Transit report sparks heated debate

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Transit report sparks heated debate

#1

Post by Riskynet » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:40 am

TIMMINS - Tempers flared at Monday night’s council meeting when the debate shifted to finding efficiencies in the city's transit service.

Officials with Timmins Transit presented a report that looked at ridership between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. The report broke down each individual route and showed on average how many riders used the service and at what time.

For example, Route 31 during the work week on average had 2.22 riders from 6 a.m. to 6:29 a.m. before jumping to a high of 15.39 at 2 p.m. then dropping to single digits around 5 p.m.

Some councillors voiced concerns that they shouldn't be providing so many routes so frequently if people aren't using them.

Coun. Steve Black said he has heard stories that buses are driving by empty. He agreed the city provides an essential service – he even supported the idea of putting in more bus shelters – but he took issue that buses are for mass transit, not a shuttle service for a single passenger.

Coun. Mike Doody jumped to the defense of transit riders saying the city provides that service for people who need it. He challenge everyone in the room to come up with an example of a city that makes a profit off of its transit and asked when was the last time councillors actually rode the bus.

“Some people live and that's what they got to do, they got to take a bus,” Doody shouted while slamming his hand on the table.

“If you were in Porcupine and you have job in Timmins Square and you can't afford a car how do you get there? I've been around. I've heard people say 'I'd hate to see those buses drive around empty.' They're not empty. They're getting someplace to pick up somebody. When you provide services in a community you have an obligation to provide to those a service that they can't afford.”

Doody highlighted some of the city's achievements from purchasing new buses to implementing new routes. He said he is for saving money but at the same time the city has to maintain some kind of service for the community.

Black fired back by saying he wasn't going to pound on tables or raise his voice but instead focus on the facts.

“What I'm hearing around this table is people playing to heartstrings and making the situation dire,” Black said. “I'm not recommending canceling service, I'm not recommending we don't get people to and from where they need to be. I'm recommending modifying our service. Yeah taking a bus with one person on it is cheaper for them but it is taxpayers who are subsidizing the service and that is not what it is meant for. Let's improve the system to get ridership up.”

He said he wants to reduce the cost and making tough decisions is what council is suppose to do.

Mayor Tom Laughren ended the discussion by reminding all councillors that while they may disagree they should all walk away from the table respecting each other.


Transit report sparks heated debate | Timmins Press

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#2

Post by Kramer » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:23 am

Cancel the 6am bus and the one person riding it will complain.
Cheaper to pay a taxi for that person than run a bus.

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#3

Post by Riskynet » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:33 am

Totally agree Kramer...this is a total waist of money.

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#4

Post by Captain Steubings » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:50 am


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#5

Post by Budgetman » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:53 am

Why not just streamline by running the streamlined evening/sunday routes all day 7 days a week run a shuttle for the areas not covered by the evening sunday routes by offering a dial and pick up service with a bus like they used to have on the old 36 run. see attached photos for the main 2 sunday routes.
ImageImageImageImage
[watch
ImageI say my opinion if its good bad or other, Just like you I have the right to voice it.
if you get paid minimum wage, it's like your boss saying i'd pay you less but its illegal
John Stalks me!!!!! [omg

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#6

Post by JohnW » Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:15 pm

“Some people live and that's what they got to do, they got to take a bus,” Doody shouted while slamming his hand on the table.
Graduate of The Budgetman Grammar Academy?

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#7

Post by DenBen » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:20 pm

To be fair, The Daily Press is known for having numerous spelling and grammatical errors.

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#8

Post by Budgetman » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:37 pm

Come on John, Doody is worse than me. Can't believe he was once mayor, Then again I can't believe who might become the next mayor of this town.
[watch
ImageI say my opinion if its good bad or other, Just like you I have the right to voice it.
if you get paid minimum wage, it's like your boss saying i'd pay you less but its illegal
John Stalks me!!!!! [omg

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#9

Post by Riskynet » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:09 pm

Route changes worth considering


TIMMINS - Timmins Transit presented a report on Monday that looked at ridership between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. The report broke down each individual route and showed on average how many riders used the service and at what time.

The findings raised some questions whether the city should continue providing service along some of the under-utilized routes.

Coun. Steve Black’s position — as it has been when this topic has come up in the past — was “use it or lose it.”

He supports a reduction in service on certain routes at certain hours when there might be just one or two people using it on average.

Coun. Mike Doody disagreed with that stance, suggesting people who use Timmins Transit generally have no other way of getting around.

There is a clearly balancing act for municipalities between providing standard services that enhance quality of life and ensuring the cost of those services can be justified.

Public transit is one of the municipal services which typically operates at a cost to the city.

We can accept that loss as a compassionate community because we have seniors, we have children, and we have residents who don’t drive and have no other means of getting around.

But again there is that fine line about justifying costs.

Is it achievable to be fiscally responsible and still not leave vulnerable citizens high and dry?

We think so.

In this instance, reducing frequency at certain hours along a under-utilized bus route isn’t the same as cancelling rail service and pulling up the tracks.

With bus service you can always re-instate levels of service at a later date if public demand calls for it.

The fact is, Black isn’t proposing to cancel entire routes.

He is simply looking to reduce frequency at certain hours when the ridership numbers show very few people are using the service.

That is completely reasonable, especially if it saves money or enables Timmins Transit to redirect funds into more productive routes.

Ron Grech

ron.grech@sunmedia.ca



Route changes worth considering | Timmins Press

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#10

Post by DenBen » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:40 pm

Budgetman...who ever becomes mayor shouldn't be an issue for you. You'll be moving out of here by the end of the year. [giggle

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#11

Post by Captain Steubings » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:42 pm

Honestly though, if they want to lose the upcoming election then start messing with transit.

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#12

Post by DenBen » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:11 pm

Most people probably couldn't care less about transit. Not meaning that I don't, that's the reality. A lot of folks who use transit are probably in the "why should I bother to vote" category.

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#13

Post by Riskynet » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:38 pm

Here's the link to the transit report. https://timmins.civicweb.net/FileStorag ... 0Detai.pdf

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#14

Post by DenBen » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:06 pm

I said LOTS not all.

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#15

Post by Loco101 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:12 pm

Not another bus thread!!!!!!!!!!

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#16

Post by DenBen » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:37 pm

Kegan wrote:[font=Comic Sans MS]O.K. then...... carry on....... [watch [snicker [/font]
[nervous

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#17

Post by Budgetman » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:49 pm

whats great about cuts to a service portion of society that uses that service, who normally don't vote, will make them turn up and vote for the next liar that says he will reinstate said service.
[watch
ImageI say my opinion if its good bad or other, Just like you I have the right to voice it.
if you get paid minimum wage, it's like your boss saying i'd pay you less but its illegal
John Stalks me!!!!! [omg

JohnW

#18

Post by JohnW » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:15 am

Cancel this, reduce that. Same story every year with the Transit. How about saving 30K+ per year and reducing the Managers salary to a more respectable level like 70 or 80K instead of 103K?

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