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Guelph Transit priority project:
Public meeting, June 3

Back in 2010, the City of Guelph hired external consultants to develop a transit growth strategy and plan. In their study, the consultants recommended various ways to accommodate future transit demands in Guelph and to link Guelph with neighbouring communities, including cities in Waterloo Region.

(The study also resulted in Guelph Transit totally r[evamping its route network and moving its downtown /archives/weblog/2012/01/03-guelph_tra.shtml) from St. George’s Square to Guelph Central GO Station in early 2012.)

Now the city and Guelph Transit are ready to move to the next phase of implementing the study recommendations, including transit priority measures and bus rapid transit operations.

They’re inviting you to attend a public event Wednesday, June 3, when you can discuss “options for making Guelph Transit better, faster and more reliable.”

During the event, you can:

If you can’t attend in person, Guelph Transit will provide an on-line feedback form from Wednesday, June 3 until Wednesday, June 17.

Guelph Transit will gather your feedback before finalizing and submitting its recommendations to Guelph City Council this fall.

The meeting takes place

Wednesday, June 3
Guelph City Hall
Council Chambers and Galleria
1 Carden Street
From 6 until 9 p.m.

Most Guelph Transit buses in downtown Guelph stop within two blocks of City Hall.

Guelph Transit also recently held a series of public meetings to present plans for revise the route network that it lauched in 2012.

Guelph Transit’s priority project will identify transit priority measures for the short-term (0 to 5 years), medium-term (6 to 10 years) and long-term (11 to 15 years), and study the feasibility of developing bus rapid transit along key corridors in Guelph.

Transit priority measures give preferential treatment to buses on the road. They include a wide variety of options, including:

  • bus by-pass lanes;
  • special turn signals and lanes for buses;
  • implementing or enforcing parking restrictions along roadways;
  • physically improving intersections;
  • traffic signals that favour approaching buses;
  • and many more.

Bus rapid transit commonly features a bus-only lane but can also include:

  • paying fares “off-board” (meaning not aboard buses);
  • large, specially branded low-floor vehicles;
  • more widely spaced stops than local bus service;
  • traffic signals that give priority to bus rapid transit vehicles;
  • platforms that align with the low-floor buses; and
  • amenities at sheltered stops that offer real-time information and comfort for waiting riders. With permanent stations, a simple easily-understood route and fast, frequent service, a BRT line can function as the rapid transit spine of a city and attract new transit riders.

Both measures improve transit and the overall rider experience by creating a faster, more reliable and convenient system. A better transit service can attract more riders and be a catalyst for transit-supportive development around stations. These features can increase the percentage of travel by transit in Guelph, which allows growth to occur without continued reliance on the car.

But these tools are only useful in the right circumstances. The City is studying a number of key intersections and corridors to identify the site-specific opportunities and constraints for speedier bus service.

As part of the project, it is investigating potential locations for transit priority measures at intersections and on road segments throughout Guelph where buses currently experience long delays and difficulty keeping on schedule during rush houra.

It’s also lookin at investigating the potential for bus rapid transit along several corridors, ncluding:

  • Gordon / Norfolk / Woolwich street (Woodlawn Road to City limit)
  • Stone Road (Watson Parkway to Hanlon Parkway)
  • Speedvale Avenue (Elmira Road to Victoria Road)
  • Woodlawn Road (Elmira Road to Victoria Road)