2017-01-05 Thu

Mississauga Transit

I have long maintained that the sheep who bleat ďItís not fair to compare Toronto to Paris; they are bigger than us and have been at it longerĒ are clueless.

Hereís the clue: Mississauga and Brampton both are smaller and younger than Toronto, and they have better public transit systems.

Donít be swayed by a subway train system that hasnít really been extended since 1982, and is today still bogged down in arguments.

Look instead to the impact on passengers: Mississauga and Brampton both have two-hour transfer tickets. They seem to say ĎWe understand that you want to go to the library and then go homeĒ. Mississauga and Brampton have co-operative transfers. I used to hop on a Mississauga transit bus in Toronto (!) and the Mississauga Transit transfer was valid on the Brampton bus that would wheel me into Bramalea centre, no problems.

More proof arises from Mississauga Transit,s new 5-year plan. Go search for ď Mississauga.ca - MiWay - MiWay Five.htm Ē and check out one of the documents Corporate Report , Executive Summary , MiWay 5 Information Session Presentation (October 2016)

There is too a Toronto Star article ďMississauga moves to make transit competitive with the carĒ. (Tess Kalinowski Transportation reporter Sun., April 3, 2016).

In brief, Mississauga is straightening many of its meandering bus routes and producing a grid layout that ties in to the Transitway and LRT.

How well I remember the old #19 bus route that picked me up on Dundas Street near the Kipling GO station and took over seventy-five minutes to wander down Dundas street then up Erin Mills to Streetsville, a tour of Streetsville back streets, then back across Erin Mills to poke around the small hotel district before dropping me off at Meadowvale Go station. Yes, I lived on the GO train line that then, as now, brings people from Meadowvale to Kipling but still canít take people from Kipling to Meadowvale.

I am especially delighted because over three years ago I came up with a scheme to improve the Toronto Transit Commission by turning Toronto into a grid system, with buses screaming along the major east-west and north-south streets (Steeles, Finch, Sheppard, ... Kipling, Islington, Jane, ...) stopping only at the major north-south and east-west streets. That is, buses that stopped just once every kilometre or more. All this augmented by small cells, bounded by these major streets Within the small cells shuttle buses would roam the cell, meandering to the major attractions Ė library, school, mall and so on, and as a bonus the drivers would get to know the citizens, and vice-versa. A very local bus cell would better serve passengers, while the express grid would get people across the city in double-quick time.

Transit director Geoff Marinoff has a cute phrase. He says that the current (2016) bus map looks like someone dropped spaghetti on the map, and just last Tuesday I took a bus with a friend who said quite happily ďThis is the scenic tour route!Ē.

The point is made that office/industrial buildings with parking lots out front make it difficult for people to spot the bus, but when parking lots are moved to the back and the building moves to the street, the building foyer becomes a bus shelter, just seconds away fro the bus, making it easy to wait, flag down, and catch the bus.

Clever!

You donít have to beat the car. You just have to get within spitting distance,Ē said Marinoff.

That is so true, too. If my car-trip of twenty minutes is replaced by a bus trip of twenty-five, Iíll buy into the bus. Itís when the bus trip is forty minutes that Iíll take the car.

Oakville Transit began moving to a grid system in 2009 and transit director Barry Cole says ridership that had been increasing at 1.8% per month increased over the next 36-month period by just over 20 per cent. This is another typically mis-leading statistical statement. If ridership increased only at 1.8%, then compounded ridership would have bloomed by 85% over thirty-six months. To increase by 20% over six months, the monthly rate would be about 0.5%, that is, a significant drop from 1.8% per month.

Mississauga and Oakville are trying to raise transit acceptance from 5 per cent now to 20 per cent in the next 20 years.

Mississauga and Oakville have a goal.

Toronto does not.

If you donít have a goal, you canít reach your goal Ė because you canít reach a goal that you do not have.

Itís as simple as that.