Welcome to RouteAhead: A Strategic Plan for Transit in Calgary

RouteAhead is a project to plan Calgary Transit’s priorities and improvements over the next 30 years. The plan will help City Council and Calgary Transit make informed decisions regarding:

  • budget (operating and capital – see below for an explanation);
  • transit fares;
  • service levels; and
  • major business decisions.

A final report will be presented at the Standing Policy Committee (SPC) on Transportation and Transit on December 12, 2012.

A lot of work has already been done to prepare us for the future. We have quite a few plans and projects already in place. We also have a strong Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) that provides a long term plan for transportation in Calgary. The project will combine the work we have already done and identify new work that supports a strong future for Calgary Transit. It will help us explore new ways to serve our customers, new ideas and different ways to work. It will also be a discussion about what is currently working well and how we build on those successes in the future.

To develop the plan our team will work in two areas at the same time:

  1. Customer and Citizen Value [listening], and the
  2. Strategic Framework [creating]

Customer and Citizen Value is about making sure we understand the priorities of customers and citizens.  We need to understand the needs they have now and the needs they will have in the future. This will include:

  • Predicting how the transit customer experience will change over the next 30 years in alignment with changing customer expectations (e.g. more frequent transit service and enhanced customer amenities).
  • Outlining how transit benefits everyone, including users and non users (e.g. reduced congestion).
  • Telling the story of how a strong transit system improves the quality of life for residents, businesses and people who want to do business in Calgary.

The Strategic Framework describes the pieces that need to work together to produce value for customers and citizens, such as:

  • Customer service – Identify best practices that will help us to continue to improve customer service.  Customer service is our focus and we need to continue to improve.
  • Capital infrastructure – Review the policies, reports and documents that together make up the long term plan for Calgary Transit and identify any missing pieces in fleet, facility and infrastructure plans in the 30 year horizon.    
  • Service delivery – Identify service level increases required to meet the needs of customers in alignment with the Calgary Transportation Plan.  Identify the way in which services that are delivered may need to change over time to meet these long term goals.  
  • Fiscal strategy – Identify a model of cost, revenues and fares that will allow us to pay for the level of service that Council and customers expect.
  • Organization and governance – Research the best organizational and governance structure for Calgary Transit to reach its long term goals.  This means exploring different ways to run the transit system.  We will also be looking at ways to make sure we have the right number of staff in the right areas to support the organization and meet our customers’ expectations.

Because this is a big project, we are sure that future detailed work that will be needed to fully document all of the pieces.  These spin off projects will be completed following the delivery of the Strategic Framework to Council.               

The project team will be using existing data (surveys, polls, etc) from transit users and non-users to help craft the plan, but there will also be lots of opportunities for input from Calgary Transit staff and Calgarians.  Stay tuned to this website and follow us on Twitter (@RouteAhead) for more information on upcoming events.

This blog will be a place for the RouteAhead team to share information and discuss transit in Calgary with you.  We will share information on progress of the strategic plan, including research papers, public events and interesting facts.  We hope you will share your thoughts on relevant topics and transit experiences in Calgary and elsewhere.

 

Glossary

  • Capital budget is the money that is used to:
    • construct and repair facilities, such as train tracks, signals, stations, bus terminals, storage and maintenance garages, administration offices;
    • buy vehicles, such as buses, trains and specialized support vehicles; and
    • purchase new technology, such as real-time information and smart card fare collection systems.
  • Operating budget is the money that is used to pay staff who:
    • drive buses;
    • keep the system safe;
    • plan routes;
    • design schedules; and
    • provide transit service to Calgarians every day!
Jon

About Jon:

Senior Transit Planner with Calgary Transit
This entry was posted in Customers, Money, The organization, Transit service, Vehicles, buildings & other infrastructure. Bookmark the permalink.
  • akane

    Being a customer that lives on the South edge of the city, I would obviously like to see the SE leg of the LRT completed sooner rather than later. Currently driving to Somerset isn’t a big deal, but those parking lots fill up well before 6am with out of town commuters. I have been on the wait list for reserved parking for months, but it just doesn’t seem to move. For the time being I would love to see you reserve more parking spots at that station, it would make my morning much less stressful!

    • TransitBoy

      I think that the problem is that the people in your area don’t understand that you have to ride the buses to get more service. People in Skyview Ranch and Sage Hill understand this, and I know because I’ve seen those 425′s and 445′s and they are usually full.

  • TimmEh

    I would like to see service extended to 3 am on weekends.

    • TransitBoy

      Calgary Transit doesn’t understand that once they have 24 hour service, people will ride transit more.

      • SkyHook17

        There does seem to be a feeling that demand is driven by riders and not potential riders.  I have no idea how CT judges volume except to count people getting on. For that matter, overflowing stops and standing room crush doesn’t seem to have an effect either.

  • cforce

    Under Service Levels discussions I’d like to learn the rationale for the Express Bus schedules. It seems they are designed only for those who start work at 7 or 8am, leaving the 9-5:30 crowd to cram onto the few remaining 3 and 301 buses (and then take further connecting buses farther along the route). This seems to be similar for all Express bus routes I’ve reviewed.

    • TransitBoy

      You should go onto the 64. They should have kept that double decker trial bus.

    • SkyHook17

      Same problem from a different perspective.  If you think of the express buses as overflow-volume buses, then it makes sense because of the route, but if the route changes, it just adds to the chaos and forces the rider to keep checking routes, making decisions, and understanding every excruciating detail about the why’s.  Why is their always a different route when the riders are travelling to the same basic locations?  

      We wouldn’t need fancy colour changes, signage, or route information if the overflow volume just meant that bus would fly until it got to where it was going.  Same stops, no schedule.  If you happen to catch the flying bus at a stop then there’s no decision involved because it’s going to behave just like any scheduled bus on that route, except you can’t plan to catch it.  

      It works, believe me.  It’s like a nice surprise every day, once you get used to the idea that your scheduled bus doesn’t matter as long as you’re at the stop in time to catch the latest scheduled bus you know you can.  If there’s an overflow bus in play that you happen to be one, then it likely won’t get there any quicker anyway because they’re filling up.  Likely leapfrog stops back to back with the scheduled bus once they get to the terminus, then the overflow driver calls in and gets instructions from dispatch about where to head off to the next overflow situation.  After some practice, those overflows become predictable and can be programmed that way by CT, although still without a formal schedule so not to be locked into a static situation.  

  • Karen

    Hello,
    This is Karen with the RouteAhead project team. Thank you for your comments. We appreciate hearing your ideas for improvements to current and future transit service. All ideas will be considered when we are creating the strategic plan for Calgary Transit.

  • kanika

    Hello,
    This is regarding the recent plan of Calgary Transit to curtail route 430 plying between Calgary Airport and Crowfoot Bus Station. From March 12 it will run only till Sandstone from the Airport and will not proceed till Crowfoot. The reason for this is approved 2012 budget and ridership.
    Crowfoot is a very busy station of NW Calgary and has more commuters than Sandstone. In fact Transit should plan to run buses from the Airport to all 4 corners of Calgary as this will facilitate not only the travellers but the many thousands who work at the Airport. At least run the service at office hours and extend it, rather than curtail what is running and is very essential for those who work at the airport.
    As for the saving that would accrue from curtailing this service – it is minimal and the problems it will cause for regular commuters are immense. The distance from Sandstone to Crowfoot is just 10 km, which requires say just 1 litre gas. So 2 litres is required for the round trip between Sandstone and Crowfoot – and if there are say 10 trips throughout the day, the amount saved per day would be just 20 $C, that is 400 $C per month, as the bus does not run in the weekends. The expense of having a designated driver and a designated bus would still accrue as route 430 will continue to ply to Sandstone. As stated earlier, the saving is paltry and the inconvenience caused to commuters a lot.
    Calgary Transit should rethink this decision – in fact should consider expanding such service that links the Airport to all 4 corners of Calgary, if its objective truly is facilitating commuters as it claims. Let actions and decisions substantiate the claimed objectives – not just words.
    Worried Commuter – Kanika

    • SteveMaudsley

      I agree with your comments about the Route 430 curtailment. I sometimes take it from Crowfoot at 4:51PM or 5:21PM and there appears to be a good ridership (6 or more passengers). On the bus that arrives at Crowfoot at 5:21PM, there is typically 6 passengers arriving into Crowfoot station. If there is low ridership on other trips, then consider cancelling those trips. By the same token, I have noticed that Route 31 has a lower ridership at least around the lunch hour. I have seen instances where the bus has no passengers. Due to the significant overlap with other routes, this route should be considered for cancellation/curtailment.

    • TransitBoy

      I think this 430 elimination is just a scam so that we can take the 300. Well, if you think about it, you can get away with NOT having to pay the $8 bus fee from the airport. If a family of four takes route 300, they pay $32 (yes, I know you CAN use it for the rest of the day). If they take route 100 and route 202 and get transfers, they pay $9. Sure, it’s a bus AND a train, but by doing this, they save $23. Even if they had taken the 430 and the 201 they also would have payed only $9. Currently, I am talking about if this family of four was travelling to downtown. Also, if you want to get on any bus for free from the airport, do while the driver is inside, because they have to fight the boredom of always having to wait 10-15 minutes due to too much slack time.

      • TransitBoy

        By the way I have never tried to get on a bus for free, because I DO get a bus pass each month (the pass price for a kid here is really low, compared to OTHER places. (*cough**cough**Edmonton**cough**cough*) I love it.

      • SkyHook17

        Don’t neglect the luggage.

    • SkyHook17

      This is exactly what’s wrong with Calgary by design.  The corridors are so terrrible everyone thinks their own personal express route is the answer if they can provide the volume.  If the route really was a taxi, perhaps CT would actually start making money at taxi prices.  

      There shouldn’t be anything going to the airport other than a route from the nearest trunk, perhaps the McKnight station.  If it takes too long to get from that trunk to the four corners of the city, then that’s the problem to fix, not airport specific service.  

      Yes, my login quit.

  • gardingh

    The service needs to expand north in my opinion. Airport service should be a top priority. The area around the airport would be an ideal area for some park and ride locations, you can’t really use the area for anything else and would go a long way to reducing deerfoot congestion for all the commuter traffic coming out of the outlying communities in the north.

  • gardingh

    One other thing I would add. I would think that collaboration with the Alberta government would be possible given that deerfoot trail is provincial jurisdiction and any efforts to aid traffic congestion here would benefit both the city of Calgary as well as Alberta infrastructure.

  • David L

    I’m David , What would be nice to see is late night service with buses
    and with the c-train , as a formal Montreal’er I find after 12:30 am
    you can’t get any where. What would be nice is on major route you run
    buses every hour after regular buses go off. This would mean more
    people taking the transit and less people drinking and driving or
    waiting 1,2 hours for a taxi.

    One other thing your web site is not friendly user, if would be nice
    to put the bus schedules on line as planning your trip doesn’t
    work very well. Please check out this site to see what I mean.
    http://www.stm.info/ this is Montreal Transit site.

  • ammlmt

    I agree with the Montréal’er above – I have used the STM, wonderful service, and the website is quick to get to the information needed. Airport service via the 747 bus is great! Weekly passes are a great opportunity for tourists. The Opus card is very practical. Schedule cards at most of the bus stops are very helpful.

    Calgary:
    1. Service to the airport from Crowfoot, direct and quick is needed. (I didn’t know that it was to be discontinued!)
    2. Fares kept as low as possible to encourage ridership.
    3. Cost for single fare reduced if buying multiple tickets/passes.
    4. Keep free parking at the stations.
    5. New boards indicating the time of the next train arrival are useful – thank you!
    6. Schedules posted at most of the bus stops – not everyone has a “handy” cell phone/handheld device!
    7. New outlying communities to be built only if public transit to the area is reasonable. (Urban sprawl issue – decreases affordability and efficiency of a transit system)
    8. Ensure that residents living on low income (below a living wage) have bus passes, free or at a minimal cost. (To assist them in engaging in the community)

  • centralliving

    I think that:
    -GPS information from individual buses and trains could be available as part of the CTS website services, and mapping information (is my bus running late or early? by how much?)
    - more funding should be from property taxes and less from fees
    -property taxes could be tiered based upon the proximity to downtown (further equals more expensive).
    - airport train service should be made a priority

  • TransitBoy

    I totally agree with SteveMaudsley. The 430 is very helpful when it comes to crosstown service and airport service. It’s nice to actually have a seat on the 430 compared to always STANDING on the 199. This cut is pathetic. I have actually been on FULL 430′s. Also, guess what? They only put those yellow signs up YESTERDAY (surprise, surprise)! Wow, way to give us SO MUCH notice (even though I knew two weeks in advance)! I talked to a handicapped woman who says she just won’t take the bus anymore because, in retrospect, half her life is at home in Edgemont, and the other half is in Crowfoot. Way to go, CT, you just lost at least one customer!

  • TransitBoy

    David L, you are exactly right! There was (“was” because of the cuts) no point in having a Sunday train pull into Somerset at 2:53 am, then have a Monday train pull out at 3:28 am. These are the routes that I think should be 24 hours a day: 3,72,73,100,201,202.

  • David L

    TransitBoy , I think also bus 57, and 305 to get downtown. I live in Erinwood and after the buses go off you can’t get anywhere unless you take a cab. I don’t like wasting my $ on cabs. This why we need buses that run late.

    Ammlmt: Thank you for also putting more information on as I forgot a few things .

    • TransitBoy

      Oh, yeah. I agree with that, because then 36th Street would have service. But it seems that the 305 doesn’t get much ridership, and that’s why I think the 1 would be better (I don’t know exactly, I haven’t ridden it in a while). But the 1 would be a great idea, because then if they don’t 24 hour the 201, then they could extend the 40 up into Citadel (because I live there), and have it connect to the 1, so that we could get downtown as well. Thanks for bringing that up, it certainly is a great idea.

  • kanika

    With the curtailment of route 430 (Airport to Sandstone only from the earlier route of Airport to Crowfoot), the option of taking a bus to the nearest train station, then a train to Downtown, changing the trains in Downtown for the Crowfoot bus station, then taking another bus to reach the NW suburban community, will have to be availed. It seems poor planning on the part of Calgary Transit to have the entire working population of the Airport converge at Downtown at peak office hours. If all suburban commuters are forced to route their office time commute through Downtown, it will only add to the already unmanageable peak time rush at Downtown. Transit should plan more routes that can transport people across the city, without touching Downtown, to help reduce the already overwhelming commuting crowd there – instead Transit plans the opposite!!!!????? All that I can say for such planning is !!!!!????? Earnest request Transit planners – please rethink.
    Worried Commuter – Kanika

    • TransitBoy

      I have heard from people that said that they just won’t take transit anymore because the 430 was their main route. Way to go, CT, you’re losing customers because you wouldn’t “so well used” routes like the 8, 27 and 31 (to a certain extent).

  • Junokaii

    I think.. that there needs to be small BRT routes that connect to terminus’ of nearby LRT.
    For example, if the SE LRT was to be built, you could have the terminus of Seton to connect with Somerset. Or the Terminus of 69th Street in the West LRT connect with Tuscany Terminus in the NW LRT.
    If only things like the Peace Bridge did not be built, and the Airport Tunnel to be built. A total of which accounts to 600 million dollars. Well, that could a third of the SE LRT or the very important needed 8th Ave Subway Tunnel to separate the lines 202 and 201 to attract ridership, and better service.
    I also however, would like to point out, that we need to put less emphasis on LRT and start doing things with buses. BRT needs to expanded immensely.

    • TransitBoy

      The Peace Bridge was a waste of time and money. It is too close to the LRT bridge, and is too far from the Memorial Drive/Prince’s Island Park bridge. If it had been built farther east, maybe it would have been less of a waste of time and money.

  • TransitBoy

    Why does it seem like outlying towns have to get to Calgary before Calgary gets to them? Because that is actually true! All the towns like Cochrane and Okotoks already have their own commuter bus whether it’s run by Southland or FirstCanada or even just the town itself. Airdrie and High River run their own bus(es). So, why is it that we don’t get to them before they get to us? Okotoks is still only about 10 minutes from Calgary’s southern city limits. For crying out loud, they don’t even have a bus into Pine Creek! This is something I would like to know: are they that strapped for cash? If so, where is the $886 million deficit in the Provicial budget going towards?

  • SkyHook

    Pretty much what I expected when I saw the ability to post. One comment after another about a route issue.

    The thing is, I basically agree. Doesn’t matter what the issue is, if it’s related to routes it’s related to the future of Calgary Transit in a stratigic manner. Nobody cares about maps and meetings, all they care about is how easy it is for them to travel the cheapest, farthest, and most effortlessly. If they don’t care, then they drive or walk and there is no Calgary Transit. Calgary needs to stop treating transit like a no-return handout for poor people and give it the respect it deserves as a foundation building block for how well the city works and how civilized we really are. Nobody in city hall would take the bus ever again (if they ever have) if they had to endure the situations I experience every day. Why should I be considering buying a car because I can’t put up with Calgary Transit, if it already goes where I want? I should be upset that I need a car because Calgary Transit doesn’t go far enough, as that’s a much more reasonable dilemma. Let the privateers handle Cochrane and Airdrie and High wherever until we get our act together and decide where more revenue could be best acquired.

    I don’t think anything planned is ever going to replace paying careful attention to evolving what already is. I love to plan, but I love to plan things best that can evolve after being set in motion. This is very much like the slow-to-accept idea stolen from Ottawa, where we build the artery and then drive regular infrastructure vehicles on it until we can prove it works and actually afford the next phase. It’s always a hail mary in Calgary, with expensive new train terminals that add a ten minute walk to the tracks. For example, the 305 is an artery without a train, just like the 301 as they were designed. Instead of adapting existing routes to feed the artery, the new routes were just tossed around as if they were only to help handle higher demand times so that the regular routes they shadow didn’t have to be disrupted. From my perspective, the introduction of those routes was the first step towards removing the 1 and 3. I really am surprised the 1 and 3 are still here. Feed the new arteries as they’re created, just like the trains, and then we’ll have infinitely adaptable smaller capillaries that can flex as the demand changes or the experiment demands. There’s a bit of this in the NE but instead of adapting, everything just stops because the “demand isn’t there”. What if a couple of buses went through the entire NE once per hour, all night long? I’d bet it would be full once people knew it was available, but nobody wants to judge the level of adaptibility required to pull this off. Ideas are killed as requiring too much to enable, before ideation can happen. This is the job of the managers and designers of the routes, not some strategic committee, but based on my experiences from other cities I think Calgary employees just don’t feel like taking things that far. Might upset the union or something, or don’t rock the boat. Calgary would rather waste money taking the train underground, both to speed up the trains and improve road traffic, than address why people are driving? How about just block cars from downtown completely? I’m suggesting something outrageous only to illustrate a point, but it would certainly make a lot of people wonder why transit sucks so much, once they were forced to travel with it.

    Create the arteries, feed the arteries, then decide how to equalize the demand on each leg on a per leg basis, removing unnecessary contingencies from the equation.

    • TransitBoy

      Wow, that post was long. Most of it you spoke the words for me. BUT, there are worse transit systems. Ever been to NYC? You’ll know that the transit system there is run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Man, they have A LOT of bugs to work out (espeacially the when-the-bus-breaks-down-you-always-get-a-replacement-bus-out-there bug). They also used to run Long Island Bus. Even worse than in The City! Then, at the beginning of 2012, Veolia Transport took over Long Island Bus, and called it Nassau Inter-County Express bus. Not much better! This is due to poor funding and lack of bus maintence. But the point is, don’t blame Calgary Transit for every little thing (even though they, too, have a lot of bugs to fix(*cough**cough**cancelling route 430**cough**cough*)), because a lot of other people have it way worse off.

  • SteveMaudsley

    There does seem to be a lack of advertising when a new route is introduced. When the route only serves a specific neighbourhood, such as Sage Hill or Cranston, there is adequate communication to possible users. However, I did not recall seeing a lot of advertising for routes such as the 302 or 305. I now noticed it for the 300. I suspect that a lot of people do not normally look at the Calgary Transit website. So it is important to advertise for new routes, even if it is at a bus shelter or CTrain station.

    By comparision, when Westjet introduces a new route they do advertise.

  • KarlMont

    I’m looking forward to making contributions to this project, both on this blog and in person if required. I have many thoughts and suggestions on transit in this city, having lived in different parts of Canada and being a long time transportation enthusiast. I agree with the mayor when he said that transit needs to morph into the kind of service people want to use out of convenience, not a last resort mode that we take when there’s no other choice. Some things I’m looking forward to seeing implemented are:
    -Re-evaluation of routes and timings. I believe ridership is down because we’ve dropped the ball on convenience. The system is full of bus routes planned decades ago for a city half the size.
    -Let’s take a serious look at last mile options beyond just gondola.
    -Let’s leverage technology to make it easy for riders to know where their bus / train is and how long before it arrives, or if it is broken down.
    -Let’s get high capacity airport options going very soon, from all quadrants of the city. It should not take me 2 hours to get to the airport from Bridlewood.
    -The parking fee fiasco totally missed the point. We have a parking shortage at park and rides. If we’re going to charge a fee, it should be to build parking structures to accommodate more cars to ride the LRT. I don’t use LRT to go downtown only because it’s a gamble on whether there will be any spots to park when I get to the station, especially mid-day.

    This is just the beginning. It’s nice to see the dialogue starting.

  • TransitBoy

    Technology is definitely something CT lacks. Here’s some stuff that should have already happened: electronic fare boxes, electronic signs at major bus loops/stops, boards on buses telling what the next stop is, and, of course, signs at regular bus stops telling you when a bus is scheduled to arrive at that stop (Seriously, we don’t need electronic signs at ALL bus stops. I mean, would that be so useful at a place like the bus stop in Chateau Estates?).

  • TransitBoy

    Guess what I saw today? Empty ElDorado’s (ElDorado’s are the mini low floor buses) running from Crowfoot on the northwest loop routes, and the 299! Are they kidding me?! It’s routes like these that can be cut, and would have little or no impact. Not only that, but they’re putting the wrong buses on the wrong routes.

  • TransitBoy

    Bike ‘n’ Ride is a joke. Two routes (technically three, but two of them follow each other), and the train. Give me a break! Chicago and Vancouver (I know, BIGGER cities) make sure that ll their buses have bike racks, INCLUDING the shuttles! Edmonton now makes it mandatory that every bus they buy, it comes with a bike rack! CT has a lot to learn about bikes…….

  • Karma

    Any chance of another post? It’s coming up on three weeks since the public launch of the project (I think) and there’s still only the one update.

    Looking forward to seeing the impact of this project on Calgary Transit and hoping this blog will soon be more active.

  • SkyHook

    In Ottawa I could transfer twice and get there faster than a car, if parking and warmup is included on both ends of the total trip; not to mention cheaper.

    They never had traction problems that I can recall, with the accordion buses. Why?

    In Calgary, it takes me 97 to 135 minutes to complete a one-way daily commute that I can drive in 35min. That’s one way; I’m spending minimum 3 hours a day on a bus that doesn’t leave the city limits. I could drive the entire circumference of the city in less than that. Not saying everybody has a trip like that, but it’s the relative time difference I’m trying to highlight. The priorities here are obviously wrong, with huge stretches of car-based road travel you need to have long stretches of bus travel as well. If the priorities are wrong then who exactly were they supposed to satisfy in the first place? Who are the mythical commuters being satisfied? Cochrane and Airdrie?

    The train is full of people getting on in the wrong direction just to ensure they get a seat on the way back. I really like how it takes 5 minutes to get to the platform from a bus drop, keeping pass-through foot traffic as far from the station as possible. It’s just something that continues to amaze me.

    Is there an agreement in place to not block the streets with freight trains for more than a limited time? I’ve waited 26min at the inter-modal place in the SE, dead stop in front of the crossing. Almost as long on Glenmore.

    Stop buying those new mono-windsheid model buses that don’t have any seat room. For better or worse, hardly any adult here is actually that small. Calgary has trimmed yet another ten percent of anatomical space, supplied all seats with those forma-fiberglass shapes, and removed the exception seats that used to always be benches, meaning there’s only three seats left on the bus for anybody over 5’11″ and they’re not available to me if there’s a single old lady or stroller on board. And stop allowing those models that do exist into the industrial park where the biggest travellers are riding. It’s not a stereotype; it’s a simple fact.

    Speaking of seats, who’s freakish idea was it to put longtitudinal seats in the new trains, bravo and totally logical, but then upholster them with no-texture plastic? That velour stuff would have been fine, but as it is you slide into a pile in both directions, especially in winter with all the nylon coats and fabrics. And those tri-vertical poles? What in the world was the purpose of blowing out three poles from the center, other than to ensure you can’t walk past them because they’re taking maximum room away right at shoulder height? Was it welding class test day? Now everybody is crowding the doors worse than ever because they don’t want to squidgy past those freakish poles. Just replace them with a single vertical pole and about six shorter people could fit around them and hang on without worrying about the overhead straps, which I do sympathize about because I’m tall.

    It’s just one failed detail after another, as if the staff kicking tires, enabling, purchasing, or implementing, never rode a bus in their lives. I especially like how we have to wave our hands under a sensor now to open a door, but the sensors don’t seem to understand the motion with winter gloves on. Why not just put a simple button on them like the train doors? What a great Canadian feature, making it impossible to exit if your hands are full of groceries. You can’t get your glove off even if you can switch all the bags to one hand. What are they? Heat? Motion? Ultrasonic? They’re like those wipe-hands-on-pants blow dryers.

    • TransitBoy

      Hey, about the seating, you are totally right! On the 2300 series trains, I hate how the seats are super tiny. I am a pre-teen, and I can barely fit into one of those seats! I think they’re idea was to be able to fit two rows of standing. Oh, so anyone sitting down has to not have legs?! CT’s ideas about lots of things are great, but they either don’t think those ideas through enough, or they don’t take the time to think them through. The bike rack thing was that some guy said that it would be ‘great to put bike racks on buses’ (I didn’t say it wasn’t great). So, CT put the racks on. Then another driver brought up ‘Yeah, but now we don’t have enough room to park the buses’.

  • jane public

    Does anyone at CT read these or is it just a place for people to blow off steam?
    I am a regular rider of CT as I work downtown.  My suggestions are:  We need bus shelters at ALL stops.  When the weather is worst is when the buses are late, if they come at all.
    We need maps and schedules in printed form at all stops.  Not everyone has one of those fancy phones that do everything but the laundry.  It would be easy to post a schedule for each bus on a 8 X 11 piece of paper.  And a map would be nice so you can see how to get where you want to go.
    Your web site needs lots of work.  It is unwieldy in so many ways.  And surprise – not everyone is wired or has a computer to be able to look at it anyway. 
    I have travelled to many countries and been able to use their public transit even where I don’t speak the language (Spain, Germany, Czech Republic) because their signage is simple and straightforward. 

    • tschroder

      Thanks for your comments, you make some great points and they’ll definitely be considered as we move forward. As for schedules and maps at all stops, I do agree with you and have seen it work very well in other cities. We have discussed it at CT a few times however as the bus routes get modified as a result of ridership and Council direction, it would be challenging and costly to ensure they are up-to-date all the time. And if they’re not current, that would cause even more frustration for customers. We will look at though because it would be good to have if we can determine the most efficient way to do it. In the meantime, do you have copies of the city-wide transit map? Let me know and if you’d like me to send you one.

      We are looking at our website as well and what works well in other cities. I like your examples of simple and straightforward signage and would appreciate any other thoughts you have!

      Thanks again for your feedback and please stay in touch. This is what we need to develop a plan for transit over the next 30 years!

  • the__railfan

    It would be nice to see all of the buses and train cars done up in the “new” livery. From what I can recall, and the little research I’ve done online, it’s been almost 5 years since the red, white, and grey livery was introduced, yet only the newest buses and train cars have it. This is totally opinion, but I think people would feel more pride and interest toward a system that presents itself, across the fleet, in the updated (and good looking) livery. How come the transition to the new livery has taken so long?

    • Theresa

      I agree completely and would love to have the new livery on everything as it is an important aspect of our brand. Our entire fleet hasn’t been updated yet simply because we do not have the funding at this time.

    • tschroder

      I agree completely and would love to have the new livery on everything as it is an important aspect of our brand. Our entire fleet hasn’t been updated yet simply because we do not have the funding at this time. 

  • strandedatthetrainstation

    I ride the Ctrain every day. Usually, it is efficient, timely and convenient. My only issue is with the parking at Crowfoot station. I can NEVER get a parking space! Not because of lack of parking mind you, but because there are 400+ reserved parking spots, OVER HALF OF WHICH ARE ALWAYS EMPTY! I have no problem with paying the fee for the monthly parking space, but in my attempt to do so, I was placed #495 on the wait-list. I find it incredibly frustrating that people with money to blow are buying full time parking spots just in case they feel like riding the train that day, while students like myself who are being gouged for every meager minimum wage penny they earn park at the train station.(and no, I can’t take the bus. I live on a farm…pretty sure there are no routes out there.) There has to be a more logical way of distributing those coveted spots…perhaps an online reservation system? As it stands, I park in 4 hour parking, take the train back at lunch and move my car to one of the spots that have been empty all day, since its after ten. Its absurd.