highest annual total since 2008, according to a new report.
Although Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath slowed ridership on some of the nation’s largest transit systems, at least 16 systems reported record ridership numbers in 2012, says the American Public Transportation Association.
“When Sandy hit, and the snowstorm that followed it, an estimated 74 million (transit) trips were lost, and yet we still had the second-highest ridership since 1957,” said APTA president and CEO Michael Melaniphy. Continue reading
Keeping up with our mandate to bring you the news,media or opinions on public transit we were fortunate enough to have been introduced to the Torontoist. The Torontoist has become the largest, most influential, and most widely-read website of its kind in Canada. Below is an article by Daren Foster….of whom I personally will be following closely.
At the first Feeling Congested panel, even some of the mayor’s allies seemed to agree that the City may need to tax and toll its way to better transit.
It struck me, sitting in the audience for the first panel discussion related to the City’s Feeling Congested public-transit campaign on Monday night, that any similar event in the future needs to leave an empty spot on the panel—sort of like when people leave an empty seat for Elijah at a Passover seder, except this empty seat would be for Mayor Rob Ford. The door is always open to him, an invitation extended. But if the short tradition of this transit discussion holds, he will never make an appearance.
Or rather, he will be there in spirit.
The mayor’s presence hung heavily and awkwardly over every question asked and every answer given on Monday. Metrolinx’s Big Move needs leadership, someone to champion it as a vital step towards dealing with the congestion that’s disrupting the entire GTA’s economic and social well-being. To have the mayor of the biggest municipality in the region fundamentally disagreeing with the idea of new revenue tools and obstinately absenting himself from the debate establishes a significant obstacle—a major road block, if you will. It’s the exact opposite of leadership. It’s a hindrance.
Read more by Daren Foster at our friends the Torontoist
MichaelShort/California Watch In Fairfield, officials have outsourced the city’s public bus service to MV Transportation
California – As more cities turn to private companies to run public transit systems, our recent investigation shows that privatization may not be the silver bullet that cash-strapped municipalities were hoping for.In Fairfield, where the city’s suburban landscape makes it difficult to provide reliable and comprehensive bus service, local officials are finding it hard to hold its contractor, MV Transportation, accountable. Transit reporter Zusha Elinson found that “over a two-year period beginning in 2008, the company was fined 295 times for a total of $164,000” for late arrival times and drivers speeding, being out of uniform and using cellphones while driving.
Behind the fines, however, is a much larger ideological debate: Is privatization of certain industries like transit, which some traditionally consider to be public domain, a good thing?
We asked Elinson to break it down for us. Continue reading
Commuters are more likely to stop using public transit when they experience delays they can blame on the transit agency, according to researchers at the University of California Berkeley.
They are more likely to forgive delays caused by traffic, emergencies or mechanical failures.
“The most significant negative experiences that drove a reduction in transit use were delays perceived to be the fault of the transit agency, long waits at transfer points, and being prevented from boarding due to crowding,” wrote the researchers: graduate student Andre Carrel, undergraduate Anne Halvorsen and Professor Joan L. Walker from Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Continue reading