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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan Project No. 111-12560

M a r c h

2 0 1 2

Report

Transit Solutions GENIVAR Consultants LP. 2800 Fourteenth Avenue, Suite 210, Markham, Ontario L3R 0E4 Telephone: 905.946.8900  Fax: 905.946.8966  www.genivar.com Contact: Dennis Fletcher, M.E.S.  E-mail: Dennis.Fletcher@genivar.com


Mr. Brad Loroff Thunder Bay Transit

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

Table of Contents TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................................................... I APPENDICES ....................................................................................................................................... III LIST OF EXHIBITS ...............................................................................................................................IV 1.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................ 1

1.1 1.2

How this Plan was Developed .....................................................................................1 Summary of Recommendations ..................................................................................3

2.

INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 15

3.

BACKGROUND REVIEW ............................................................................................................ 16

3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 4.

Growth Plan for Northern Ontario (2011) ..................................................................16 City Official Plan .......................................................................................................16 City of Thunder Bay Strategic Plan ...........................................................................17 Thunder Bay Transportation Study Update (1987) ....................................................18 Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan ....................................................18 Transit Vision 2040 ...................................................................................................19 Transit Ridership Growth Plan ..................................................................................20 Age-Friendly Thunder Bay ........................................................................................20 Transit Strategies and Service Plan (2000) ...............................................................20 2011 Citizen Satisfaction Report ...............................................................................21

EXISTING SERVICE REVIEW ..................................................................................................... 23

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5

Overall Service Coverage .........................................................................................23 Service Hours and Frequency ...................................................................................24 On-Time Performance ..............................................................................................25 Route Structure/Terminal Locations ..........................................................................26 Route Performance ...................................................................................................27

5.

THUNDER BAY TRANSIT PEER REVIEW ................................................................................. 29

6.

MARKET ANALYSIS .................................................................................................................... 31

6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 7.

Population and Distribution .......................................................................................31 Potential Transit Markets ..........................................................................................33 Post-Secondary Schools ...........................................................................................36 Future Development .................................................................................................39 Travel Patterns .........................................................................................................40 Mode of Transportation to Work ................................................................................43 Summary of Key Transit Markets ..............................................................................44

PRELIMINARY CONSULTATION ................................................................................................ 46

7.1 7.2 7.3

Stakeholder Engagement..........................................................................................46 Public Engagement ...................................................................................................46 Consultation Feedback .............................................................................................47

8.

NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES .................................................................................................. 55

9.

VISION, MISSION, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ......................................................................... 58

9.1 9.2

Vision Statement.......................................................................................................58 Mission Statement ....................................................................................................58

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9.3

Goals and Objectives ................................................................................................58

10. SERVICE STANDARDS............................................................................................................... 62

10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5

Route Classifications ................................................................................................62 Service Design Standards.........................................................................................63 Performance Measures .............................................................................................67 OMBI Benchmarking Measures ................................................................................69 Other Guidelines .......................................................................................................69

11. SERVICE REVIEW AND PLANNING PROCESS ....................................................................... 72

11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4

A Consistent Performance Standard .........................................................................72 Service Reviews .......................................................................................................72 Data Collection Program Requirements ....................................................................74 Consultation Plan ......................................................................................................74

12. PROPOSED SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS .................................................................................. 76

12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4

Stage 1: Immediate Service Reliability Improvements............................................... 76 Stage 2: Recommended Route Network and Terminal Concept ............................... 77 Operating Hours and Fleet Requirements .................................................................82 Service Delivery Strategies .......................................................................................84

13. PUBLIC REVIEW OF RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................ 87

13.1 Consultation Summary..............................................................................................87 14. FARE STRATEGY........................................................................................................................ 89

14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.9

Overview...................................................................................................................89 Passenger Classes ...................................................................................................89 Fare Products and Media ..........................................................................................90 Concessionary Fare Policies.....................................................................................91 Transfer Policies .......................................................................................................92 Fare Table ................................................................................................................92 Fare Structure ...........................................................................................................95 Fare Collection Technology ......................................................................................95 Other Fare Policy Recommendations .......................................................................96

15. TECHNOLOGY ............................................................................................................................ 99

15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4

Introduction ...............................................................................................................99 ITS Review ...............................................................................................................99 Potential Strategies, Options, and Improvements ................................................... 100 Recommendations ..................................................................................................102

16. STAFFING REVIEW ................................................................................................................... 103

16.1 Existing Organization ..............................................................................................103 16.2 Functional Assessment ...........................................................................................104 16.3 Proposed Staffing Summary ...................................................................................107 17. MARKETING STRATEGIES ...................................................................................................... 108

17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4

GENIVAR

Review of Existing Conditions ................................................................................. 108 Needs and Opportunities ........................................................................................109 Recommendations ..................................................................................................110 Short- and Long-Term Actions ................................................................................ 116

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18. ACCESSIBILITY ......................................................................................................................... 118

18.1 Overview.................................................................................................................118 18.2 AODA Legislation ...................................................................................................119 18.3 AODA Integrated Standard Readiness Assessment ............................................... 120 19. IMPLEMENTATION AND FINANCIAL PLAN ............................................................................ 129

19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6

Implementation Plan ...............................................................................................129 Financial Plan .........................................................................................................130 Operating Costs ......................................................................................................130 Ridership and Revenue ..........................................................................................132 Performance Indicators ...........................................................................................133 Capital Costs ..........................................................................................................133

Appendices Appendix A – Detailed Route Review and Assessment Appendix B – Detailed Peer Review Appendix C – Full Online Survey Summary Results Appendix D – Detailed Consultation Summary Appendix E – Fares Peer Review and Best Practices Appendix F – Transit Fixed Route Operations from the Canadian ITS Architecture Appendix G – Detailed Financial Plan

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List of Exhibits Exhibit 1 – Major Policies Guiding Transit Master Plan Development ..........................................1 Exhibit 2 – Completed Consultation Activities .............................................................................2 Exhibit 3 – Existing and Future Conditions Activities ...................................................................2 Exhibit 4 – Recommended Route Network Concept ....................................................................5 Exhibit 5 – Recommended Route Classification, Route Structure, and Performance Standards . 6 Exhibit 6 – Recommended Hours of Service and Service Frequency Standards .........................6 Exhibit 7 – Summary of Fare Recommendations ........................................................................8 Exhibit 8 – Summary of Recommendations from Functional Assessment ................................. 10 Exhibit 9 – Recommended New Organizational Positions .........................................................11 Exhibit 10 – Summary of Recommended Marketing Activities ...................................................11 Exhibit 11 - Conventional Transit Financial Plan .......................................................................13 Exhibit 12 - Specialized Transit Financial Plan ..........................................................................14 Exhibit 13 – Service Coverage Map ..........................................................................................23 Exhibit 14 – Ridership by Time of Day ......................................................................................24 Exhibit 15 – On-Time Performance ...........................................................................................25 Exhibit 16 – Transfer Activities ..................................................................................................26 Exhibit 17 – Route Performance Summary ...............................................................................27 Exhibit 18 – Population Distribution by Census Tract ................................................................31 Exhibit 19 – Population Projections to 2021 (Thunder Bay Census Division) ............................ 32 Exhibit 20 – Population Projections to 2021 by Age Group (Thunder Bay Census Division) ...... 32 Exhibit 21 – Population Density .................................................................................................33 Exhibit 22 – Senior Population ..................................................................................................34 Exhibit 23 – Population Group Aged 15-24 ...............................................................................35 Exhibit 24 – Median Income ......................................................................................................36 Exhibit 25 – Student Distribution in Thunder Bay – Confederation College ............................... 37 Exhibit 26 – Student Distribution in Thunder Bay – Lakehead University................................... 38 Exhibit 27 – Origin-Destination Links (All Links) ........................................................................42 Exhibit 28 – Origin-Destination Links (Links to Major Destinations Only) ................................... 43 Exhibit 29 – Mode of Transportation Taken to Work ..................................................................44 Exhibit 30 – Consulted Stakeholders.........................................................................................46 Exhibit 31 – Hours of Service and Service Frequency Standards ..............................................64 Exhibit 32 – Route performance Standards ...............................................................................66 Exhibit 33 – Amenities by Identified Stop Type..........................................................................70 Exhibit 34 – Changes to Evening and Weekend Service ...........................................................76 Exhibit 35 – Route Network Evaluation Criteria .........................................................................78 Exhibit 36 – Evaluation Criteria for Candidate Sites ..................................................................79 Exhibit 37 – Preferred Route Network Concept .........................................................................81 Exhibit 38 – Route Classifications for Preferred Route Network Concept .................................. 80 Exhibit 39 – Vehicle and Revenue Requirements Each Phase..................................................82 Exhibit 40 – Existing and Phase 1 Revenue Service Hours by Period ....................................... 83 Exhibit 41 – Phase 2 Revenue Service Hours by Period ...........................................................83 Exhibit 42 – Service Delivery Alternatives for Consideration in Neebing ................................... 86 Exhibit 43 – Existing Passenger Classes ..................................................................................89 Exhibit 44 – Recommended Passenger Classes .......................................................................90 Exhibit 45 – Fare Table .............................................................................................................93 Exhibit 46 - Proposed Generic Fare Table ................................................................................94 Exhibit 47 - Sample Fare Table .................................................................................................95 Exhibit 48 – Current Conventional Transit Technologies ...........................................................99 Exhibit 49 – Current Staffing Organization .............................................................................. 103

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Exhibit 50 – Transit Division Organization ............................................................................... 103 Exhibit 51 – Integrated Standard Readiness Assessment ....................................................... 121 Exhibit 52 - Conventional Transit Financial Plan ..................................................................... 135 Exhibit 53 - Specialized Transit Financial Plan ........................................................................ 136

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Executive Summary

The Thunder Bay Transit Master Plan (TMP) is a policy document geared to guide future transit service to meet the growing travel needs of the community in an effective and efficient manner. To address existing issues and best serve the community while playing an important role in pursuit of the City’s overall environmental and sustainability goals, this study was conducted to review and analyze all aspects of transit services and operations, identify gaps, needs and opportunities and develop short- and long-term recommendations and improvements for both conventional and specialized transit services in Thunder Bay.

1.1

How this Plan was Developed

This Transit Master Plan was developed based on a variety of different sources. The study team recognizes that the success of this plan requires that its policies: A. Be coherent with the already established policies from both municipal and provincial jurisdictions and agencies. B. Be consistent with the general views expressed by internal (e.g. City staff, union staff, transit operators) and external (e.g. community groups, general public) stakeholders. C. Improve existing service conditions and recognize future economic trends in a manner that suits the needs of the community. The following sections describe the three requirements in detail that form the basis for the Transit Master Plan’s development.

1.1.1

Relevant Policies

Exhibit 1 outlines the key policy and planning documents relevant to the development of the Transit Master Plan and sets the context for transit service analysis and planning in Thunder Bay.

Exhibit 1 – Major Policies Guiding Transit Master Plan Development

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Consultation Activities

This plan was developed based on extensive public and stakeholder consultation. GENIVAR developed a public and stakeholder engagement program that encourages stakeholders and the general public (including both transit riders and non-riders) to participate in the study. The program included various approaches and materials to maximize opportunities for stakeholder and general public involvement. Exhibit 2 summarizes the major consultation activities of this study.

Exhibit 2 – Completed Consultation Activities Date

Engagement Activity

Description of Engagement

Mar. 7 – Mar.10, 2011

Origin-Destination Survey

On-board survey asking passengers where they began and where they will end their journey.

Mar. 7 – Apr. 16, 2011

Online and Print Survey

Questionnaire regarding respondents’ general opinions about the needs and opportunities of future transit service – over 600 surveys were received.

Mar 29 – Mar. 31, 2011 May 10, 2011

Community Stakeholder Consultations

Focus group meetings help with major community groups and organizations to understand needs and opportunities of future transit service.

Mar. 30 – Mar. 31, 2011

Public Information Centres

Public meetings to provide opportunity for the public to voice their ideas and concerns about the future of transit service.

Jun. 20, 2011

Council Presentation

Presentation outlining the work completed and to seek input about the direction of the plan completed to date.

Jun. 20, 2011

Working Group Meetings

Meeting with major internal stakeholders to present and seek feedback about preliminary analysis findings.

Oct. 3, 2011

Council Presentation

Presentation outlining the work completed to date and to present the preliminary draft recommendations.

Oct. 3, 2011

Working Group Meetings

Meeting with major internal stakeholders to present and seek feedback about preliminary draft recommendations.

Oct. 4, 2011

Public Information Centres

Public meetings to provide opportunity for the public to view and seek feedback regarding preliminary draft recommendations.

Oct. 4 – Oct. 28, 2011

Online and Print Survey

Questionnaire regarding the preliminary draft recommendations.

1.1.3

Existing and Future Conditions

GENIVAR completed an existing service review, peer review, and a market analysis, which along with the consultation activities and background policy review, form the basis for the proposed recommendations in the Transit Master Plan.

Exhibit 3 – Existing and Future Conditions Activities Analysis Activity Existing Service Review

Description Reviews existing conventional transit services including service coverage, service hours and frequency, route structure, on-time performance, system performance as well as route performance and passenger profile of each individual route.

Peer Review

Measures the performance of Thunder Bay Transit against similar Canadian transit systems.

Market Analysis

Reviews the community demographic profile, proposed future developments, travel patterns (which is used to identify potential transit markets) and travel pattern changes affecting future service planning.

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Summary of Recommendations

This Plan includes recommendations regarding service improvements, service standards, review processes, transit accessibility, fare strategies, technologies, organizational staffing requirements, and marketing strategies. The recommendations are then incorporated into the identified financial and implementation strategies. The following sections summarize the major recommendations of the Transit Master Plan.

1.2.1

Vision, Goals and Objectives

Consistent with Thunder Bay’s long-term Vision for the City of Thunder Bay and key planning documents, the following vision statement has been proposed for Thunder Bay Transit: Transit will play a key role in supporting the quality of life and economic development in the City of Thunder Bay by providing a safe and efficient public transportation system. Based on this vision, the proposed mission statement for Thunder Bay Transit is: To provide effective, efficient, affordable, and accessible transit services to Thunder Bay residents. The following are the main objectives for Thunder Bay Transit:  Deliver transit services that are frequent, reliable, and affordable.  Accommodate and support an aging population through superior transit services.  Provide barrier-free services to businesses and residences.  Promote a positive attitude within the community about transit.  Provide equitable levels of transit service to all residents.  Make it easy to take transit.  Provide transit services that are fully accessible.  Reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicle travel.  Work in partnership with City divisions to develop planning policies to support a variety of access opportunities and accessible neighbourhoods.

1.2.2

Proposed Conventional Service Improvements

Stage 1: Immediate Service Reliability Improvements Based on feedback from operators and from the public, the study team observed that service reliability was a noted concern particularly during the busier times of off-peak periods. GENIVAR recommends that this issue be addressed immediately, in advance of the recommended implementation of route structure changes. The study team observed that operators are having difficulty staying on schedule on routes connecting between City Hall and Water Street Terminal (e.g. Route 1 – Mainline, Route 3 – Memorial) during weekday evenings and weekend afternoons, when the system operates its offpeak schedules. Recognizing that any resolution should not result in increases in operating service hours, GENIVAR recommends that scheduled travel times on Route 1 and Route 3 be expanded to accommodate the increase in required travel time, resulting in a service frequency adjustment from every 40 to every 45 minutes. The study team also recommends the adjustment of service

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to the remaining routes in the network to provide continued coordinated transfers at City Hall and Water Street Terminal. While this change would decrease service frequencies in the system, it would provide improved service reliability for passengers, increased ease for transferring passengers, decreased operator pressure, and safer vehicle operations. Stage 2: Recommended Route Network and Terminal Concept GENIVAR recommends implementing the recommended route network concept as illustrated in Exhibit 4. This concept was developed based on an extensive analysis process which included the identification and evaluation of six route network options, as well as consultation with internal and external stakeholders. The greatest benefit of the recommended concept is that each route in the network provides a direct connection to at least two of the five major transfer points in the City. While the current route network provides good service oriented at the two cores and along north-south arterials close to the lake, the recommended route network concept aligns routes that directly connect to all major destinations in the City without the need for passengers to experience long layovers as bus routes pass through terminal locations. Thus, the added passenger convenience from this route network concept will assist in promoting ridership growth. Recommended Terminal Locations As illustrated in Exhibit 4, the recommended route network concept includes the operation of two terminal locations: one within the Intercity area and one in the North Core. In the North Core, GENIVAR recommends that the existing Water Street Terminal should remain in operation to serve operational and passenger needs for the recommended route network concept. While potential redevelopment of the terminal site may affect the operations of the existing terminal, GENIVAR recommends that efforts should be made to integrate a terminal within the redevelopment plan. GENIVAR recommends developing a terminal in the Intercity area that supports the preferred route network. Additionally, the terminal will: ďƒ Accommodate the growing travel needs to and from the subject area. ďƒ  Facilitate easier passenger transfers and better vehicle operations with a more centralized facility. ďƒ  Diminish the role of the City Hall facility for passenger transfers and vehicle layovers. The evaluation for the identified potential terminal sites is complete. The terminal location recommendations are being assessed and finalized by staff.

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Exhibit 4 – Recommended Route Network Concept

Note: The route network concept shown on this map is intended to only illustrate on a conceptual level the nature of service coverage and the general system route structure. Route refinements will occur in the detailed implementation. The exact locations of the two terminals are not defined in this concept map.

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Service Standards

Service standards define the role of transit services in the community and ensure appreciated service levels and balanced resource requirements that are based on community driven objectives. They define the conditions that require action when standards are not met, but allow flexibility to respond to varied customer needs and community expectations in an accountable, equitable and efficient manner. Exhibit 5 summarizes the recommendation to add two additional route classifications, including its associated standards regarding route structure and route performance.

Exhibit 5 – Recommended Route Classification, Route Structure, and Performance Standards Route Classification

Classification Description

Route Structure

Route Performance (Pass/Veh Hr) Weekday Daytime

Other Periods

Overall

Avg. Min. Avg. Min. Avg. Min. Corridor Route

Neighbourhood Route

Connects high demand destinations in the City and requires a relatively higher level of service and extended service hours.

Connects the major trip generators and at least three major transfer points in urban service area following the most direct and fastest route.

40

20

30

15

35

18

Connects various neighbourhoods to major local activity centres, corridors, transit terminal facilities and appropriate transfer points.

Oriented to the main corridors, but could be deviated to residential areas or other major activity centres where ridership warrants.

25

10

18

6

20

8

Exhibit 6 summarizes the standards for hours of service and service frequency based on the recommended route network concept.

Exhibit 6 – Recommended Hours of Service and Service Frequency Standards Period

Service Span

Minimum Service Frequency

Weekdays Peak

6:00 am – 9:00 am & 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

30 minutes

Midday

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

30 minutes

Evening

6:00 pm – 12:00 am

45 minutes

Saturday Daytime Morning and Evening

9:00 am – 6:00 pm

30 minutes

7:00 am – 9:00 am & 6:00 pm – 12:00 am

45 minutes

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

45 minutes

before 9:00 am and after 9:00 pm as warranted

45 minutes

Sunday/Holiday Daytime Morning and Evening

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The following are the other recommendations related to service standards:  Service coverage – service should be provided to 95 percent of the population within the service area and should be accessed within: o

400-metre walking distance during weekday and Saturday daytime to residential and commercial areas

o

800-metre walking distance during all other service periods and during peak periods to industrial areas

 Transfer requirements – 90 percent of transit trips to key destinations should be accommodated with no more than one transfer  Vehicle loading – maximum passengers at the peak point of a route over peak 60minute period must not exceed 55 passengers per vehicle on a 40-foot bus  On-time performance – minimum of 90 percent of all trips must arrive within zero to three minutes after the scheduled departure time  Amount of service – minimum of 1.5 vehicle hours per capita should be maintained to guide the provision of services  Service utilization – minimum of 33 passengers per capita, with a long term goal of 40 passengers per capita To provide cost-effective services, the following financial measures are to be used as an effective monitoring tool of existing services:  Revenue to cost ratio (R/C) – measure of economic performance o

Current Performance: 35 percent

 Net cost per passenger – measure of the efficiency of the system, taking passenger revenue into account o

Current Performance: $2.46 per passenger

 Cost per hour – principal measure of overall operational efficiency; in this indicator, lower values indicate superior performance o

1.2.4

Current Performance: $82 per hour

Service Review and Planning Process

GENIVAR recommends introducing a service review process to facilitate a fair and balanced appraisal of service needs and to provide staff with a consistent and objective framework to assess requests for new or revised services. The planning process utilizes the recommended service standards as the quantitative measures for assessing new and existing services. Using the quantitative measures, GENIVAR recommends conducting regular route assessments, periodic service reviews, and annual service reviews as part of an on-going monitoring and service improvement process. These ongoing route assessments require an effective data collection program so that planning decisions are supported by concrete observations. Finally, a comprehensive consultation process is required to ensure that the needs of the community are adequately met.

GENIVAR

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Transit Service Accessibility

Conventional Services Improving accessibility throughout the transit system is of paramount importance to this Transit Master Plan. Recognizing this, the City of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Transit continue to work together to make transit fully accessible for all residents of the community. A multi-year barrier removal accessibility plan (2012-2017) is currently under development that will focus on removing barriers to accessibility in City facilities, incorporating results of a municipal accessibility assessment and meeting the requirements from AODA legislation as they are implemented. GENIVAR conducted a “readiness assessment” to evaluate existing conditions of Thunder Bay Transit against current and pending requirements of the AODA Integrated Standard. The analysis should be used to identify actions required to be completed within the study horizon. Specialized Services Based on GENIVAR’s review of specialized services (detailed in a separate Specialized Services report), it is recommended that a transitional plan be developed to bring specialized transit operations in-house. This transitional plan involves the City of Thunder Bay assuming control of planning and management of the service, including customer service, reservations and scheduling, while contracting out vehicle operations and maintenance portions of the service. An RFP should be issued for a three- to five-year term through a performance-based contract that stipulates improvements to on-time performance and complaint processing. After two years of contract operation, Thunder Bay Transit should assess the value of the performance-based contract and then determine if contracting out vehicle and maintenance addresses service quality issues. During that time, a final decision could be made to (1) continue with contract operation or (2) to bring all functions in-house and use the remaining contract period to develop additional in-house capacity.

1.2.6

Fare Strategies

Exhibit 7 summarizes the recommended changes to fare policies, products, and structures utilized by Thunder Bay Transit.

Exhibit 7 – Summary of Fare Recommendations Fare Policies Passenger Class

Recommendations Refine current passenger classifications to be based only on passenger age rather than on a combination of age, educational status and disability. The adjusted passenger classifications are as follows: • • • •

Fare Table

Adopt three price levels for monthly pass fare products that are applied as follows: • • •

GENIVAR

Child - 0 to 5 years Youth - 6 to 17 years Adult -18 to 64 years Senior – 60+ years Full Fare – Adult Reduced Fare – Youth, Students, Persons with Disabilities, Lower Income Passengers (if implemented) Senior Fare – Seniors

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Fare Policies Fare Price Adjustments

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Recommendations Establish the process of annually reviewing the fare table as part of the annual budgeting process and make required adjustments to the fare table every year at the same time. Make frequent smaller fare increases rather than less frequent larger increases and for passengers to come to expect fare increases at the same time each year. Consider at least two significant adjustments to the fares charged to seniors and U-Pass students: •

Senior Monthly Pass - Price should be reduced in incremental stages to become more consistent with the peer group average price of $46.45

U-Pass – Price should be increased for Lakehead University and Confederation College in incremental stages where possible under the provisions of the contract from a $9.16 average monthly price closer to the peer group average monthly price of $23.83

Fare Structure

Retain current fare structure based on the operation of a single zone, charting a flat exact fare for continuous journeys across the transit service area.

Transfer Policies

Retain current transfer policies whereby a passenger is entitled to unlimited travel on the system within 60 minutes from the time of issue.

Concessionary Fares

Family Day Pass •

Continue to offer Family Day Passes that enable unlimited travel for a full calendar day for one adult plus four children or two adults plus three children.

Consider enabling a full fare Adult Monthly Pass to be treated as a Family Day Pass on Sundays and statutory holidays. Employer Monthly Pass •

Develop an Employer Monthly Pass program with the discounted price of an adult monthly pass deducted at source by the employer and remitted to Thunder Bay Transit for all employees that participate. Seniors Annual Pass • Consider offering an Annual Pass for seniors with a larger discount than a monthly pass. Social Discounts •

Adhere to the principle that its proper role is to deliver a ‘social discount’ and not necessarily to fund that social discount.

Require the appropriate agency outside of the transit system to inherit the responsibility to perform passenger ‘means testing’ for eligibility of a particular passenger to participate in a social discount program. Intergovernmental Subsidies for Low Income Passengers •

Propose that CUTA make representations to provincial and federal governments recommending that both government levels establish a subsidy program for low income passengers to purchase monthly transit passes. Free Service for Passengers with Visual Impairments •

Develop a policy framework for eventually phasing out the provision of free rides for visually impaired passengers because such a program singles out one disability for a special benefit and denies that benefit to all other disabilities.

Fare Technology

Undertake development of a business case to determine the feasibility of implementing a ‘closed loop’ smart card fare collection system.

Fare Media Counterfeit Protection

Consider producing holograms on all courtesy passes.

Fare Product Sales Distribution

Fare Product Sales Agents – require agents to carry and sell the entire range of fare products and participate in all marketing communication activities and promotional efforts.

On-Bus Fare Technology Integration

New technology procurement specifications should provide the integration with other technology components and be designed in accordance with recognized standards such as the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Transit Communications Interface Profiles.

GENIVAR

Consider producing a Day Pass as a scratch card which requires users to scratch off the day and month of use.

Sale to High School Students – sale of high school student monthly and semester passes through the school boards.

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Technology

The study team recommends developing an ITS Strategy and Architecture Plan, which would include a comprehensive review of technology requirements based on operational procedures, technology standards in the industry, and opportunities for linkages between systems. Once this architecture is developed a deployment plan or “blueprint” can be put forward. Using the plan, systems can then be deployed more effectively to promote interoperability and to ensure other implementation issues have been considered. As a basis for any additional ITS installations, design and deployment criteria should be maintained for future ITS deployments, which will include the ability of specific ITS deployments to leverage and integrate with existing subsystems, fit into the established ITS Strategy and Architecture, assist in meeting transit service objectives, and minimize throwaway technology initiatives. Additionally, GENIVAR recommends the continued deployment of passenger information systems at any new terminals to leverage the NextBus technology Thunder Bay Transit has invested in. The team also recommends that the transit agency consider undertaking regular security assessments to properly define security issues and deploy ITS-based security technology and resources effectively.

1.2.8

Staffing Review

Functional Assessment Recommendations GENIVAR reviewed the administrative staff functions and organization within Thunder Bay Transit to ensure the organization is properly configured to meet existing and future service needs. Exhibit 8 summarizes GENIVAR’s recommendations from the functional assessment of the organization.

Exhibit 8 – Summary of Recommendations from Functional Assessment Functions Supervisors and Controllers

Description Maintain current operations supervision functions and positions. Re-allocate existing controller resources (6.0 FTE) to include three dispatchers and three inspectors. Establish a new Operations Coordinator position (1.0 FTE) to assist with the coordination of the inspection and dispatch functions and to support the scheduling and planning functions moved to the operations stream.

Administrative Staff

Realign Supervisor – Financial and Administrative Services and existing transit clerks to report to the Transit Manager. Evaluate overall staff complement with introduction of specialized transit call centre staff (assumed 2.0 FTE). Additional FTE to comply with AODA requirements to report to Supervisor – Financial and Administrative Services.

Planning and Marketing Analyst

Additional support for planning and scheduling of routes and services, marketing, advertising, customer service and fares (1.0 FTE).

Operator Training

Continue to deliver vehicle training through Fleet Services.

Consider re-allocating some of these functions to the Operations stream, as part of the role of the proposed Operations Coordinator. Develop additional resources within the transit department to provide in-service training through the Transit Supervisors. Consider dedicated training resources for this function in the long term.

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New Organizational Positions Based on the functional assessment and projected future needs, a total of approximately five new full-time positions are recommended over the five-year view of this plan, including those required to bring specialized transit service (planning and management) in-house. Additional resources will be required beyond Stage 2, if the decision is made to fully integrate specialized transit as an in-house operation. Exhibit 9 summarizes the recommended new organizational positions.

Exhibit 9 – Recommended New Organizational Positions Organization Areas Specialized Transit Operations

Description of New Positions Integrate into the supervisory responsibilities of the Transit Manager and the Supervisor of Financial and Administrative Services in the short term. If the City decides to fully integrate specialized services into Thunder Bay Transit: •

Add 1.0 FTE to fill the supervisory role.

Add 1.0 FTE for operation supervision support.

Add 2.0 FTE for dispatch support, assuming some integration with fixed route dispatch.

Specialized Transit Call Centre

Add 2.0 FTE in 2013.

Operations Support Coordinator

Add 1.0 FTE prior to Stage 2 implementation.

Planning and Public Relations

Add 1.0 FTE in Stage 2 implementation.

1.2.9

Add 1.0 FTE in 2014 to address AODA requirements to increase reservation time span.

Marketing Strategies

Exhibit 10 summarizes the recommended marketing activities for the Transit Master Plan.

Exhibit 10 – Summary of Recommended Marketing Activities Marketing Activity Community Engagement and Participation

Actions Continue to consult with (1) identified target markets including seniors, students, and Aboriginal communities, and (2) the general public through public forums and surveys to provide effective transit services. Develop formal “Transit Marketing Engagement” advocacy group. Continue to participate in local community events to boost visibility of the service.

Marketing Effectiveness Review

Establish evaluation criteria to assess past and future marketing approaches for continuous improvement.

Marketing Communications

Ensure that all print material and signage maintain a consistent design as per the system’s visual identity. Ensure that updated service information is available on all buses, at terminal locations, and at locations where fare media are sold. Increase usage of social media outlets as a means to raise customer satisfaction and raise visibility of services. Incorporate system improvements (e.g. security upgrades, system cleanliness, terminal improvements, AODA improvements) into marketing materials where appropriate. Brand all vehicles based on the new visual identity.

Incentivizing Transit Use

Develop a discounted employer pass program as directed in the TDM plan.

Internal Marketing

Reestablish the CUTA Transit Ambassador Program to further improve customer service. Organize staff social events, establish employee recognition and awards, and use operators in marketing materials to continue to boost employee morale.

GENIVAR

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111-12560 March 23, 2012

Financial and Implementation Strategies

Implementation Strategy This section describes GENIVAR’s proposed sequential steps to implement the recommendations in this plan: 1. Implement plans from Stage 1 by revising customer schedules and operator paddles to reflect the recommended changes to off-peak service and implement a marketing communications plan regarding the proposed changes. 2. Finalize terminal location in the Intercity area, which include: •

Performing a detailed cost estimation of the design and build for a terminal for the candidate sites.

Negotiating and acquire the sale of one of the candidate sites.

Developing a detailed design for the acquired site.

Undertaking construction in relation to the timing of the implementation of the recommended route network concept.

3. Continue to develop the Multi-year Barrier Removal Accessibility Plan (2012-2017). 4. Execute recommended fare strategies. 5. Employ proposed staff requirements and begin executing recommended organizational improvements. 6. Develop processes for performing the service review and planning in conjunction with employing proposed staff requirements. 7. Execute the recommended short-term marketing strategies actions that can be implemented immediately or in the next 12 months. 8. Develop an ITS Strategy and Architecture Plan and expand required systems set out in the plan. 9. Complete detailed planning and scheduling of the recommended route network. 10. Implement the recommended route network concept and develop a marketing communications plan to ensure that riders recognize the upcoming changes to the transit network. Financial Plan GENIVAR developed a financial plan that considers the costs of the recommended changes over the next five years, including implementing the impacts of AODA requirements, bringing part of the specialized transit service in-house, and implementing the recommendations for changes in the preferred routing plan. Capital costs include estimated costs for new and replacement vehicles, along with new facilities. The financial plan summarizes the financial requirements of the short-term (Stage 1), as well as for the transition to and follow-up from the preferred routing plan (Stage 2). Stage 1a includes the transition to assuming control of the planning and management functions of specialized transit. Nominally, the date for the implementation of Stage 2 (the preferred route plan) is shown for 2014. However, this must remain flexible to the performance of the system and the availability of a central terminal, either temporary or permanent.

GENIVAR

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Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12 show the financial plan summary for the recommended transit strategy from conventional and specialized transit respectively. Various cost elements are shown for both operating and capital costs.

Exhibit 11 - Conventional Transit Financial Plan Existing

2012 Stage 1

2013 Stage 1a

2014

2015 Stage 2

2016

Five-Year Total Increment

Operating Expenses Transportation Cost Conventional Operating Hours Direct Operating Cost/hour

150,000 $73.69

148,500 $73.70

151,470 $73.69

191,000 $73.69

195,775 $73.70

200,669 $73.69

50,669

Transit Operating Cost Fleet Maintenance Cost Total Direct Operating Cost

$8,563,318 $2,490,665 $11,053,983

$8,478,000 $2,466,000 $10,944,000

$8,647,000 $2,515,000 $11,162,000

$10,904,000 $3,171,000 $14,075,000

$11,177,000 $3,251,000 $14,428,000

$11,456,000 $3,332,000 $14,788,000

$2,892,682 $841,335 $3,734,017

Other Operating Costs Plant, Admin Supplies (Const. 2010 $)

$2,367,025

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

0

13

13

14

14.5

15

15

2

$762,500

$835,700 $73,200

$835,700 $0

$872,300 $36,600

$908,900 $36,600

$908,900 $0

$146,400

$50,000

Staffing Requirements Staff Complement Total Administration Salaries Annual Increment AODA Operating Cost Elements One-Time Costs Ongoing Costs Total AODA Operating Cost

$0

$50,000

$75,000 $15,000 $90,000

$50,000 $25,000 $75,000

$25,000 $25,000

$50,000 $25,000 $75,000

$225,000 $90,000 $315,000

Terminal Operating Cost Total Terminal Operating Cost

$0

$0

$332,000

$332,000

$332,000

$332,000

$1,328,000

$14,183,508

$14,196,700

$14,786,700

$17,721,300

$18,060,900

$18,470,900

$4,287,392

Total Operating Cost Total Operating Cost Revenue Ridership and Revenue Ridership Boardings Revenue Net Cost Total Net Cost

3,770,000 4,134,400

3,883,100 4,702,855

3,999,593 4,796,912

4,200,340 5,088,000

4,600,713 5,371,700

5,016,734 5,671,200

$4,966,000

$5,114,980

$5,285,355

$5,851,232

$6,476,703

$7,125,534

$9,217,508

$9,081,720

$9,501,345

$11,870,068

$11,584,197

$11,345,366

35% 25.1 $1.32

36% 26.1 $1.32

36% 26.4 $1.32

33% 22.0 $1.39

36% 23.5 $1.41

39% 25.0 $1.42

38 30 8

38 30 8 3

38 30 8 3

47 37 10 3

48 38 10 3

49 39 10 3

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$6,900,000 $0 $6,900,000

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

$0

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000 $100,000 $150,000

$200,000 $100,000 $300,000

$25,000

$50,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000 $7,900,000 $7,925,000

$50,000

$25,000

$25,000

$150,000 $7,900,000 $8,050,000

$1,405,000 $1,405,000 $0

$9,355,000 $1,405,000 $7,950,000

$1,480,000 $1,405,000 $75,000

$1,455,000 $1,405,000 $50,000

$1,555,000 $1,405,000 $150,000

$15,250,000 $7,025,000 $8,225,000

Performance Indicators Cost Recovery Ratio Conventional Passengers/Hour Conventional Transit Average Fare

$2,127,858

Capital Vehicles Required Fleet Peak Spares @ 25 percent Replacement Replacement Growth Total Vehicles Cost Intelligent Transporatation Systems (ITS) ITS Strategic Deployment Plan AODA Requirements Total ITS Cost Facilities New Stops and Shelters Central Terminal - Land/Construction Total Facilities Cost Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Approved Long-range Capital Budget Total Capital Cost Exceeding Approved Budget

GENIVAR

$0

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Exhibit 12 - Specialized Transit Financial Plan Existing

2012 Stage 1

34,000 $56

34,000 $56

2013 Stage 1a

2014 Stage 2

2015

2016

44,000 $56

46,000 $56

Increment

Operating Expenses Transportation Cost Specialized Operating Hours Direct Operating Cost/hour Dedicated Service Taxi Scrip Operating Cost

$1,750,000 $150,000 $1,900,000

Staffing Requirements Staff Total Administration Salaries Annual Increment AODA Operating Cost Elements One-Time Costs Ongoing Costs Total AODA Operating Cost

$1,742,500 $157,500 $1,900,000

40,000 $56 $2,020,000 $180,000 $2,200,000

42,000 $56 $2,211,000 $189,000 $2,400,000

$2,301,550 $198,450 $2,500,000

$2,391,628 $208,373 $2,600,000

12,000

$641,628 $58,373 $700,000

0

2

2

3

3

8

$0

$97,600 $97,600

$97,600 $0

$146,400 $48,800

$146,400 $0

$475,800 $329,400

$475,800

$25,000

$25,000 $25,000 $50,000

$25,000 $25,000

$25,000 $25,000 $50,000

$130,000 $90,000 $220,000

$0

$25,000

$55,000 $15,000 $70,000

$1,900,000

$1,997,625

$2,297,670

$2,546,450

$2,646,425

$3,075,850

$1,175,850

94,000 10,000 104,000

94,000 10,500 104,500

108,000 12,000 120,000

113,400 12,600 126,000

118,800 13,230 132,030

124,200 13,892 138,092

30,200 3,892 34,092

$282,000

$282,000

$248,400

$260,820

$273,240

$285,660

$3,660

$1,618,000

$1,715,625

$2,049,270

$2,285,630

$2,373,185

$2,790,190

$1,172,190

15% $3.00

15% $3.00

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

23 18 5

23 18 5 0 2

25 20 5 0 2

27 21 6 2 3

28 22 6 3 3

29 23 6 4 3

Growth Replacement Total Vehicles Cost

$0 $190,000 $190,000

$0 $190,000 $190,000

$190,000 $285,000 $475,000

$285,000 $285,000 $570,000

$380,000 $285,000 $665,000

$855,000 $1,235,000 $2,090,000

Approved Long-range Capital Budget Projected Capital Budget Increase

$190,000

$255,000 -$65,000

$340,000 $135,000

$255,000 $315,000

$340,000 $325,000

$1,190,000 $900,000

$100,000 $75,000 $175,000

$2,440,000 $1,250,000

Total Operating Costs Total Operating Cost Revenue Ridership Dedicated Taxi Scrip Total Ridership Revenue Net Cost Total Net Cost Performance Indicators Cost Recovery Ratio Specialized Transit Average Fare

Capital Vehicles Required Fleet Peak Spares @ 25 percent Growth Replacement

ITS Components Specialized Transit AVL/MDT AODA Requirements Total ITS Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Exceeding Approved Budget

GENIVAR

$100,000 $0

$100,000

$0

$0

$75,000 $75,000

$190,000 $190,000

$390,000 $135,000

$475,000 $135,000

$570,000 $315,000

$815,000 $475,000

14


Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

2.

111-12560 March 23, 2012

Introduction

A well-planned, well-designed transit system is an important component for achieving the City’s overall environmental and sustainability goals. To that end, a Transit Master Plan that includes well-developed policies and strategies will support and be supported by the City’s Strategic Plan. The TMP will guide future service design and planning to meet the growing travel needs of the community in an effective and efficient way. To address existing issues and best serve the community while playing an important role in pursuit of the City’s overall environmental and sustainability goals, this study has been conducted to review and analyze all aspects of transit services and operations, identify gaps, needs and opportunities and develop short- and long-term recommendations and improvements for both conventional and specialized transit services in Thunder Bay. Specifically, key components of this study include:  Review existing conventional and specialized services and operations, background studies, and best practices; identify gaps, needs and opportunities.  Develop effective and broadly supported service standards and a planning process – a clear definition of community expectations for transit in terms of the role it plays in the community, the markets it serves and focuses on, levels of service, fares and affordability.  Develop service strategies, including the recommended system network option with terminal requirements/location(s) to best serve the identified transit needs of Thunder Bay in an efficient, responsible and affordable way.  Review existing specialized transit services and develop recommendations to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and service integration with conventional transit service.  Review and develop recommendations for various supporting components including fare policy and structure, marketing, governance, infrastructure and facilities, fleet, technology and accessibility to ensure a successful service plan for the next 10 years. This TMP Report includes the following key components:  Summary of background documents and data review  Detailed review and assessment of existing services  Peer review  Detailed market analysis  Summaries of consultation and survey results  Needs and opportunities  Service standards  Planning process  Vision, mission, goals and objectives  Support strategies (including fares, technology, staffing plan, marketing, and accessibility)  Financial plan  Specialized transit service review (submitted as a separate document)

GENIVAR

15


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Background Review

The success of transit is tied to various Provincial and City policies, as well as land use, future development and transportation plans. Our background review outlines the key policy and planning documents that are related to the development of the Transit Master Plan and sets the context for transit service analysis and planning.

3.1

Growth Plan for Northern Ontario (2011)

The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario is a strategic framework that guides decision-making and investment planning in Northern Ontario over the next 25 years. It contains policies to guide decision-making to promote economic prosperity, sound environmental stewardship, and sustainable communities that offer northerners a high quality of life. The City of Thunder Bay is identified as an economic and service hub to accommodate population and employment growth. The plan calls for improving access to public services, providing a range of transportation options, and encouraging higher density development, particularly along intensification corridors and in strategic core areas in the economic and service hubs. The strategic core areas should be the preferred location for major capital investment, including an integrated public transportation system.

3.2

City Official Plan

Transportation policies of the City Official Plan (currently under official review) deal with the various elements of the transportation system in the City and the modes of travel it supports. The transportation system provides a framework for urban growth and development, and influences the function and compatibility of land uses and quality of life in the City. The specific public transportation objectives identified in the City’s Official Plan include:  Ensuring the public transportation system is responsive to transportation needs in terms of cost, efficiency, and reliability.  Promoting the use of public transit, wherever possible, in the interests of overall energy conservation and environmental protection.  Promoting land use planning and development that is conducive to the efficient operation and increased use of the public transit system. To develop an efficient transit system, the Plan also recognizes that compact urban form results in efficient transit operations and shall support the intensification of the City's existing and developing urban areas. The Plan indicates that the City will promote the use of public transit by the following means:  Encourage higher density development in the vicinity of established urban transit routes.  Ensure that new residential developments offer convenient and direct access to public transportation facilities.

GENIVAR

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 Maintain and expand a system of routes that provides accessibility to the downtown cores from all areas of the City, supplemented by a series of crosstown routes that link major employment and activity centres.  Encourage the provision of public transit services within reasonable walking distance of all urban uses.  Make provisions for adequate and appropriate pick-up and drop-off points, including the provision of benches and bus shelters.  Integrate pedestrian walkways, trails and intersections of major roads with transit stops.  Make provisions for persons with disabilities to have the fullest access possible to the transit system and encourage that adequate provision for persons with disabilities be made through related transportation systems. The City of Thunder Bay is currently in the process of updating its Official Plan and it is expected that the update will be available this year.

3.3

City of Thunder Bay Strategic Plan

The Thunder Bay Strategic Plan (2011-2014) takes a strategic approach to lead the City to fulfill its vision to become a smart, healthy, vibrant and strong City. Strategic priorities represent the key issues of focus for the 2011-2014 Plan and provide overall direction to the delivery of City services and resource allocation. The following outlines the strategic priorities with relevance to transit services:  Strategic Priority: Have a Prosperous and More Diversified Economy •

Enhance existing and develop new attractions to boost tourism particularly in the waterfront areas.

Pursue the development of a new Thunder Bay Events Centre.

Develop a revitalization and infrastructure strategies to support mixed-use growth in the downtown cores.

 Strategic Priority: Have a High Quality of Life •

Complete the council-approved Transit Master Plan and develop a five-year action plan that incorporates Transit Master Plan recommendations.

Develop and implemented an evidence-based crime prevention and community safety plan.

 Strategic Priority: Be Cleaner, Greener, More Beautiful and Proud

GENIVAR

Develop urban design guidelines that incorporate green infrastructure and “complete streets”.

Develop detailed design guidelines for Red River Road, Arthur Street, as well as Algoma, Memorial and May Streets.

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 Strategic Priority: Be Recognized as a Best-Run City

3.4

Develop a long-range financial plan and funding strategy to maintain, renew and replace infrastructure based on life-cycle costing principles.

Identify and implement departmental customer service enhancements.

Thunder Bay Transportation Study Update (1987)

The Thunder Bay Transportation Update (1987) outlined the short- and long-term transportation requirements to handle existing and anticipated development. The study observed population and employment increases occurring in the Intercity areas, as well as areas adjacent to the Thunder Bay Expressway. With respect to transit, the study outlined several issues and concerns. The issues relevant to today’s development conditions are as follows:  Delay and congestion in the two core areas.  Delays at at-grade railway crossings.  Circuitous routes in some parts of the City.  Numerous routes with lower ridership. The following are a number of issues have been addressed in part, but may still be applicable:  Lack of service to newly developing industrial areas in the Intercity area.  Poor north-south connections west of Memorial Avenue.

3.5

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan

The Thunder Bay Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan (2011) reviewed the City’s TDM initiatives and developed a plan that tailors specifically to providing alternatives to using the automobile and improving the quality of life of residents and workers. Thunder Bay Transit is slated to have a major role in the TDM Plan. In the short term, the TDM Plan recommends integrating TDM into the Transit Master Plan by marketing transit as a convenient and reliable alternative to driving. This includes:  improving branding and visual identity elements.  providing improved information to customers.  reviewing fare collection and potentially implementing a smart card fare payment system.  improving public engagement with all segments of the public on transit matters. In addition, the plan proposes the implementation of an employer transit pass program in the short term with City employees as the pilot market. The program would be expanded to other employers in the City in the longer term upon performance monitoring. This program would provide discounted transit passes to employees, with the cost of the discount being covered by the employer. Thunder Bay Transit would reimburse participating employers for part of the cost of the discount. This program is designed to boost the image of transit and improve mobility choice; however, there will be a cost to the transit agency.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

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Numerous other TDM initiatives would require the participation of Thunder Bay Transit, in conjunction with other City agencies and outside organizations. For example, in the medium- to long-term, there are planned TDM measures to reduce the scope of planned parking expansion in favour of funding additional, area-specific TDM strategies, particularly in the North and South Core. Transit would serve as another mode for trips to and from these areas, reducing the number of vehicles needing to travel and park in the cores.

3.6

Transit Vision 2040

Transit Vision 2040 is a document developed by the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) that defines a future vision of Canada where public transit maximizes its contribution to quality of life and supports a vibrant and equitable society. The Vision document includes an overview of transit’s contribution to quality of life, provides a review of the state of the transit industry today and its role for the future, and identifies six strategic “themes” to direct the future of transit in Canada. The six themes include putting transit at the centre of communities, revolutionizing service, focusing on customers, greening transit, ensuing financial health and strengthening knowledge and practice. While the entire Transit Vision 2040 document applies to the Thunder Bay Transit context, Themes 1 to 3 in particular have been considered, with the specific strategic directions of each incorporated where possible into the TMP development process. The key strategic directions of Themes 1 to 3 are as follows:  Theme 1 – Putting Transit at the Centre of Communities •

Develop a national transit policy framework.

Strengthen transit’s position as an investment in quality of life.

Fully integrate transit with community planning.

Fully integrate transit with community design.

 Theme 2 – Revolutionizing Service •

Expand regional rapid transit networks.

Emphasize transit priority solutions.

Enable a “quantum leap” in suburban transit.

Support the revitalization of urban cores.

Build service in smaller communities.

Ensure seamless coordination of operations and governance at all levels.

 Theme 3 – Focusing on Customers

GENIVAR

Accelerate a new customer orientation.

Focus on serving customers with mobility challenges.

Take a broad approach to mobility and expand choice. 19


Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

3.7

Customize fares.

Enhance safety and security.

Provide information when, where and how customers want it.

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Transit Ridership Growth Plan

The 2006 Transit Ridership Growth Plan outlined various initiatives to promote transit ridership including growth management, urban design, system capacity expansion, service quality improvements, fare and fare media strategies, as well as marketing and education. Some highlights include:  Ensuring transit-friendly developments and transit-supportive urban design and site plans.  Employing effective route planning.  Increasing service frequency  Considering express service in mixed traffic.  Improving service reliability and transfer connections.  Improving customer service.  Providing real-time passenger information  Considering improvements to fare collection technology.  Promoting accessible vehicles and facilities.  Improving system accessibility and passenger safety and convenience.

3.8

Age-Friendly Thunder Bay

The City of Thunder Bay was approved by council to join the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and support community efforts to develop a three-year action plan that will set out goals and strategies for achieving this international age-friendly status. Consistent with the City’s Strategic Plan 2011-2014, seeking this age-friendly status is consistent with the themes to support Thunder Bay’s increasingly diverse and aging population. The WHO has developed a checklist of essential features for age-friendly cities. The general features relevant to the Transit Master Plan include:  Providing consistent, convenient, affordable and accessible transit services.  Encouraging social participation by having venues that are conveniently located and served by transit.  Promoting respect and social inclusion by presenting clear and accessible information and offering customer service that suits the needs of seniors.  Promoting access for civic participation and employment.  Providing access to adequate range of health and community support service.

3.9

Transit Strategies and Service Plan (2000)

Thunder Bay Transit conducted a service review and developed strategies with the objective of improving the performance of the transit system. Major service strategy recommendations include: GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

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 Providing streamlined and straightened routes within 400 metres walk of most residents.  Providing more frequent service. •

30-minute rather than 40-minute base frequency on all routes and 15-minute weekday service on key corridors.

 Operating a consistent span of service.  Encouraging the interlining of routes at two terminals to reduce transfers.  Improving connections to the Intercity area.  Improving Sunday services and additional holiday services.  Peak service reductions in the Westfort and Current River areas and later evening service reduction on several routes.  Removing rural services. The study also recommended service delivery strategies including small bus in local communities, Trans-cab service in low demand areas and periods, as well as school bus operations during off-peak periods for low demand areas. The study recommended a reduction in service hours by approximately six percent in two years. In conjunction with a recommended fare increase, this would increase the cost recovery ratio from approximately 37 percent in 1999 to approximately 44 percent in 2001.

3.10

2011 Citizen Satisfaction Report

The Citizen Satisfaction Report was based on results of a survey that was conducted to collect resident opinion of a variety of topics. The report identified:  Important issues to citizens of Thunder Bay.  Impressions and attitudes towards quality of life.  Awareness and perception of City services.  Level of satisfaction with City services and customer service.  Perceptions of crime and safety.  Communication and information needs.  Assessments of tax increases and infrastructure. Of relevance to transit services are the following results of the survey:  86 percent of respondents have high satisfaction with City services and believe it is good value for tax dollars spent.  More than 50 percent of respondents favour a tax increase to enhance or maintain services.  Transportation issues were identified the “most important” issue facing the City by only six percent of respondents (down from 16 percent in 2009) but was identified as a “very important” issue by 57 percent.  23 percent are “very satisfied”, 43 percent “somewhat satisfied” and 22 percent “not very” or “not at all satisfied” with public transit services in Thunder Bay.  Transit was identified as a “priority area for improvement”.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

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111-12560 March 23, 2012

Six percent of respondents identified transit as a service in serious need of improvement, which is similar to the 2009 survey and down slightly from seven percent in 2007 (road maintenance was the highest at 31 percent).

ďƒ Public transit was not selected by any respondents as a service in need of resource reduction.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

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Existing Service Review

Thunder Bay Transit currently operates a total of 15 regular fixed routes covering most urban areas within City boundaries. The system carried approximately 3.3 million passengers in 2009 on a fleet of 49 fully accessible buses. This section summarizes existing conventional transit services. It reviews service characteristics such as service coverage, service hours and frequency, route structure, on-time performance, system performance, as well as route performance and passenger profile of each individual route.

4.1

Overall Service Coverage

Exhibit 13 highlights the areas that are within 400 metres of the Thunder Bay Transit network.

Exhibit 13 – Service Coverage Map

As illustrated in Exhibit 13, most of the urban area is served by transit, however, a number of service coverage gaps exist. Larger area pockets that lack service coverage include: ďƒ Employment areas on McKellar Island.

GENIVAR

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 Employment areas along the coastal areas near and around the Keefer Terminal.  Residential areas on Mission Island. Smaller area pockets that are just outside of the 400-metre coverage area include:  Residential areas between Bay Street and Cornwall Avenue in the North Core.  Eastern residential areas in the River Terrace neighbourhoods.  Residential areas within the Parkdale community.  Residential areas along Crescent Avenue and Hinton Avenue. The proposed service coverage standard requires Thunder Bay Transit to provide service to approximately 95 percent of the population within the service area. These areas should be closely monitored for transit service needs and service requests to ensure the service coverage standards are met.

4.2

Service Hours and Frequency

Thunder Bay Transit provides conventional transit service seven days a week and approximately 18 hours a day Monday through Saturday, and approximately 15 hours a day on Sundays and statutory holidays. Most services operate at 30-minute headways during daytime on weekdays and between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm on Saturdays. During other periods, including Sunday and on holidays, most services operate at 40-minute headways. Existing services generally comply with the proposed service standards. However, some services in low demand areas such as Routes 4 and 6 are operating at an hourly frequency during weekday base periods, which does not meet the proposed service standards. Exhibit 14 shows average weekday boardings, alightings and maximum load on Thunder Bay Transit services.

50 Max Load

Boardings

Alightings

700

45 40

600 35 500

30

400

25

300

20 15

200 10 100

5

0

0

Maximum Load (all buses)

800

5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:30 0:00 0:30

Weekday Average Boardings / Alightings

Exhibit 14 – Ridership by Time of Day

Time of the Day

The morning peak does not start until 7:30 am and continues to 9:30 am. However, the demand maintains a relatively high level during the midday period, continues to surge to an afternoon

GENIVAR

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peak around 4:00 pm, and then consistently decreases with a small surge between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm. This indicates that the service needs to be relatively stable between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm to meet the consistent demand during this period. Though the demand is relatively lower after 6:00 pm, the maximum load factor shows that some buses are still crowded due to reduced service levels, which indicates that additional service may be required in the evening periods to ensure a better quality of service.

4.3

On-Time Performance

Exhibit 15 provides a summary of on-time performance of Thunder Bay Transit vehicles based on most recent data from NextBus. A bus is considered on time if it departs from the stop zero to three minutes after the scheduled departure time. The proposed service standards require 90 percent of trips operating on-time. No vehicle shall leave a time point early. This will ensure a reliable service that riders can depend on. As shown in Exhibit 15, the existing on-time performance is very poor across the entire system with only 41 percent of trips completed on-time. Routes will be reviewed through the planning process, and service plans will ensure all routes have proper running time, as well as sufficient schedule recovery time and layover for operators. There are still a significant number of trips departing earlier than the scheduled time (approximately 34 percent). Unlike a late departure, early departures are attributed mostly to operator decisions and could be significantly reduced through enforcement of operating procedures and policies.

Exhibit 15 – On-Time Performance Percent of Timepoints Route

Early

On Time

Late

Route 1 – Mainline

32%

43%

25%

Route 2 – Crosstown

34%

39%

27%

Route 2 – Westfort

21%

42%

37%

Route 3 – Airport

48%

35%

17%

Route 3 – County Park

35%

37%

28%

Route 3 – Jumbo

39%

35%

26%

Route 3 – Memorial

27%

45%

28%

Route 3 – Northwood

40%

39%

21%

Route 4 – Neebing

54%

36%

11%

Route 6 – Mission

39%

46%

14%

Route 7 – Hudson

39%

46%

15%

Route 8 – James

41%

42%

17%

Route 9 – Junot

26%

42%

32%

Route 11 – John

34%

47%

19%

Route 12 –East End

21%

46%

33%

Route 3/11 – John-Jumbo Gardens

24%

37%

39%

Total

34%

41%

25%

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4.4

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Route Structure/Terminal Locations

The existing route structure is designed to have service connections at two transit terminals in the North Core and South Core. Many bus routes interline at transit terminals, allowing passengers to travel longer distances without having to transfer. In April 2010, due to the construction of a new courthouse at the former Brodie Street Terminal site, the South Core Terminal was relocated to a temporary site at City Hall.

4.4.1

Key Transit Corridors

The existing route structure has routes the following higher demand corridors:  Route 3 May Street / Memorial Avenue / Algoma Street corridor serving key destinations including City Hall Terminal, Intercity Mall and Water Street Terminal.  Route 1 Simpson Street /Fort William Road / Cumberland Street corridor serving key destinations including City Hall Terminal, Intercity Mall, Wal-Mart, Water Street Terminal and Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital.  Route 2 Victoria Avenue / Edward Street / Golf Links Road / Oliver Road / Court Street corridor serving key destinations including City Hall Terminal, Fort William Gardens, Northwood Plaza, Confederation College, Regional Health Sciences Centre, Lakehead University, Canada Games Complex / Port Arthur Stadium and Water Street Terminal. Based on the existing demographic, land use and ridership data as well as future development plans, these corridors will continue to have high transit demand. A high level of service will be required to ensure convenient transit access to these key City destinations.

4.4.2

Existing Transfer Patterns

Based on data collected through the on-board survey, most passengers (approximately 59 percent) can get to their destination by bus without a transfer, while approximately 36 percent of surveyed riders require one transfer. Approximately five percent require two or more transfers to complete a one-way transit trip. Exhibit 16 provides a summary of transfer activities between routes. Significant transfer activities can be found between Routes 1 – Mainline, Route 2 – Crosstown and Route 3 – Memorial, as well as between these routes and Routes 7, 8 and 9.

Exhibit 16 – Transfer Activities

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South Core Transit Terminal Study

The South Core Transit Terminal Study (2010) examined and assessed a number of possible sites in the South Core for a permanent terminal location to replace the Brodie Street Terminal. However, it concluded that all candidate sites had major drawbacks due to their availability, size, location, adjacent land use, as well as traffic and parking impact. The study also reviewed and assessed potential sites for a centralized terminal to determine the possibility of consolidating both the Brodie Street and Water Street terminals and shift the transit focus to a central location in the City. Because a central terminal location will have significant impact on existing routes and potentially ridership, a routing analysis was also conducted to identify the impact of a centralized terminal-based route network. The study recommended that a centralized terminal would serve the best interests of Thunder Bay Transit and its riders. While it concluded that the preferred site can accommodate a centralized transit terminal without making significant changes to the existing route structure, the final location of the centralized terminal should be reviewed and confirmed with a system-wide route review based on the detailed ridership and operational analysis. This analysis was completed as part of the Transit Master Plan.

4.5

Route Performance

Route performance is typically measured by the number of boardings per revenue vehicle hour. Overall, the Thunder Bay Transit system performed fairly well. As shown in Exhibit 17, the system carried on average 32 boardings per hour on a typical weekday. Typical Saturday and Sunday ridership observed on average 27 and 35 boardings per hour respectively.

Exhibit 17 – Route Performance Summary

On an individual route level, ridership performance varies greatly. Routes 1 – Mainline, 2 – Crosstown and 3 – Memorial, consistently generate above average boardings per revenue vehicle-hour compared to other routes in the system. These three routes demonstrate maximum loads greater than the seated capacity during most operating periods. Routes 2 – Westfort, 3 – Airport, 3 – County Park, 6 – Mission, 7 – Hudson, 8 – James and 9 – Junot demonstrate higher

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than average performance during some operating periods and slightly below average in other periods. Finally, Route 3 – Jumbo Gardens, Route 3 – Northwood and Route 11 – John are consistently performing below average boardings per revenue vehicle-hour, but still higher than minimum thresholds of one-third of the system average. These routes should be closely monitored and short-term service changes may be considered to improve their overall performance. Route 4 – Neebing, Route 12 – East End and evening Route 3/11 – John-Jumbo Gardens are the poorest performing routes in the system with below average performance during some operating periods. These routes should be considered for short-term restructuring and improvements.

4.5.1

Detailed Route Review and Assessment

A detailed review and assessment was conducted for each individual route within the system. This detailed review is provided in Appendix A and includes information regarding the following:  Route and Service Characteristics – summarizes service frequency, service span of service and route alignment details.  Service Area and Characteristics – summarizes general demographic information (based on 2006 Census data) within the community served by the route.  Riders Profile – summarizes rider demographic information, major trip purposes and the frequency to which passengers use the route in a given week (based on the onboard passenger survey).  Passenger Activity Graphs – summarizes passenger activity patterns by stop along the route (based on passenger on/off counts from NextBus), including boardings, alightings and maximum load.  Route Performance – outlines boardings per revenue vehicle hour and the maximum passenger load (expressed as a percentage of seated capacity) at the peak point for each service period along the route (based on passenger on/off counts from NextBus).  General Discussion – summarizes route ridership conditions from the passenger activity graphs and route performance tables.

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5.

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Thunder Bay Transit Peer Review

As a measure of the current transit system, Thunder Bay Transit performance metrics were evaluated against similar Canadian systems. The systems chosen for comparison were selected based on their similarities to the City of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Transit. The eight transit systems in Thunder Bay Transit’s peer group are:  Barrie Transit  Kingston Transit  North Bay City Transit  Peterborough Transit  Red Deer Transit  Sault Ste Marie Transit  St. John’s Transit (Metrobus)  Sudbury Transit Data for the benchmarking exercises was obtained from the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Canadian Transit Fact Book 2009. This section provides a summary of general system and operating statistics from the peer review. The detailed peer review is included in Appendix B. It also includes charts and brief explanations of each operating and performance metric. General System Statistics  Service Area Population - Thunder Bay Transit: 109,000, which is fourth highest in the peer group. •

Sudbury has the largest population at 129,000 and the average is approximately 99,000.

 Annual Ridership - Thunder Bay Transit: 3,577,000 riders in 2009, which is third highest in the peer group. •

Sudbury Transit has the highest annual ridership at 4,250,142 and the group average is 3,006,330.

 Peak Vehicle Fleet – Thunder Bay Transit: 36, which is in the middle of the peer group. •

Sudbury has the largest peak vehicle fleet with 47 and the group average is 33.

Operating Statistics  Annual Operating Expenses - Thunder Bay Transit: $13,617,389, the third highest in the peer group. •

Sudbury has the highest total annual operating expenses at $16,515,064 and the peer group average is $11,316,538.

 Annual Operating Revenues - Thunder Bay Transit: $4,823,740, in the middle of the peer group which averages $4,366,379.  Revenue Vehicle Hours – Thunder Bay Transit: 164,614 annual revenue vehicle hours, the most in the peer group, which has an average of 124,733.

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 Passengers per Capita – Thunder Bay Transit: 32.82 passengers per capita, ranking fourth. Peer group average is 30.43.  Vehicle Hours per Capita – Thunder Bay Transit: 1.51 vehicle hours per capita, the second most in the peer group, slightly behind Red Deer at 1.55. Peer group average is 1.26.  Passengers per Vehicle Hour - Thunder Bay Transit: 21.71, the second fewest passengers per vehicle hour in the peer group. The peer group average is 25.10.  Net Cost per Passenger - Thunder Bay Transit : $2.46, ranks in the middle of the peer group, which slightly less than the Red Deer and Sudbury systems at $2.49 each. The peer group average is $2.31.  Total Direct Operating Expenses per Passenger – Thunder Bay Transit: $3.81, placing it in the middle of the group. The peer group average is $3.57.  Average Fare - Thunder Bay Transit: $1.33, the third lowest in the peer group, higher only than Sault Ste Marie and Red Deer, at $1.15 and $0.99 respectively and lower than the peer group average of $1.42.  Cost Recovery Ratio – Thunder Bay Transit: 35 percent, placing it third last in the peer group, ahead of only Red Deer and Sault Ste Marie and below the group average of 41 percent.

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Market Analysis

This section reviews the demographic profile of the City, future developments, as well as existing and future travel patterns that would affect future transit service planning.

6.1

Population and Distribution

Thunder Bay’s population has remained stable for several decades while other parts of the province and the country have continued to see substantial increases. Exhibit 18 shows population growth patterns in last 10 years by census tract zone. Growth has occurred mostly in outlying areas while the population in the existing urban area has been declining or stable.

Exhibit 18 – Population Distribution by Census Tract

Source: Census 1996, 2001 and 2006.

Future population projections are not currently available from the City of Thunder Bay, but the Ontario Ministry of Finance has provided projections for all Ontario census divisions, including

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the District of Thunder Bay. Based on these provincial projections, Exhibit 19 shows the population expected for the District of Thunder Bay census division to 2021 and identifies a decrease in overall population during this period. Population is expected to decrease 1.2 percent to 148,530 in 2016 and 2.2 percent to 147,090 by 2021.

Exhibit 19 – Population Projections to 2021 (Thunder Bay Census Division) 150,350

148,530

150,000

147,090

Population

145,000 140,000 135,000 130,000 125,000 2011

2016

2021

Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance projections – District of Thunder Bay

Exhibit 20 shows population projections for the District of Thunder Bay census division across six age groups and identifies a decreasing population trend across all age groups, with the exception of seniors (65+), which are expected to experience significant population growth of 37.8 percent from 24,660 in 2011 to 33,980 in 2021. A rapidly growing senior population has implications for transit services in Thunder Bay, as they represent a key market for future conventional and specialized services.

Exhibit 20 – Population Projections to 2021 by Age Group (Thunder Bay Census Division) 50,000

Population

40,000

2011 2016 2021

30,000 20,000 10,000 0 0-14

15-19

20-24 25-44 Age Groups

45-64

65+

Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance projections – District of Thunder Bay

Higher density development areas have a tendency to promote greater transit use—which in turn allows for enhanced service levels. According to the 2006 Census Community Profiles, the

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City has an average population density of 332.3 persons per square kilometre. Exhibit 21 shows population density in Thunder Bay in a more geographically specific level. Higher levels of density are found near older residential neighbourhoods in the north and south areas, as well as areas close to Confederation College. Lower population densities are found in outer areas of the City.

Exhibit 21 – Population Density

Source: Census 2006.

6.2

Potential Transit Markets

Seniors, students and low-income families are currently the main demographic markets using Thunder Bay Transit, partially due to their limited transportation choices. Seniors currently represent more than 16 percent of Thunder Bay’s general population. By 2021, the population above age 65 is expected to grow by approximately 38 percent by 2021 and will represent 23

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percent of the general population. These proportions are higher than the provincial average of 14 and 18 percent in 2011 and 2021 respectively. Exhibit 22 shows distribution of the senior citizen population (aged 65+) throughout Thunder Bay. The senior population is relatively higher in the South Core, Westfort West, East Thunder, West End, Volunteer Pool, and Academy Heights neighbourhoods.

Exhibit 22 – Senior Population

Source: Census 2006.

The population group aged 15 to 24 is mostly secondary and post-secondary students, as well as the young working population with entry-level jobs and relatively lower wages. Currently, this cohort represents 13 percent of Thunder Bay’s population. By 2021, the proportion of the population aged 15 to 24 is expected to modestly decline to 12 percent of the general population. These figures are in line with the provincial average of 14 percent and 11 percent in 2011 and 2021 respectively.

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As illustrated in Exhibit 23, areas with higher proportion of this age group include areas near the Confederation College and Lakehead University, North Core and County Park.

Exhibit 23 – Population Group Aged 15-24

Source: Census 2006.

According to the 2006 Census Community Profiles, the median household income in Thunder Bay is $52,223, lower than the provincial average of $60,455. As illustrated in Exhibit 24, lower levels of income are generally found in the South Core and North Core, as well as the older and higher population density residential areas.

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Exhibit 24 – Median Income

Source: Census 2006.

6.3

Post-Secondary Schools

There are two major post-secondary schools located in Thunder Bay: Lakehead University and Confederation College. Confederation College currently has approximately 3,200 full-time students with approximately 230 students living in on-campus residences. There is no major expansion plans in the near future, and enrolment is expected to be stable for the next five years. The Aviation Centre of Excellence is located near the airport also provides classes and programs and is a frequent destination for students living on-campus. Exhibit 25 illustrates the

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distribution of Confederation College students in urban Thunder Bay. There is a smaller cluster of students living in the residential communities near Westfort.

Exhibit 25 – Student Distribution in Thunder Bay – Confederation College

Source: Confederation College Postal Code Data

Lakehead University has an enrolment of approximately 6,000 full-time students with approximately 1,000 students living in on-campus residences. The enrolment is projected to have a moderate growth in the next three to five years. A new law school is planned in the downtown area of the North Core. Exhibit 26 illustrates the distribution of Lakehead University students in urban Thunder Bay. A greater concentration of students are observed in the residential communities east of the campus and in the northern areas of James Street.

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Exhibit 26 – Student Distribution in Thunder Bay – Lakehead University

Source: Lakehead University Postal Code Data.

Both schools are charging for the use of on-campus parking. Parking rates range from $15 to $25 per month at Lakehead University and from $17.50 and $32.50 per month at Confederation College. There are no parking supply concerns at any of the campuses. Parking lots close to building entrances however are more utilized. Full-time Lakehead University and Confederation College students are entitled to the U-Pass, which offers unlimited access to Thunder Bay Transit service during a school year from September to April. As the U-Pass program becomes more popular, students now use transit more frequently and for a variety of purposes, such as shopping, entertainment, recreation and social activities. Students are also showing greater tendency to move expand their geographic scope when GENIVAR

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seeking housing opportunities. Similar experiences are also shared by other communities with U-Pass programs. The success of the U-Pass may require more resources for Thunder Bay Transit to accommodate rapidly growing student ridership. Consideration is currently being given to exploring the extension of a U-Pass program for the summer months upon renewal of existing agreements with student unions.

6.4

Future Development

Development activities remain at a low level in the City and recent developments focus primarily in the commercial and industrial developments around the Intercity area. Residential developments have been occurring mainly in the northwest part of the City and areas near the Lakehead University / Regional Health Sciences Centre. Mixed-use developments are planned along the Golf Links Road / Junot Avenue corridor and redevelopments in central areas of the South and North Core.

6.4.1

Overall Development Patterns

The City’s Official Plan recognized that:  The two downtown areas will continue to be the focal points for entertainment, social and cultural pursuits, and will be characterized by a concentration of mixed uses.  The Intercity area will continue to be characterized by non-residential land uses, primarily for commercial and industrial activities.  Industrial uses along the waterfront remain important, however, efforts will be made to facilitate a broad range of residential, commercial, and recreational uses along the waterfront at appropriate locations; improvements to public access will also be a priority. The City’s Official Plan also outlined policies for future development areas including Parkdale, Northwest, Dawson Heights, and Fairview communities.

6.4.2

Renew Thunder Bay

Renew Thunder Bay is a five-year strategic infrastructure plan that calls for an investment of $130 million in Thunder Bay’s infrastructure by the year 2014. Renew Thunder Bay includes 10 major projects and programs. The following outlines some key projects that will have impact on the future transit services in the City. Waterfront Development Stage 2 Prince Arthur’s Landing (PAL) is a development located in the northeast section of Thunder Bay. The development includes the Lake Superior waterfront area in Marina Park, as well as the foot of Red River Road to Pearl Street in the North Core. PAL is a downtown revitalization effort that will be phased in over a number of years and will include mixed-use development such as two residential condominium buildings, a hotel, commercial/retail space, parks, a market, trails, boardwalk, new parking spaces, docks and other amenities. This development may present future transit destination opportunities.

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Thunder Bay Events Centre The Thunder Bay Events Centre is proposed in the City’s Renew Thunder Bay plan as a high priority and major legacy project over the next five years. City Council has approved the development of the Stage 2 feasibility study and the study is currently ongoing. A number of candidate sites for the facility (including the Water Street Transit Terminal site in the North Core) are currently being considered by the feasibility study. If the Water Street Terminal were selected as the preferred site, detailed assessment will be required to either relocate the terminal or integrate it with the development.

6.4.3

Other Developments

Other major proposed and planned developments include:  New Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) building located just south of the City Hall in South Core which will facilitate improved integration and delivery of social services – Complete.  New Thunder Bay Courthouse at the old Brodie Street Transit Terminal site, just north of the Victoriaville Civic Centre – 2013.  Centre of Excellence for Integration of Seniors' Services (CEISS) project at the HogarthRiverview Manor – an integrated system of seniors’ services including 336 long-term care home beds and 132 supportive housing units.  Compass Square on Dease Street near Balmoral Street – Thunder Bay’s first life lease senior housing community.  Higher density residential development in the downtown area of the North Core, and areas near the Lakehead University / Regional Health Sciences Centre.  Mixed-use development along Golf Links Road, in the Lakehead University and Regional Health Sciences Centre areas.  Industrial park development in the Central Avenue / Golf Links Road area.  Northwest Community – residential development northwest of the Woodcrest Road / Pioneer Drive area.  Parkdale Community – residential development northwest of Arthur Street / Thunder Bay Expressway.

6.5

Travel Patterns

The travel patterns in the City are mainly driven by the existing urban development patterns of two downtown cores, outlying low density residential development, the Intercity area with primarily big box commercial developments, two major post-secondary institutions, and the Regional Health Sciences Centre. The main traffic flow has not experienced significant changes in last decades. The major travel flows are as follows:  Peak employment trips from north to south in the morning and the reverse in the afternoon.  Shopping and employment trips to and from the Intercity area.  School, employment and medical trips to and from the Lakehead University / Regional Health Sciences Centre and Confederation College areas.  Various local trips within the North Core and South Core. GENIVAR

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6.5.1

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Existing Transit Travel Patterns

On-board passenger surveys were conducted during the week of March 7, 2011, and a total of 733 surveys were fully completed. The survey responses provide better understanding about where passengers are travelling from and where they are travelling to. Exhibit 27 spatially illustrates the origin-destination links based on the responses from the passenger on-board survey. The most frequently travelled origin-destination links based on the passenger survey respondents are as follows:  South Core Downtown (Zone 0)  Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21)  Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21)  Current River neighbourhoods (Zone 26)  Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21)  neighbourhoods east of Lakehead University (Zone 5)  Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21)  Intercity Shopping Centre  Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21)  Lakehead University/Regional Health Sciences Centre area (Zone 10) To better understand the origins of passengers to major trip generators, Exhibit 28 isolates the origin-destination survey responses to only those that originate or are destined to Intercity Shopping Centre, Lakehead University, Regional Health Sciences Centre, and the Thunder Bay International Airport. The following are the major findings:  Intercity Shopping Centre: •

A large number of trips originate from or are destined to Intercity Shopping Centre (89 responses).

A significant number of passengers travelling to or from the Intercity Shopping Centre come from South Core Downtown (Zone 0), Port Arthur Downtown (Zones 21, 22) and neighbourhoods east of Westfort (Zone 17).

 Confederation College: •

A moderate number of trips originate from or are destined to Confederation College (27 responses).

 Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital: •

A large number of trips originate from or are destined to Lakehead University (59 responses) and the Regional Health Sciences Centre (20 responses).

A significant number of passengers travelling to or from Lakehead University or the Regional Health Sciences Centre come from neighbourhoods near Churchill Drive (Zone 18) and Port Arthur Downtown (Zone 21).

 Thunder Bay International Airport: •

GENIVAR

A small number of trips that originate from or are destined to the airport (9 responses).

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Exhibit 27 – Origin-Destination Links (All Links)

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Exhibit 28 – Origin-Destination Links (Links to Major Destinations Only)

6.6

Mode of Transportation to Work

Based on the 2006 Census, automobile travel (as a driver) has the largest mode share to work in Thunder Bay, at approximately 79 percent. Automobile drivers and passengers together have approximately 88 percent of the mode share. Public transit has a 3.5 percent share of mode of transit taken to work. Exhibit 29 shows the modal split for mode of transportation taken to work by Census Tract. Relatively higher transit mode split can be found in the central areas of both the South Core and North Core, as well as low income areas such as Current River and County Park neighbourhoods.

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Exhibit 29 – Mode of Transportation Taken to Work

Source: Census 2006.

6.7

Summary of Key Transit Markets

Key markets for transit services have been identified based on existing and changing demographics, land use patterns, future developments and travel patterns. These key transit markets are consistent with existing plans and policies identified by the City. ďƒ Low income families, students, seniors and persons with disabilities remain the dominant transit riders due to low density urban land use patterns, lower levels of congestion, and low parking fees.

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 The post-secondary school student market is growing due to the success of the U-Pass program, which results in more frequent use as well as diversifying housing locations across the City.  The increasing aging population will lead an increased need for greater transit services to serve seniors. Consistent with the guidelines to be an Age-Friendly City, transit services will need to be more accessible and serve the purposes of social, programs, medical, and shopping.  Ontario’s Places to Grow Growth Plan and the City’s Strategic Plan and Official Plan support more transit-friendly development, particularly in the two cores, which would promote greater transit use by the general population.  More professionals and working population will use transit in the City due to environmental concerns and sustainability considerations, as well as higher fuel prices.  Key transit destinations will continue to be in the South Core, the North Core, Intercity shopping areas, Lakehead University and Confederation College.  Market potential also exists in the new development areas including the communities in the northwest along Golf Links Road, near Lakehead University / Regional Health Sciences Centre and near major commercial developments in the Intercity area.  Travel demand within the rural portions of the City appears to be too low and too widely dispersed to support cost-effective fixed-route transit. However, alternative service delivery such as demand-response service may be appropriate.  Demand for specialized transit services will likely grow quickly in the coming years as the number of senior citizens increases.

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7.

111-12560 March 23, 2012

Preliminary Consultation

At the early stage of this study, GENIVAR developed a public and stakeholder engagement program and outlines strategies to promote and encouraged stakeholders and the general public (including both transit riders and non-riders) to participate in development of the Transit Master Plan. The program included various approaches and materials required to maximize opportunities for stakeholder and general public involvement, including individual stakeholder meetings, public meetings and online surveys.

7.1

Stakeholder Engagement

During the week of March 27, 2011, the study team held individual meetings with numerous local stakeholders. Exhibit 30 lists the stakeholders engaged during this preliminary consultation period.

Exhibit 30 – Consulted Stakeholders Stakeholder Type

Stakeholders

City Staff

Thunder Bay Staff (e.g. management, supervisors and controllers) Transportation & Works (now Infrastructure & Operations) Facilities & Fleet Development Services Community Services (now Community & Emergency Services) Thunder Bay Public Library Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)

City Council

Mayor Councillors

Community Groups and Organizations

Aboriginal communities Seniors groups Post-secondary schools • Confederation College • Lakehead University HAGI administration Chamber of Commerce School Boards and Student Transportation Services Thunder Bay District Social Services Administrative Board (TBDSSAB) Persons United for Self-Help in Northwestern Ontario (PUSH) Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Community Living Children’s Centre Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario (BISNO) Ontario March of Dimes

7.2

Public Engagement

Public engagement plays a pivotal component in the development of the Transit Master Plan. To encourage the public to participate in the process, the study team held public meetings, established an online survey and undertook a rider origin-destination survey. To raise public awareness of the study, study notices and flyers included information regarding the online survey and public meetings were posted at key locations across the City.

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Public Consultation Two public meetings were held during the evenings of March 30 and 31, 2011 at City Hall and Confederation College, respectively. Both public meetings were well attended with approximately 60 participants at each location, which indicates good public interest in the study and their high expectations for future improvement of transit services. An additional consultation session was held on May 10, 2011 at the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre with members of Aboriginal Communities. Approximately 20 participants attended this meeting. Online Survey Public surveys were developed in an effort to provide a range of public input to the Transit Master Plan development process. Participation in the online survey was publicized on Thunder Bay Transit vehicles and on the City website. In total more than 600 surveys were received. Rider Origin-Destination Survey A rider origin-destination survey was conducted during the week of March 7, 2011. The survey responses provide better understanding about where passengers are travelling from and where they are travelling to. A total of 733 surveys were fully completed. The results of the origindestination survey can be found in Section 6.5.1.

7.3

Consultation Feedback

7.3.1

Stakeholder and Public Meeting Feedback

The following sections summarize all comments received through stakeholder and public consultation related to Thunder Bay Transit services. Policies and Strategic Directions  Both conventional and specialized transit services are essential to the community.  Current policies related to intensifying land uses, sustainability, promoting greater quality of life of seniors and encouraging student ridership provide transit with opportunities to become a viable transportation alternative to residents in Thunder Bay.  Consideration for transit service should be incorporated into future development plans.  Continue to support integrated transportation and land use planning practices and higher density development. New developments are to be located closer to transit routes and stops and higher densities should be encouraged.  Clear directions and processes are required by transit management and planning staff to guide the service design, planning and operations.  Require performance measures to guide service operations and customer services.  Transit priority measures to be implemented to improve service reliability and enhance overall service quality and address running time issues, particularly on key corridors and at accesses to key destinations.  Parking is relatively inexpensive compared to transit fares; future policy should consider a higher rate to promote alternative transportation uses.  Considering the parking shortage in the South Core and possibly the North Core due to new developments, bus stop locations are to be located to minimize parking impact on adjacent businesses.  Consider opportunities for transit and parking to work together to provide an incentive to downtown employees to use transit. GENIVAR

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 Consider possible integration of transit service with existing high school bus services. Existing and Future Needs  Travel patterns have not significantly changed in past 20 years – main travel flows are still from north to south in the morning and the reverse in the afternoon.  Due to the success of U-Pass program, students currently take transit for a variety of trip purposes, including shopping, medical, recreation, entertainment and social activities.  Though the Aboriginal population comprises a large portion of Thunder Bay Transit riders, affordability is still an issue and transportation is still a barrier for the Aboriginal community to access local services.  Improved transit services could be an important catalyst for capacity-building within Aboriginal communities.  Students who are not eligible for school buses are not a large market for Thunder Bay Transit due to Student Transportation Service’s one-mile coverage criteria. However, opportunities in this market may change in the future.  Special programs are at different locations and currently transit tickets are provided to students attending these programs where required.  A number of high schools are planned to be consolidated in the long-term.  While Thunder Bay is experiencing an overall aging population, the Aboriginal population is very young with approximately 40 percent under 19 years old. The average age of the general population is 46.3 years, while the Aboriginal population is 23 years.  Aboriginal high school has insufficient school bus services.  Service in rural areas may consider alternative service delivery and alternate day service.  Transit services are used to access local programs. Customer Service  Thunder Bay Transit needs to be more customer service focused.  Better marketing and customer service strategies are required to make the system more customer-focused. Better communication is required to share information (e.g. service changes) with passengers.  Driver conduct was a frequent topic in consultation response. Many respondents indicated that conduct and customer interaction (including allowing passengers to be seated before leaving the stop) needs to be improved, while an equal number had positive remarks about the customer service provided by drivers.  Need a better public engagement process; also engage Aboriginal communities to participate in the planning process as they comprise a large portion of transit riders.  Real-time passenger information is not always accurate and the voice quality is poor; need readable and accurate route schedule information; increase volume of stop announcement system; need to consider providing written and verbal information in Aboriginal languages (e.g. Cree, Ojibway and Oji-Cree) since a percentage of the Aboriginal population do speak or understand English or French.  Transit service is to be delivered with local cultural consideration such as multi-language signage or information for non-English speaking Aboriginal population; all customers are

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to be treated equally with respect and drivers are to be trained to properly communicate with customers, particularly Aboriginal riders.  Improved passenger amenities at bus stops and terminals, such as protected and heated shelters, benches and garbage cans.  Interlining and route numbering causes some confusion to passengers, particularly at the terminal when buses change route numbers.  Customer service representatives are required at all terminals and some key destination points.  Buses and shelters are good ways to disseminate information to their clients.  Need to introduce night time ‘flag stop’ policy.  Transit needs to review stroller and mobility aid policy with commitment to enforcement.  Develop a customer service review panel or ombudsman role. Accessibility  Thunder Bay is designated as an age-friendly community– transit services need to reflect this commitment.  Accessible stops are important because the system is not accessible if passengers cannot access stops, despite the entire fleet being comprised of accessible buses.  More space on vehicles for persons with disabilities.  Snow clearing at bus stops should be a priority, particularly for disabled and senior passengers.  Need more benches and shelters at stops, especially for places with higher number of senior and disabled customers.  Improved and consistent transit system infrastructure (sidewalks etc.).  Equipment used for accessibility needs to work at all times, AODA will require an alternative source of transportation in a timely manner, if equipment fails.  If the automated stop announcement does not work, drivers need to call the stops. Transit Operations  On-time performance is a key issue due to increasing traffic, additional signals, school zones and route deviations.  Timed transfers are increasingly difficult to achieve, affecting performance of the entire system; need better scheduled and reliable transfer connections.  Routes are too long and are stretched too thin trying to provide service many local communities  Interlining system worked well but is becoming dysfunctional– needs to be updated or changed.  There are currently significant challenges to operate transit service in many new developments, particularly the big box retail areas in the growing Intercity area. The area is not transit friendly and lacks proper design for transit vehicles access and circulation.  On-street supervision should be considered, along with expanded evening coverage.

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 Routes serving both terminals require additional layover time and/or service connection allowance, which causes running time, scheduling and transfer connection issues.  Correct and clear bus stop location information, signage, as well as design criteria are needed. Service Planning  Operate more direct routes and express service to serve major corridors that link key destinations in the City.  More frequent service, particularly on some busy routes and during peak periods.  Given that many buses are crowed in the early evening, the base service should be expanded after 6:00 pm to better meet the demand.  Increased holiday and weekend service.  Service should begin earlier in the morning and operate later at night; consider an allnight route.  Service area should be expanded to the west end where many students need to get to.  University and college students are taking more evening classes and therefore may require longer hours of service.  Consider service to Thunder Centre and the proposed Thunder Bay Events Centre.  Shuttle buses could help to circulate passengers in large shopping areas, such as Intercity Shopping Centre, especially for a centralized terminal system.  Better evening and weekend service is required on the East End route for safe travel of seniors and single mothers.  Crosstown service should be considered during the summer months.  School deviation may be considered to replace school trips for more efficient operations.  Existing service does not directly connect the Confederation College to the Aviation Centre Excellence where students frequently travel for programs and classes. The trip takes seven minutes by car and can take 45 minutes by bus. Transit Terminal  City Hall Terminal receives a lot of positive feedback from customers, operators and most stakeholders, except businesses of the Victoria Avenue BIA.  Water Street Terminal is isolated from adjacent land use and it is not a destination for passengers. This is considered unsafe by many passengers.  Terminals need to be situated in front of buildings and ideally in a busy area with significant activities to ensure passenger safety.  A centralized terminal may add time for passengers travelling between south and north.  A centralized terminal in the Intercity Shopping Centre area may have access issues due to physical barriers (rail tracks), signals and traffic.  Low-income riders are not really destined to the Intercity shopping areas.  Better passenger amenities, operator amenities, customer service kiosks, ticket sales, transit priority measures are required at terminals.

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 Transit terminal may be integrated with the new Thunder Bay Events Centre development.  Intermodal opportunities are available for the new terminal.  No-terminal, one-terminal and two-terminal options should be all considered and carefully evaluated to maximize overall transit service efficiency while minimizing impact on transit riders. Organizational Issues  Better communication between management and employees is required to improve operational efficiency and overall customer service.  Need to improve communications between supervisors and operators, as well as controllers to ensure effective day-to-day operations.  Need to establish business processes with parameters and guidelines for most revenue management systems. Future Development Opportunities and Challenges  Waterfront development may affect future transit operation.  Water Street Terminal is prime land for future redevelopment and may have to be relocated for the proposed Thunder Bay Events Centre.  New development areas along Golf Links Road, in the Lakehead University and Regional Health Sciences Centre areas.  Industrial park development in Central Avenue / Golf Links Road area.  Northwest end expansion– residential development northwest of the Woodcrest Road / Pioneer Drive area.  Residential development northwest of Arthur Street / Thunder Bay Expressway.  Condominium developments north of downtown in the North Core and at Oliver Road / Golf Links Road.  Higher density development at Beverly Street / Balmoral Street across from Lakehead University.  Dennis Franklin Cromarty, an Aboriginal high school located at southeast corner of Edward Street / Churchill Drive, is planning for a new 60 to 80 unit on-campus student residence.  Intercity shopping area becomes a regional centre. Other  Security and safety on buses and at stops and terminals was frequently identified as a major issue, particularly for female passengers after dark.  Many planning and scheduling tools such as TMS, NextBus and ITS technologies are available, but not well used for service planning.  May use smaller vehicles on feeder services are integrated with specialized service.  Hybrid technology is being considered and cost-benefit analysis is being conducted; however, Thunder Bay transit routes do not generate the high degree of stop and starts that make a good economic case to convert to hybrid buses. Additionally, maintenance would have to be expanded to accommodate hybrid vehicles.

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 Cash handling is always an issue for maintenance and security; smart card fare collection technology may be considered.  Fare discounts should be considered for low-income passengers based on affordability.  Consider non-peak fare pricing or equal fares for all passengers.  Summer student pass may be considered.  System is well positioned for accessible taxi services across the City and could be considered for taxi scrip program.  HAGI is seen by some seniors as “safer” than Thunder Bay Transit; more safety measures are required for senior passengers.  Because Aboriginal passengers are often not strong self-advocates, their feedback concerning issues may be understated or overlooked.

7.3.2

Online Survey Summary

The following sections discuss the results of the various components of the survey related to Thunder Bay Transit services. The following sections summarize the public response to questions of the online survey from March 8, 2011 and ending April 17, 2011. Full survey results are provided in Appendix C. A.

Demographic and General Discussion  Survey respondents were 64 percent female and 36 percent male, which slightly overrepresents females when compared to the overall demographic breakdown of Thunder Bay, which is approximately 52 percent female and 48 percent male.  The most frequent respondent age group was 24-44 (approximately 43 percent of respondents). Seniors (age 65 and older) are underrepresented, as they make up nearly 17 percent of the Thunder Bay population, but only represent four percent of survey respondents.  Most respondents were in a lower income range, with more than 29 percent having total annual household income less than $20,000 and approximately 50 percent with total annual household income less than $35,000. The overall Thunder Bay average annual household income is $52,223 (Statistics Canada 2006 “Median income in 2005 – All private households).  More than 57 percent of respondents were students, retired, unemployed, or working in retail and service industry jobs. Students and persons employed in service industry jobs were the most frequent occupations of respondents, at 24 and 13 percent respectively. The majority of student respondents attend Confederation College or Lakehead University (37 and 41 percent respectively).  The degree of transit ridership among respondents may be skewed towards existing Thunder Bay Transit riders and not representative of the relatively low existing modal split for public transit in Thunder Bay. More than 81 percent of respondents stated that they are frequent transit riders and 61 percent cited transit as their usual form of transportation, compared to the overall mode share of approximately three percent for transit in Thunder Bay.

B.

Travel Patterns  The Intercity area was the most frequent individual destination, (20 percent of respondents). Taken together, the Intercity area, North Core, South Core, Confederation

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College and Lakehead University account for more than 58 percent of respondent most frequent destinations.  Work trips are the most frequent made by respondents (more than 42 percent). Work and school trips together account for 62 percent of all most frequent respondent trips.  More than 56 percent of respondents make their most frequent trip “every day of the week” or “every weekday”, and more than 65 percent have access to a vehicle either “one” or “zero” days a week. C.

Conventional Transit Riders  More than 81 percent of respondents stated that they are frequent transit riders, and among transit riders more than 95 percent take conventional Thunder Bay Transit.  Long-term riders provided the majority of survey response, as 80 percent of respondents have been customers of the conventional transit system for three or more years, with 63 percent using services five or more days per week.  The majority may be captive riders, as 70 percent indicate that their primary reason for taking transit is due to not having access to a car or not having a driver’s license.  More than 42 percent require a transfer to get to their final destination and among those transferring, most are transferring at the Water Street or City Hall Terminals (approximately 41 and 37 percent respectively).

Rider Satisfaction on Conventional Services

Respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with a range of existing service components. The majority of respondents indicate general satisfaction with existing conventional services as the overall quality of the transit service scored an average of 3.37 out of 5.0 on a points rating scale, and most indicators scored moderate or high levels of customer satisfaction (3.0 or greater out of the 5.0 point scale). Walking distances to bus stops, access to route information, driver friendliness, ease of transfer and safety are the highest scoring individual service components, each identified by more than 60 percent of respondents as being “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with. However, key components of the service, specifically hours of service and service frequency, and to a lesser extent, bus cleanliness and cost of fares, have been identified as areas where riders are not satisfied. Hours of service and service frequency in particular received the most frequent response as service components that riders are “Dissatisfied” or “Very Dissatisfied” with, at 38 and 45 percent respectively. Rider dissatisfaction with service hours and frequency is supported by results of non-rider, conventional transit respondents, as “Takes too long” was the most frequent reason for not taking transit, and identified by 57 percent of respondents. Future Improvements on Conventional Services

Respondents were also asked to identify the impact that a range of service changes would have on their likelihood to take Thunder Bay Transit. “Faster and more direct service to main destinations”, “More service on weekends” and “More frequent service during AM and PM peaks” were identified service improvements that would make riders “Likely to ride much more” (each identified by approximately 58 percent of respondents). This is consistent with the identified rider dissatisfaction with hours of service and service frequency. “Improve shelters and other amenities” and “Safe and secure stops and buses” were also selected by more than 56 percent of respondents as improvements that would make riders “Likely to ride much more”.

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“Provide bike racks on buses and bike locker at stops” and “Fewer transfers” were the least likely to have any effect on rider likelihood of using Thunder Bay Transit. D.

Non-Riders  Approximately 52 percent of non-riders indicated that if they were ever to use transit service it would be for work trips.  Respondents were asked to identify the main reasons why they do not currently use Thunder Bay Transit. “Takes too long” was the most frequently selected (57 percent), followed by “Car is more comfortable” (42 percent), “No direct route” (38 percent) and “Safety and security concerns at the bus stop and/or on the bus” (38 percent).  Non-rider response suggests some consistency between rider response, specifically as related to service frequency and safety deficiencies.

E.

Role and Value of Transit Services

All survey respondents (riders and non-riders) were asked to identify the role and value of transit services in Thunder Bay. Role of Transit

Based on survey results, respondents placed a high value on the role of transit in Thunder Bay, as more than 87 percent feel that they benefit from having good transit services, whether they use it or not. 77 percent feel the main role of transit services should be to meet the travel needs of the entire community, including captive and choice riders. Transit Funding

Survey response has indicated relatively strong overall support for funding transit services, as more than 82 percent have indicated that transit contributes to the economic well-being of Thunder Bay. Further to this, approximately 74 percent feel that public transit provides good value for the investment of local tax dollars. More than 46 percent of respondents feel that fares should not be increased to help fund improved transit service. Accessibility and the Environment

A large majority of respondents were in favour of increasing access to, and the accessibility of transit services in Thunder Bay. Approximately 89 percent feel that all bus stops and transit facilities should be fully accessible for persons with mobility limitations, 84 percent feel that it is important for transit terminals to be located near frequent trip destinations, and 62 percent agree that HAGI specialized services should be expanded, regardless of the cost. Further to this, 83 percent indicated that discounted fares should be available for certain individuals, including seniors, children, students, and persons with disabilities, even if taxes increase. Respondents were also supportive of expanding and encouraging public transit use for environmental benefit, as more than 85 percent feel that transit should be expanded to make the community more environmentally sustainable.

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Needs and Opportunities

This section summarizes needs and opportunities identified based on our background research, survey results, stakeholder and public consultations, as well as the market analysis. This forms the base for service development of the Transit Master Plan recommendations. Policies and Strategic Directions  Ontario’s Places to Grow, the City’s Strategic Plan and the City Official Plan support more transit friendly development, provides Thunder Bay Transit opportunities to increase transit use, and identifies a need for improved transit services in these areas.  While increasing the modal split for transit will continue to be challenged by the automobile-oriented urban setting and lifestyle of residents, newly established Provincial and City policies provide Thunder Bay Transit opportunities to improve the system, provide alternative transportation to residents, reduce traffic congestion, and minimize capital investments on road infrastructure as well as greenhouse gas emissions.  There is a need to further integrate land use, transportation network and transit planning to ensure sustainable development and a balanced transportation network. Future development plans need to include a wider range of housing types and densities, and provide a more permeable pedestrian, active transportation and vehicle transportation network.  The Water Street Terminal may have to be relocated due to waterfront redevelopment. However, this also provides opportunities to integrate the transit terminal with the new development.  There are also opportunities for transit and parking to work together to promote increasing transit use.  Clear directions and process are required by transit management and planning staff to guide the service design, planning and operations; performance measures are also necessary to guide service operations and improve customer service. Future Demand  It is expected that more people will rely on transit services for travel due to an aging population, increasing fuel costs and environment sustainability considerations.  Seniors, youth and people who have no access to other transportation alternatives rely on transit for their day-to--day activities and will continue to be prime users of Thunder Bay Transit services; particular consideration should be given to these market groups for future transit development in the community.  Though the overall population in Thunder Bay is projected to decline in the next decade, the senior population is growing rapidly. This will result in an increasing number of people depending on public transit, as they may not be able to drive. This will also require that transit services are more accessible and serve local destinations for social, medical and shopping trips.  Thunder Bay Transit’s fully accessible fleet provides unique opportunities to meet increasing transit demand by seniors and people with disabilities. However, there is strong demand to improve the overall accessibility of the entire system, including facilities and stops as well as passenger information. Transit services also need to be more integrated with active transportation networks and specialized transit services to provide more transportation alternatives to seniors and persons with disabilities.

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 As the U-Pass continues to be popular with post-secondary students, students now use transit more frequently. Students also tend to move to other areas of the City and are no longer restricted to the living in areas near their campus. This also places challenges and needs for the system to accommodate rapid growing student ridership.  The central areas of the South and North Cores, the Intercity shopping area and the post-secondary schools will continue to be key destinations for the residents of Thunder Bay. Existing transit services linking these areas are highly used, which often results in crowded buses. Improving the overall level of service is required to promote a high level of service quality and ensure that services are attractive to both existing and new riders.  Areas of intensification are identified whereby increased transit services should be made available. These proposed higher-density developments include central areas of both the South Core and North Core, as well as areas near the Lakehead University / Regional Health Sciences Centre and along Golf Links Road.  New development areas including Parkdale, Northwest, and Dawson Heights neighbourhoods will also require transit services.  Travel demand within rural portions of the City appears to be too low and widely dispersed to support cost-effective fixed-route transit. This resulted in poorly performing routes. Alternative service delivery may be considered to improve service efficiency. Service Planning and Operations  Transit faces challenges to provide services to the new developments in the Intercity area, particularly big box commercial development due to access and circulation issues. Alternative service delivery needs to be considered to provide service to these areas.  The existing route structure was developed based on two urban cores. With significant new developments in the Intercity area, the two terminal system needs to be reconsidered to meet the transit needs of Thunder Bay residents as well as improve service design and operations.  Service coverage gaps exist within the urban service area and transit service should be considered as required based on the proposed service standards.  Though demand in the evening is relatively lower than the daytime period, some buses are still crowded due to reduced service levels, which suggests that additional service may be required in the evening periods to ensure a better quality of service.  Limited stop and express service may be considered in main corridors to connect key destinations in the City; opportunities exist to implement transit priority measures in these corridors and make transit more attractive.  On-time performance and transfer connections are critical issues to existing transit operations, and there is a need to improve route scheduling and service planning as well as enforcement of transit operational policies and procedures. Customer Service and Technologies  Thunder Bay Transit needs to improve customer service and resolve technical challenges, including passenger information, increasing two-way communication with customers, and improving passenger amenities at terminal and stops. Thunder Bay Transit also needs to make customer satisfaction a greater priority throughout the organization.  Current ITS technologies and planning tools such as TMS and Nextbus provide opportunities for improved customer service as well as service operations and planning. GENIVAR

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ďƒ Given recent developments in the transit industry, opportunities exist to employ new technologies such as easy fare payment options that will further improve customer service and passenger convenience. ďƒ  Security and safety on buses and at stops and terminals was frequently identified as a major issue, and this should be carefully considered for any relocated or new terminal locations.

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9.

Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives

9.1

Vision Statement

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A vision statement is intended to be a compelling and inspiring image of a desired and possible future that an organization seeks to achieve. It expresses goals that are worth striving for and appeals to ideals and values that are shared in the community. For Thunder Bay Transit, the Vision should be in harmony with the overall long-term Vision for the City of Thunder Bay and key planning documents. For example, the Vision for the City of Thunder Bay as outlined in the Strategic Plan is: Thunder Bay: Connected, Healthy, Vibrant, Strong Based on the feedback from the community through the consultation process and the review of the needs of Thunder Bay, the following vision statement has been proposed for Thunder Bay Transit: Transit will play a key role in supporting the quality of life and economic development in the City of Thunder Bay by providing a safe and efficient transportation system.

9.2

Mission Statement

Based on this vision, the proposed mission statement to service Thunder Bay Transit is: To provide effective, efficient, affordable, and accessible transit services to Thunder Bay residents.

9.3

Goals and Objectives

Based on the proposed vision, a number of goals and objectives were developed for each vision element, to form the basis of the development of service alternatives. These goals and objectives have a shorter-term focus than the vision. Serving the City of Thunder Bay with this Vision means:  Making it easy to take transit.  Promoting a positive attitude within the community about transit.  Providing equitable levels of accessible service to all residents.  Providing barrier free service to businesses and residences.  Delivering transit services that are frequent, reliable and affordable.  Striving for universal accessibility.  Working in partnership with City Divisions to develop planning policies to support a variety of access opportunities and accessible neighbourhoods.  Accommodating and supporting an aging population through superior transit services.  Reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from automobile travel. Goals define specific outcomes that would contribute to achieving the vision and objectives. In some cases, the nature of the vision elements results in similar goals and objectives in different areas. This reinforces the importance of these particular objectives.

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE ECONOMY: A prosperous and more diversified economy 1.1

Promoting a positive attitude within the community about transit.

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

Transit is an effective transportation alternative in the community.

Promote transit advantages in environment, health, and economy.

Transit is adequately funded in annual budgets.

Good customer service is provided to all riders.

Improve transit division’s environmental footprint through sustainability measures and fuel efficiency.

Using transit is safe and secure.

Develop marketing and customer service strategies to promote a more customer-focused system.

Provide clear and accurate route information with local culture consideration.

Develop and implement a customer-focused operator training program to ensure effective communication with all customers.

Improved passenger amenities at bus stops and terminals.

Ensure passenger safety and security on transit vehicles and at transit terminals and stops.

1.2

Providing barrier free services to businesses and residences.

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

Transit to create equal opportunity for all sectors of society.

Introduce Employer Pass program to encourage transit usage throughout businesses.

Spread economic success across the community.

Partner with BIAs in an Adopt-a-Shelter program for comfortable and stylish customer amenities.

1.3

Accommodating and supporting an aging population through superior transit services.

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

Conventional and specialized transit services consider the needs of seniors.

Introduce senior travel and transit training programs.

Work with our City departments to improve community accessibility.

Ensure seniors fares are affordable and promote transit travel.

Serve major seniors origins and destinations.

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CUSTOMER PERSPECTIVE LIFESTYLE: A high quality of life 2.1

Delivering Transit services that are frequent, reliable, and affordable.

Related Goals •

Provide frequent and convenient service in key travel corridors to major destinations.

• • •

2.2

Proposed Objectives •

Transit service is supported by transit priority measures.

Develop a route network with adequate schedule recovery time and reliable transfer connections.

Transfer connections are well coordinated through route planning and scheduling.

Implement transit priority measures at select intersections.

Implement bus-only access at key facilities.

Develop and enforce on-time performance measures.

Introduce new fare programs and loyalty plans.

Fare programs include frequent user discounts and inventive programs.

Making it easy to take transit.

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

Transit travel times are competitive to the automobile.

Implement transit priority measures at selected intersections.

Service schedules and routes are familiar and easy to understand.

Implement bus-only access at key facilities.

Fare policies and structure are easy to understand and fare payment is simple.

Improve passenger information including schedules, maps, and real-time signs.

Develop effective and easy to understand fare policies and structures and introduce easy-touse fare media such as smart cards.

2.3

Providing equitable levels of transit service to all residents.

Related Goals •

Wide range of services is provided throughout the City of Thunder Bay with both conventional and specialized transit having fare programs designed for all needs.

Specialized transit serves the needs of all persons with disabilities.

2.4

Proposed Objectives •

Provide fixed-route, specialized transit services, as well as alternative service delivery options across the service area in the City.

Expand specialized transit services to accommodate the demand.

Integrate conventional and specialized transit services to maximize the service efficiency and ensure adequate capacity on both systems.

Develop communication and service delivery to better meet the needs of the urban Aboriginal community.

Providing transit services that are fully accessible.

Related Goals •

All buses are low-floor accessible.

All stops are accessible.

Information systems and fares are accessible.

Specialized services are provided to residents unable to use conventional services.

Some specialized service registrants are able to use both conventional and specialized

services.

GENIVAR

Proposed Objectives •

Continue to purchase low-floor buses to maintain a 100% accessible transit fleet.

Identify accessible design standards for stops.

Expand and improve specialized services.

Coordinate conventional and specialized fares, information systems and communications.

Introduce transit and travel training programs for specialized service registrants.

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ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE ENVIRONMENT: A cleaner, greener, more beautiful and proud Thunder Bay 3.1

Reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicle travel

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

Encourage use of transit to lower greenhouse gas and noise emissions.

Continue using Bio-Diesel and expand the marketing of its use.

Create safe spaces throughout the transit service area.

Share the benefits of taking transit with the community through marketing campaigns.

Use security measures at major transfer locations to ensure passengers feel safe.

Continue purchasing buses that produce low noise emissions.

TRANSIT SYSTEM PERSPECTIVE GOVERNANCE: Recognized as a strong partner and Division within the City of Thunder Bay 4.1 Working in partnership with City Divisions to develop planning policies to support a variety of access opportunities and accessible neighbourhoods.

Related Goals

Proposed Objectives

The City should ensure that new developments are transit friendly and accessible.

Ensure integrated transit and land use planning practice in high density development.

Trails and bike paths link to transit stops.

Introduce bike facilities at transit terminals.

Urban neighbourhoods are accessible to and from bus stops.

Maintain an up-to-date City-wide neighbourhood accessibility plan.

Ensure timely snow clearing at bus stops and facilities.

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10.

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Service Standards

Service standards define the role of transit services in the community and ensure appreciated service levels and balanced resource requirements that are based on community driven objectives, as well as a consistent and fair process of continually adjusting and improving transit services to meet varied and changing customer needs (for example, assessing existing services, evaluating service changes and introducing new services). Service standards define the conditions that require action when standards are not met, but allow flexibility to respond to varied customer needs and community expectations in an accountable, equitable and efficient manner. Service standards typically comprise:  Performance targets to measure and monitor the system.  Guidelines for designing services and implementing service changes.  Benchmarks for quality of service. To establish a general basis for determining appropriate benchmarks for performance measures, Thunder Bay Transit was compared to several other systems throughout Canada. The comparison indicates that for most metrics Thunder Bay Transit performs at approximately the group average. This suggests that current performance is an appropriate minimum standard; performance does not require immediate remedial action to bring it up to an acceptable level, but in a continuous quality environment, improvement should always be incorporated into target measures. However, transit systems and decision makers are becoming increasingly aware that comparisons of one system to another are not particularly useful, as each system is different in terms of its operating environment, demographics, geography, political climate and a variety of other factors. What is important today for performance monitoring is to understand the range of performance of relevant systems and benchmark performance in that range, but then restrict monitoring of the system to year-over-year performance. This is more effective in promoting continuous quality improvement. For the same reason, more and more systems are abandoning specific performance targets in favour of continuous improvement. In this way, targets can still be set, but are set in terms of a percentage increase in performance over previous performance. To assist Thunder Bay Transit staff with conducting a fair and balanced appraisal of service requirements, existing performance targets and service policies included in the City of Thunder Bay Corporate Policy were reviewed and the following standards and guidelines are proposed:  Service design standards to assess existing and new services as well as system design.  Performance measures to determine overall system performance and identify areas of improvement.  Guidelines for the accessibility of service and introduction of new service.

10.1

Route Classifications

Existing corporate policy classifies Thunder Bay Transit routes in five different categories for performance monitoring purpose, including Urban Mainline, Urban Feeder, Rural, Special Runs and New Service. For the purpose of service standards, we propose the addition of the following two route classes:

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 Corridor Class – Serves as the spine of the transit system and operates on main travel corridors in the defined urban service area. They connect high demand destinations in the City and require a relatively higher level of service and extended service hours.  Neighbourhood Class – Serves a feeder and neighbourhood circulator function in the transit system in both urban and rural service areas. They will connect various neighbourhoods to major local activity centres, corridors, transit terminal facilities and appropriate transfer points. These routes will have a base level of service and service hours to meet transit demand in local neighbourhoods. Where appropriate, specific service standards and performance measures are recommended for each route class.

10.2

Service Design Standards

The following service standards deal with route coverage, service hours, service levels (frequencies), route structure, route performance and vehicle loading, and will be used for service design, evaluation of transit routes and to set the decision-making basis regarding service changes and improvements.

10.2.1

Service Coverage

The existing service policy providing 400 m coverage to 95 percent of the population is typical of many industry applications and appropriate for Thunder Bay Transit in its intent. However, to allow service design flexibility in low demand areas such as industrial lands, and for low demand periods such as late evenings, Sundays and on holidays, while still meeting the objectives of the service coverage standards, the following standards are proposed for service coverage. Recommended Standard Thunder Bay Transit will consider new or revised routes to serve residents, places of work, secondary and post-secondary schools, major shopping centres and public facilities in the defined service area that are beyond the following distances from a transit route:  400 m walking distance for residential and commercial areas before 9:00 pm Monday through Saturday.  800 m walking distance for: •

Residential and commercial areas during other periods (late evening Monday through Saturday and all day Sundays and on holidays).

Industrial areas during peak periods.

The objective is to provide service to approximately 95 percent of the population for their travel needs by transit within the service area. An area may be excluded from consideration if transit needs of 95 percent of the population are met based on the proposed service coverage standards. As a guideline to maximize transit service coverage and convenience in the community, services should be arranged to get closer to major generators and destinations. Staff and Council must also use the walk distance standard to assist in locating new facilities relative to existing routes. For example, the locations for proposed seniors residences or activity centres must consider the location of existing routes and services. This gives staff and Council an effective tool to avoid making costly and inconvenient detours to serve facilities or areas that are already within defined service areas.

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Cost Implication There is no cost implication from the implementation of this standard. New developments in the City will require additional service and investment to adhere to this standard on an ongoing basis.

10.2.2

Hours of Service and Service Frequency

A set core hours of service ensures that customers have a clear commitment as to the provision of service. This commitment is an important element in the decision to use transit in the long term. If service levels vary too much, customers will have less faith in the system and have fewer propensities to choose transit. On the other hand, it is important not to set hours of service too wide in the standard, to ensure appropriate level of service effectiveness and efficiency. Frequency of service is also an important standard and must be considered in conjunction with the hours of service. Frequency of service is often ranked inversely with service reliability in terms of customer service, that is, service reliability is a critical factor where service frequencies are low, but less important where service frequencies are very high. It is also important to recognize that service frequencies are critical to attracting ridership, and that in lower demand areas service must be provided at an acceptable base level to be considered attractive to passengers. There is considerable evidence to show that ridership levels are directly correlated with service levels, and that higher levels of service will drive additional ridership, though not immediately. Generally, service at levels less than 30 minutes (45- or 60-minute service) are considered unattractive to passengers, and should only be considered for low demand periods such as evenings, Sundays and holidays. Recommended Standard Exhibit 31 shows the recommended combination of service hours and frequency. The service span and minimum service frequency standards are identified in Section 10.1.

Exhibit 31 – Hours of Service and Service Frequency Standards Period

Service Span

Minimum Service Frequency Corridor Class

Neighbourhood Class

6:00 am – 9:00 am & 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

30 minutes

30 minutes

Midday

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

30 minutes

30 minutes

Evening

6:00 pm – 12:00 am

45 minutes

60 minutes*

9:00 am – 6:00 pm

30 minutes

30 minutes*

7:00 am – 9:00 am & 6:00 pm – 12:00 am

45 minutes

60 minutes*

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

45 minutes

60 minutes*

before 9:00 am and after 9:00 pm as warranted

45 minutes

60 minutes*

Weekdays Peak

Saturday Daytime Morning and Evening Sunday/Holiday Daytime Morning and Evening

* Operation of neighbourhood class routes applies in these periods only if it satisfies ridership performance levels based on the proposed minimum service frequencies. Routes must still satisfy route coverage requirements.

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Service span and frequency standards apply to corridor routes for all service periods. Minimum service frequencies are defined for each operating period for neighbourhood routes, but whether or not a particular neighbourhood class route operates in any given period other than weekday daytime periods is subject to the ridership performance levels. A service in any of these periods should be considered in the following order:  To meet service coverage requirement.  To meet route performance standard. This means that service may not be considered in some areas if 95 percent of the population of service areas are served and the service cannot meet the minimum route performance standard. Cost Implications There is no cost implication from the implementation of this standard.

10.2.3

Route Structure

Given the role different type of routes play in the system, route structure—including alignments and connections of both corridor and neighbourhood routes—becomes very important to ensuring passenger convenience and overall travel time for transit riders. Overall travel time and number of transfers are important factors in the decision whether or not to use transit, and should be minimized. Corridor routes need to directly connect major trip generators and destinations along main travel corridors while neighbourhood routes should be designed to serve local activity centres and connect to corridor services. Recommended Standard  Corridor Class – Routes operating on the Corridor Class should connect the major trip generators, at least three major transfer points in the urban service area following the most direct/fastest route.  Neighbourhood Class – Routes operating on the Neighbourhood Class should operate on the main roads (arterials and collectors) in the service area. They will be oriented as much as possible to the main travel corridors, but could be deviated to residential areas, schools, shopping centres, major employers or other major activity centres where ridership warrants.  The route network should be designed to minimize transfer requirements for a one-way transit trip within the service area while ensuring appropriate service efficiency. Where transfers cannot be avoided, convenient and easy connections between routes should be designed to ensure attractive and customer friendly services.  90 percent of transit trips to key destinations in the service areas (central areas in the South Core and North Core, Intercity Shopping Centre, Lakehead University, Confederation College and Regional Health Sciences Centre) should be accommodated with not more than one transfer. Cost Implication There is no cost implication from the implementation of this standard.

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10.2.4

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Route Performance Standards

Route performance standards are required to determine at what level service should be provided. To establish thresholds for performance of routes, it should be acknowledged that routes will vary in their performance, with some exhibiting superior performance and others exhibiting lower performance levels. To meet a variety of system objectives, top-performing routes must be allowed to support lower performing routes, ensuring that:  The average performance of all routes meets system objectives.  A minimum performance level is established and met by each route. The existing transit service policy uses cost recovery ratio as the performance measure to assess individual routes. This does not credit routes with a significant transfer role in the system. GENIVAR recommends that route performance be assessed on the basis of total boardings per vehicle hour to ensure a fair and simple process for route performance monitoring. Transit route performance typically reflects a pattern that is somewhat normally distributed, with a slight skew to below-average performing routes. This means that the above-average and below-average routes usually involve a similar number of routes, except that there is typically a small number of very poor performing routes that are not balanced by a similar number of extremely well-performing routes. This typical pattern gives us the opportunity to establish a minimum threshold for performance. Typically, a performance level equivalent to approximately one-third to one-half of the average performance covers the majority of the routes on the average performance and isolates the poor performers. Recommended Standard For Thunder Bay Transit services, the ridership levels identified in Exhibit 32 must be met unless the route is required to meet the route coverage requirement. Exhibit 32 – Route Performance Standards Passengers per Vehicle Hour Weekday Base (8:00 am – 6:00 pm)

Other Service Periods

Overall

Average

Minimum

Average

Minimum

Average

Minimum

Corridor Route

40

20

30

15

35

18

Neighbourhood Route

25

10

18

6

20

8

Cost Implications No cost implications are anticipated.

10.2.5

Vehicle Loading Standards

The application of the vehicle loading standards depends on whether the objective is to limit standees to ensure good quality service, or limit vehicle crowding. If the goal is to limit standees, the typical 150 percent threshold remains appropriate, and consideration should be given to matching the capacity of the vehicles to the ridership levels on the route to avoid unnecessary increases in service levels. Given the entire fleet of Thunder Bay Transit is 40-foot buses with a similar seating capacity of 36 to 38 passengers, the existing policy of 150 percent threshold is appropriate. However, the vehicle loading standards need to consider potential changes in fleet size and seating capacity for future service requirements.

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Recommended Standard To ensure standing passengers on all transit vehicles have enough floor space for a comfortable ride and limit overall crowding on the vehicle, maximum numbers of passengers onboard transit vehicles (measured at the peak point of the route over the peak 60-minute period) are established for each size of possible future Thunder Bay Transit buses:  40-foot bus: average of 55 passengers per vehicle.  35-foot bus: average of 48 passengers per vehicle.  30-foot bus: average of 40 passengers per vehicle. Vehicle loading standards for each size of vehicle are identified in the recommendation solely to be inclusive of any possible alternative bus sizes should they be introduced in the future. The introduction of new smaller vehicles to the system is not advised. Refer to Service Delivery Strategies in Section 12.3. While the introduction of smaller vehicles to the fleet could save some initial capital and operational fuel costs, the additional cost and labour implications related to the maintenance of the vehicles (e.g. maintenance training, vehicle parts, maintenance equipment) require adequate consideration. Cost Implications These standards are generally met by the existing system. Route structure changes to improve system performance will consider these standards.

10.2.6

On-Time Performance

On-time departures from a stop are defined as departure from zero minutes before to three minutes after the scheduled departure time. The minimum performance threshold for on-time performance is 90 percent of all trips. No vehicle shall leave a time point early.

10.3

Performance Measures

The following section outlines the recommended guidelines to guide the monitoring and development of services based on current performance and peer benchmarking. The recommended values in each of these areas reflect a desire to improve service levels and promote ridership growth. The objective in establishing guidelines and monitoring performance in these areas is to improve year-over-year performance, recognizing short-term impacts of service increases.

10.3.1

Amount of Service

Vehicle hours per capita is an important measure of the amount of service provided. Vehicle hours provided in different systems tend to increase exponentially with population size, so that vehicle hours per capita increase with population in a linear fashion. In practice, this means that small systems tend to provide service in the range of 0.50 to 0.75 vehicle hours per capita, while large systems typically provide in excess of 2.0 vehicle hours per capita. For systems similar in size to Thunder Bay Transit, the typical range is 1.0 to 1.5 vehicle hours per capita. Thunder Bay Transit’s current performance is 1.5 vehicle hours per capita. It is recommended that a minimum of 1.5 vehicle hours per capita should be maintained to guide the provision of services.

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10.3.2

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Service Utilization

There are two measurements to indicate the effectiveness of the system in attracting passengers to the service: revenue passengers per vehicle hour and revenue passengers per capita. Revenue passengers per vehicle hour measures the total number of passengers divided by the number of vehicle hours of service. In this statistic, a higher value indicates superior performance. Revenue passengers are used at the system level, rather than boardings per hour, since the overall system objective should try to minimize transfers. Thunder Bay Transit’s current performance is 22 passengers per vehicle hour. It is recommended that a minimum target of 20 passengers per vehicle hour be established to monitor the service performance, with a long-term goal of increasing to 25 passengers per vehicle hour. Similar to the passengers per vehicle hour measure, passengers per capita measures the overall propensity of the community to use transit, and the attractiveness of the system. Higher values represent superior performance. Thunder Bay Transit’s current performance is 33 passengers per capita. It is recommended that the existing performance of 33 passengers per capita should be established as a minimum, with a long-term goal of increasing to 40 passengers per capita.

10.3.3

Financial Monitoring

Financial performance is highly related to the role of transit in the community. Municipal government provides public services for a variety of reasons, including social, environmental and economic; all of which are benefits that transit brings to the community. Public transit plays an important role in the community to meet transportation needs and support sustainable economic, social and environmental development. For this reason, financial performance alone should not be used to assess system performance, particularly considering minimum requirements of service coverage and service levels. Also, financial performance is significantly affected by inflation, particularly the changing fuel cost, which cannot be precisely predicted and will significantly reduce or eliminate evidence of progress in this measure. Therefore, financial measures are addressed in this document as an effective monitoring tool, but not recommended as a standard. Thunder Bay Transit should carefully monitor the following financial measures with consideration of the price index:  Cost recovery ratio (R/C) – A principal indicator of economic performance in the transit industry. In this indicator, higher values indicate superior performance. •

Current Performance: 35 percent

 Net cost per passenger – Assesses the efficiency of the system, taking passenger revenue into account. In this indicator, lower values indicate superior performance. •

Current Performance: $2.46 per passenger

 Cost per hour – A principal measure of overall operational efficiency. In this indicator, lower values indicate superior performance. •

GENIVAR

Current Performance: $91.70 per hour

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10.4

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OMBI Benchmarking Measures

The Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) is a collaboration of 16 municipalities that promotes a culture of service excellence in municipal government by developing ways to measure, share, and compare performance statistics and operational practices. Measuring the performance of transit services are a part of the 28 service areas where OMBI benchmarking measures have been established. The benchmarking measures for transit services are as follows: Benchmarking Measure

Description •

Measures the general extent of transit service utilization on a per capita basis.

Part of the proposed service utilization standards (see Section 10.3.2).

Measures the cost to operate a transit vehicle for each hour the vehicle is in service.

Part of the proposed financial monitoring standards (see Section 10.3.3).

Operating cost per total vehicle hour

Measures the total transit costs, including the costs associated with deadheading, training, etc.

Revenue to cost ratio

Measures the percent of transit operating costs that are recovered by revenues earned from passenger fares and other revenues.

Part of the proposed financial monitoring standards (see Section 10.3.3).

Measures the degree to which the service is used relative to the extent of service provided.

Part of the proposed route performance standards (see Section 10.2.4).

Measures the overall efficiency of transit service on a cost per trip basis.

Part of the proposed financial monitoring standards (see Section 10.3.3).

Conventional transit trips per capita

Operating cost per in-service vehicle hour

Passenger trips per in-service vehicle hour

Operating cost per passenger trip

10.5

Other Guidelines

10.5.1

Bus Stop Guidelines

The key interface between transit services and transit riders occurs at transit stops, from a simple on-street stop to a major transfer point and terminal facility. Each of these should be properly designed and equipped to ensure an appropriate level of customer services and amenities, transit operational requirements and system marketing opportunities. Bus stops should be placed at passenger generators and transfer points based on potential ridership and with safety considerations, as well as possible traffic conflicts. New bus stops shall generally be located at least 200 m from the nearest bus stop unless site specific considerations require the need for closer spacing. As general guidelines, bus shelters should be installed based on following priority factors:  All terminals and major transfer points.  High boarding locations (more than 100 daily boardings).

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 In front of hospitals and major medical facilities, homes for persons with disabilities, senior citizen residences and other institutional facilities.  Unique exposure to inclement weather. Exhibit 33 outlines a basic hierarchy of stops and related amenities. To promote passenger and operational safety, bus stops should not be located and route designs should not require that vehicles stop:  Directly at the bottom of hill.

On an incline greater than five percent.

The basis for this guideline is to ensure that operators are able to stop safely on a decline or accelerate safely on an incline.

Exhibit 33 – Amenities by Identified Stop Type Stop Type

Amenities Basic stop on all routes

Basic Stop

Convenient access Visible sign Restricted auto zone Multi-Route Stop

Transfer point Major stop, higher demand location Served by more than one route Probable shelter location Benches, garbage can Route and schedule information

Major Transfer Point

Point where multiple routes converge to facilitate convenient transfers No provisions for schedule route layovers Shelter location Benches, garbage can Route and schedule information

Terminal

Major destination, combined with system access and transfer point Formal pedestrian connections and access to destination facilities Dedicated, sheltered platform area Provisions for scheduled route layover Full information services Staffed information centre Security

10.5.2

Service in New Areas

Services introduced in new areas not previously served should be guaranteed for a minimum 12 months of operation to ensure adequate time for travel patterns to adjust and for four-season ridership patterns to be accounted. At the end of the 12 months, the service must meet the minimum performance thresholds required for its class of service. Within this trial period, interim targets are set to ensure that a service that is clearly not capable of meeting the ultimate targets is identified as early as possible. Monitoring at three, six and GENIVAR

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nine months is completed to ensure that the new service is trending towards the appropriate standard. Targets for these interim periods are set at 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent of the ultimate target, respectively. If the performance at the end of each period has not reached at least 75 percent of the target value, the route should be re-examined to identify potential changes to improve its performance. If the same standard is not met in the next period, the changes should be recommended.

10.5.3

Service in New Operating Periods

Changes that introduce service in new operating periods on an existing route or modify the existing service are subject to a similar evaluation as new routes, but over a shorter six-month period. If the service change is substantial, staff may recommend a longer trial period. For a six month trial, interim targets are established at two months and four months with target levels of 33 percent and 66 percent of the ultimate target.

10.5.4

System Accessibility Guidelines

Thunder Bay Transit was the first transit agency in Ontario to have a 100 percent wheelchair accessible fleet, and clearly makes accessibility a key component of the transit system. However, a system that is fully accessible requires accessibility on the fleet as well as at all transit facilities and stops, and this will require continued efforts and investment to achieve. To continue improving accessibility of the system, Thunder Bay Transit should periodically review its system accessibility including vehicles, stops and facilities to ensure that access issues are not a barrier to ridership growth. The following outlines accessibility guidelines proposed by GENIVAR:  All newly purchased buses should be wheelchair accessible.  Monitor ongoing developments in accessibility standards as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and ensure accessibility standards are met in the future as they become legislation governing transit system and service developments.  Existing and proposed AODA legislation does not include accessibility requirements for bus stops and shelters. Despite this, Thunder Bay Transit should strive to make all components of the system accessible, including bus stops and shelters and other transit infrastructure such as sidewalks and benches.  As part of the TMP development process GENIVAR has conducted an AODA readiness assessment that evaluates existing conditions against current and pending AODA requirements. See Section 18.3 for more details.

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11.

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Service Review and Planning Process

To assist Thunder Bay Transit staff in meeting the objective of a fair and balanced appraisal of service requirements, a service review process is proposed, comprising a series of reviews and assessments of requests from different sources. This process will provide staff with a consistent and objective framework to assess requests for new or revised services. The framework has four critical elements:  The recommended service standards to assess new and existing services.  A series of three on-going route assessments comprising: •

Regular route assessments as part of an on-going monitoring process.

Periodic service reviews to monitor the on-going performance of the system or respond to minor requests.

Annual service reviews to assess major requests for new or revised services.

 The data collection program required to support the review process.  A comprehensive consultation process.

11.1

A Consistent Performance Standard

For the service review framework, GENIVAR recommends that Thunder Bay Transit evaluate its services on the basis of boardings per hour instead of the cost recovery ratio. It is important to assess boardings, or unlinked trips, so that routes that perform a high ratio transfer role are properly credited for that performance. The boardings per hour measure gives a standard measurement against which to assess new services and provides the basis for the assessment approach used in the short-term analysis to identify routes for remedial action. Existing routes that perform higher than the system average contribute to increasing that average and should be maintained. New proposals with estimated performance (based on ridership projections) in this range can be recommended, subject to budget availability. Routes that have performance lower than the system average and higher than the minimum required by the performance standards are easily flagged and subject to detailed assessment to determine if there are remedial measures which can improve the performance of the route. The third level of routes is the small group of routes with boardings per hour less than the minimum required for the route class. These routes have a negative influence on the average system performance and should be examined quickly to identify a major change that will improve performance. If such a change cannot be identified, or attempted solutions have proven unsuccessful, the route is recommended to be discontinued unless the route is required to meet the route coverage requirement. Each route type should be examined separately, with its own set of performance thresholds, as described in the service standards. These thresholds are based on existing performance, with the goal of continuous improvement.

11.2

Service Reviews

11.2.1

Regular Service Reviews

Regular service reviews are conducted on an on-going basis to ensure the most effective allocation of resources to individual routes. Each route is assessed to ensure the adequacy of its operation against several standards including service hours and frequency for all periods,

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route structure, ridership performance, loading performance, on-time performance, safety and other factors. Recommendations from this level of review can be implemented if they are minor or no cost, or if there is a specific budget allocation for them. Otherwise, recommendations are referred to the annual review process. Given Thunder Bay Transit’s size and level of operation, a thorough review of each route in a stable environment should occur at least once every two years.

11.2.2

Periodic Service Reviews

Periodic service reviews are conducted on an ad hoc basis. Routes are assessed in response to customer service requests or by staff as part of the on-going monitoring process. Recommendations from this level of review can be implemented if they are minor or no cost, or if there is a specific budget allocation for them. Otherwise, recommendations are referred to the annual review process.

11.2.3

Annual Service Review

The annual service review comprises an overall assessment of service proposals that have been deferred from the other review processes throughout the year, major proposals developed by staff, and proposals requested by customers as part of the consultation process. Each proposal is assessed in terms of its:  Ridership potential  System accessibility  Capital and operating costs Measurements in each area are made and scored according to a ranking system. All proposals are considered together so that an effective priority list of projects can be considered. Annual budget availability is used to determine the number of proposals from the priority list that are recommended for implementation. Each proposal is first assessed against a set of screening standards to ensure adherence to minimum operating standards then assessed for its ridership performance. If an acceptable proposal does not require capital budget and there is sufficient operating budget available, it can be implemented as part of the annual service plan. If the proposal requires additional vehicles, or there is insufficient operating budget for implementation, it will be deferred to the next annual service review for further consideration. New Routes or Route Changes Any routing proposals must pass an initial screening process to ensure they are safe and operationally feasible without duplicating existing services. After the initial screening process, the proposal should be further assessed to ensure that it has a positive net benefit, that is, that more riders benefit from the change than those that are inconvenienced. Finally, the additional hours of the new route, route portion or routing change and new boardings should be estimated. If the new boardings per additional vehicle hour is above the route class average, the change can be implemented, subject to budget availability. Additional Periods of Service Additional periods of service such as evening and Sunday are assessed based on the route performance standards only. Additional periods of service can be typically implemented in sequence of weekday peaks, weekday off-peak, Saturday and Sunday/holidays.

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If the assessment shows that boardings per vehicle hour for the period is estimated to be above the route class average, service can be implemented subject to budget availability.

11.3

Data Collection Program Requirements

The cornerstone of the Service Review process is a comprehensive data collection program. Given the available data including passenger counts and vehicle loading as well as vehicle tracking data Thunder Bay Transit has today, some data collection programs require only simple steps to retrieve data from the database generated daily by the suppliers. However, periodical small scale data collection would be beneficial to confirm and verify data collected by the suppliers and ensure they are valid for service planning activities addressing issues and service requests. The following outlines the data programs required for the proposed service review process:  Passenger On/Off Counts – the number of passengers boarding and alighting at each stop by route, along with supporting data such as time of day can be obtained from the supplier’s website. Full on-off counts as well as vehicle loading data should be reviewed for each route by time periods including weekday peaks and off-peaks, Saturdays and Sundays, on an on-going basis to regularly monitor the system and route performance. Regular counts should be retrieved and reviewed for time periods between September and March, within the school year. Special summer counts should be reviewed on routes subject to seasonal variation and as conditions warrant.  Schedule Adherence – vehicle arrival and departure at major stops, transfer points and scheduled time points should be retrieved from the database and checked against the service standards to ensure service reliability and meet transfer requirements.  Standing Counts - standing counts are supplementary counts taken by an individual standing at a single point along the route. The count records route and run numbers, scheduled and actual arrival times, and arrival and departure loads. Standing counts can be used to confirm passenger on/off counts, vehicle loading and bus arrival and departure times from the database. The standing counts are typically conducted at the stop identified as the peak point along the route but can also be completed at other points to meet specific needs.  Cordon Counts – cordon counts are specially coordinated standing counts designed to assess the system performance at any given time across a cordon. These counts are taken at a series of points along a cordon around a particular area, such as downtown, to determine the level of transit ridership into and out of an area. Transit cordon counts should be coordinated with any automobile cordon counts conducted by the City.  Transfer Traces – transfer traces are specialty counts that collect transfer information at specific points or system-wide to determine transfer characteristics at specific points, time periods or to and from certain routes. Transfer traces can be used to help design routes and interlines to minimize transfers and to identify overall travel patterns for the design of new routes and services.

11.4

Consultation Plan

The consultation plan formalizes a process to ensure that proposed service changes and improvements are communicated and that stakeholder and public input is considered during the planning phases. Regular and ongoing communications are vital both to hear about issues and concerns from the public and to provide valuable information and education for the general public and key

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stakeholders including community groups and agencies, student and school representatives, businesses and business groups, elected representatives and other City departments as well as customers. Conducting open and regular communication in a proactive fashion will create a level of trust and reliability that will help to reduce any controversial aspects of service delivery. A defined consultation plan with timeframes, topics, locations and issues identified will enable Thunder Bay Transit staff to focus on obtaining the broadest cross-section of public input in both an efficient and productive manner. This would help to optimize the time spent on responses to individual requests that could be referred to one of the consultation activities, if possible. At each point of consultation and communication, it is important to present (with various degrees of emphasis depending on the group) the objectives of Thunder Bay Transit, benefits of Thunder Bay Transit to the broader community, and the objectives of the specific encounter. The components of a successful consultation plan are:  Knowing who your stakeholders are.  Defining the purpose of the consultation and communication.  Establishing a regular program of contact.  Reporting accomplishments to the community. Consultation can be tailored to the needs or characteristics of the individual group and may include:  Issue-specific meetings with one or more stakeholders.  Public meetings, forums or open houses.  Written submissions.  Workshops.  Regular newsletters and notices. At each of the meetings Thunder Bay Transit will receive or present:  Specific proposals for the short- and long-term service plans.  Options in the context of the service standards.  Potential alternatives and assessments based on the objectives of performance standards. Meetings can also be designed for:  Areas experiencing change – to consult with local area residents, businesses and elected representatives to develop specific proposals for changes to services or the introduction of new services into their community; for areas of significant development.  External stakeholders – community groups and agencies, student organizations, school boards and business groups.  Internal stakeholders – elected representatives, representatives from other City departments such as Infrastructure & Operations; Community & Emergency Services, Development Services; Facilities & Fleet; and Finance & Corporate Services.  General public consultation – public consultation forums are suggested for those stakeholders and members of the public that would not have had an opportunity to provide input through the other consultation programs.

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12.

Proposed Service Improvements

12.1

Stage 1: Immediate Service Reliability Improvements

Based on the feedback from operators and from the public, the study team identified service changes to address some of the immediate concerns in the City. Particularly, through public input received in the October 2011 consultation sessions, service reliability was a noted concern particularly during the busier times in the off-peak periods. During evenings and Sunday afternoons, when the system operates its off-peak schedules, buses connecting between City Hall and Water Street Terminal require more than the 20 minutes scheduled for each direction. During the affected time periods, buses consistently require two to four additional minutes to travel between the two terminals. Service unreliability during these periods has made passengers unable to make appropriate transfers, worsened levels of service on these affected routes, and instilled a negative attitude of the system. Additionally, in an effort to stay on time, operators are driving at higher than normal speeds, which have caused lowered passenger comfort, lowered levels of customer service, increased operator stress, and decreased fuel economy. Recognizing that any resolution should not result in increased operating service hours, the study team collaboratively conducted travel time analyses and identified options to resolve the operational issues. Through the analysis, it was determined that the scheduled travel time of Route 1 – Mainline and Route 3 – Memorial from City Hall to Water Street Terminal be extended from 20.0 to 22.5 minutes in each direction. This adjustment results in a round-trip travel time change from 40 to 45 minutes on Route 3 – Memorial, and 120 to 135 minutes on Route 1 – Mainline.

Exhibit 34 – Changes to Evening and Weekend Service Before Change Route

After Change

Service Interval (min)

Round Trip Travel Time*

Service Interval (min)

Round Trip Travel Time*

1 – Mainline

40

120

45

135

2 – Crosstown

40

90

45

90

3 – Airport

40

40

45

45

3 – County Park

40

40

45

45

3/11 – John / Jumbo Gardens

40

40

45

45

3 – Memorial

40

40

40

45

3 – Northwood

40

40

45

45

7 – Hudson

40

40

45

45

8 – James

40

40

45

45

9 – Junot

40

80

45

90

* Includes recovery time

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To better coordinate transfers at City Hall and Water Street Terminal, service intervals for routes in the system were adjusted accordingly. As a result of these changes, service intervals on most routes will be adjusted to operate every 45 minutes instead of every 40 minutes Exhibit 34 summarizes the service changes for each route in the system. While this change would decrease service frequencies in the system, it would provide a number of benefits to passengers and operators. The benefits include improved service reliability, increased ease in route transfers, decreased operator stress and pressure, safer vehicle operations, as well as improved vehicle maintenance and fuel economy.

12.2

Stage 2: Recommended Route Network and Terminal Concept

GENIVAR identified a recommended route network concept and terminal locations to reflect the changing service environment and to better accommodate the identified needs of Thunder Bay Transit riders. This section briefly describes the methodology and final specifications of the recommended route network concept and its associated terminal locations.

12.2.1

Methodology

12.2.1.1 Route Network Concept The intention of identifying a recommended route network concept is to provide guiding directions about how the route system could operate to provide solutions to the changing travel needs of the City. In developing the alternatives and the selection of a recommended route network concept, the study team was particularly mindful of the contextual conditions of the City. These major considerations are summarized in the following section. Major Considerations

Based on observed origin-destination surveys, on-off passenger counts, consultation feedback, as well as current planning policies, GENIVAR determined that an improved route network is required to adapt to the changing travel patterns in the City. Currently, the existing transit route network is primarily oriented towards the two downtown cores with good corridor services connecting between the two nodes primarily along Memorial Avenue and Fort William Road. This route network served the City well when the North and South Core areas were the prime destinations in the City. Based on the analysis of future development described in Section 6.4, the travel patterns in the City have changed to include the Intercity area as a major destination node along with the existing two downtown core areas. Additionally, the implementation of the U-Pass program has also made Confederation College and Lakehead University major destinations in the City. Thus, the new route network concept should be realigned to provide more direct service to these key destinations without necessarily having to travel to the two cores and the existing corridors that connect them. Analysis Process

Based on the route network considerations described in the previous section, GENIVAR developed six route network concept alternatives as suitable solutions to adapt to the City’s changing travel conditions. The objective of these six identified alternatives is to provide better connectivity, particularly to major destinations within the City. The alternatives identify the route alignments for each route and how they interact with the five key transfer points in the City. A key transfer point is the general area near major destination points where transit services converge to provide convenient service connections. The amenities that would be in place at

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these key transfer points, such as whether it would include a terminal, was assessed at a later stage of the analysis after the recommended route concept was identified. The alternatives were evaluated based on a set of evaluation criteria. The evaluation criteria were developed in collaboration with Thunder Bay Transit staff and reflect three major objectives: (1) promoting a growing ridership base, (2) minimizing overall costs, and (3) ensuring ease of implementation. Refer to Exhibit 35 for a detailed description of the evaluation criteria.

Exhibit 35 – Route Network Evaluation Criteria Evaluation Criteria

Criteria Description

Promotes a growing ridership base

Promote riders to the network Encourage flexibility to accommodate growth and change Minimize transfer requirements Minimize safety and security concerns

Minimizes overall costs

Minimize capital costs Minimize operating costs

Ensures ease of implementation

Ease of operation and management Ease of customer use and understanding Hold overall community acceptance

The route network concept option that best met the three major objectives in the evaluation criteria was identified as the preferred route network concept. Terminal Analysis Once the route network concept was identified, GENIVAR undertook a terminal analysis to identify which of five identified key transfer points should include a terminal, and identified suitable location(s) for the terminal if a terminal currently does not exist at that key transfer point. Given the complexity of the terminal analysis exercise, GENIVAR identified several considerations as an initial framework in conducting the terminal analysis. The major considerations are outlined in the following section. Major Considerations

Based on previous background analysis and stakeholder feedback, GENIVAR noted two particular considerations when conducting the terminal analysis. These two considerations include minimizing the use of the existing City Hall terminal where appropriate, and recognizing the redevelopment plans ongoing in the North Core area. While the South Core will continue to be a major destination in the City, GENIVAR attempted to minimize, but not eliminate, the use of the existing City Hall location for transit operations where appropriate while still being mindful of passenger travel needs. The basis for minimizing the use of City Hall for transit operations is based on local community feedback and the lack of appropriate options for relocating the terminal within the South Core. Given the identification of a key transfer point in the Intercity area, there is a possibility that some of the passengers transfers occurring in the South Core could instead be made at that location. In terms of the North Core, GENIVAR acknowledged that the existing Water Street terminal site is a candidate site for the proposed Thunder Bay Events Centre. Considerations should be

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made to ensure that the preferred route network plan can continue to effectively operate with or without the existing terminal facility. In addition to the two aforementioned considerations, the study team concluded the term “terminal” needs to be more explicitly defined to better conduct the terminal analysis. For the purposes of the analysis, a terminal is defined as a major transit facility that is located at a major transfer point that:  Includes a permanent structure that accommodates customer service activities and allows passengers the opportunity to be out of the elements.  Ensures appropriate security presence when the system is in operation.  Provides operator and passenger amenities.  Incorporates a variety of uses, where possible, at or around the facility to promote natural surveillance and overall street animation. Analysis Process

The initial step in the terminal location analysis was to identify which of the five key transfer points should include terminal facilities. To do this, the study team:  Identified the number of routes that serve each of the key transfer points.  Assessed the likelihood for which transfers would occur at these key transfer points.  Observed the land use and transportation conditions to determine if an off-street facility is required for safe and efficient operations. From this analysis, GENIVAR determined that two terminals are required in the Intercity area and in the North Core to operate the preferred route network safely and effectively. Because a terminal does not currently exist at the Intercity area, the study team identified some potential sites for the location of a new terminal.

Exhibit 36 – Evaluation Criteria for Candidate Sites Criteria Promote passenger convenience

Description • •

Promote the operation of direct transit routes that provide connections to major destinations. Minimize walking distance to major destinations.

Promote passenger safety and security

• • •

Reduce on-site passenger conflict with buses. Promote passenger safety and control. Promote passenger security and natural surveillance.

Promote ease of transit operations

• • • •

Promote safe on-site bus circulation. Minimize service interruptions due to railway operation. Minimize access and egress delays/conflicts with road traffic. Minimize delay or congestion on boundary roads/intersections.

Accommodate terminal requirements and amenities

• • • •

Accommodate passenger amenities, movements. Accommodate a bus layover area. Accommodate an on-site terminal building. Accommodate future site expansion.

Minimize overall costs

• •

Minimize capital costs. Minimize operating costs.

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Criteria

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Description

Minimize implementation uncertainty

Implementation likelihood (based on need for land assembly, land availability, building condition, viability of the occupied business).

The possible candidate sites were assessed based on a set of evaluation criteria. The evaluation criteria reflect six major objectives: (1) promoting passenger convenience, (2) promoting passenger safety and security, (3) promoting ease of transit operations, (4) accommodating terminal requirements and amenities, (5) minimizing overall costs, and (6) minimizing implementation uncertainty. Exhibit 36 outlines the proposed criteria for evaluating the identified candidate sites.

12.2.2

Recommended Route Network and Terminal Concept

Following the methodological process described in Section 12.2.1, this section describes GENIVAR’s recommended route network concept and the terminal locations. Route Network Concept Exhibit 38 illustrates the preferred route network concept, which consists of ten routes that operate throughout the City and make direct connections to major destinations in the City. This concept scored the highest for promoting a growing ridership base while still minimizing overall costs and promoting ease of implementation. Route Classification As discussed in Section 10, GENIVAR proposed the addition of two route classes: Corridor and Neighbourhood Routes.

Exhibit 37 – Route Classifications for Preferred Route Network Concept Route Classification

Applicable Routes

Corridor Routes

Route 1, 4, 6, 9

Neighbourhood Routes

Routes 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10

12.2.3

Terminal Location

Intercity Area GENIVAR has determined that a terminal in the Intercity area is required to support the preferred route network. Additionally, the development of an Intercity area terminal will:  Accommodate the growing travel needs to and from the subject area.  Facilitate easier passenger transfers and better vehicle operations with a more centralized facility.  Diminish the role of the City Hall facility for passenger transfers and vehicle layovers. The evaluation for the identified potential terminal sites is complete. The terminal location recommendations are being assessed and finalized by staff.

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Exhibit 38 – Preferred Route Network Concept

Note: The route network concept shown on this map is intended to only illustrate on a conceptual level the nature of service coverage and the general system route structure. Route refinements will occur in the detailed implementation. The exact locations of the two terminals are not defined in this concept map.

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North Core In terms of the terminal in the North Core area, GENIVAR recommends that the existing Water Street Terminal should remain in operation to serve the operational and passenger needs for the preferred route network concept. As discussed in Section 6.4.3, potential redevelopment on the terminal site may affect the operations of the existing Water Street Terminal. If the site is selected for redevelopment, GENIVAR recommends that efforts should be made to integrate a terminal within the redevelopment plan. The Water Street Terminal site is currently located away from main activities in the North Core, leading to a lack of natural surveillance and raised security concerns. However, with the possible development of the Thunder Bay Events Centre and redevelopment of the waterfront, there is an opportunity to integrate these uses on the existing site that would mutually accommodate one another in what is often mistakenly perceived to be competing needs. If terminal operations cannot be accommodated on the site, GENIVAR’s alternative approach is to incorporate an on-street transit facility into the redevelopment plans along Cumberland Street and Van Norman Street.

12.3

Operating Hours and Fleet Requirements

The recommended transit service changes identified for Phases 1 and 2 will impact the number of required vehicles and vehicle hours in the system. Exhibit 39 summarizes these changes for each phase, divided by weekday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Exhibit 39 – Vehicle and Revenue Requirements Each Phase Existing

Stage 1 Service Plan

Stage 2 Service Plan

Peak Buses Required

Revenue Hours

Peak Buses Required

Revenue Hours

Peak Buses Required

Revenue Hours

Weekday

30

452

30

453

37

585

Saturday

26

385

26

385

31

490

Sunday

14

205

14

205

17

260

Weekly Total

30

30

2,855

37

3,675

Annual Total

30

2,850 150,000 Approx 148,200 Calculated

30

148,500 Calculated

37

191,000 Calculated

The system currently operates approximately 150,000 hours annually and requires 30 buses during weekday daytime service. Based on the recommendations of Stage 1 to improve service reliability concerns, GENIVAR predicts a slight change in total operating hours but will be similar to existing service levels. Exhibit 40 shows the differences in revenue service hours by route and by period on a given day between existing services and Stage 1. The differences occur only in the weekday evening service.

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Exhibit 40 – Existing and Stage 1 Revenue Service Hours by Period Revenue Service Hours (h) Route

Mon-Fri Day

Existing Mon-Fri Sat Eve

Sun

Mon-Fri Day

Stage 1 Mon-Fri Sat Eve

Sun

1 – Mainline

63.8

19.0

75.0

46.0

63.8

19.1

75.0

46.0

2 – Crosstown

34.5

12.7

48.8

29.3

34.5

12.8

48.8

29.3

2 – Westfort

33.8

3 – Airport

18.0

6.7

22.8

14.7

18.0

6.8

22.8

14.7

3 – County Park

18.0

6.7

23.5

14.0

18.0

6.8

23.5

14.0

3 – Jumbo Gardens

17.3

3/11 John Jumbo Gardens

33.8

12.8

17.3

12.8

6.7

10.0

14.0

6.8

10.0

14.0

3 – Memorial

47.0

10.0

46.3

15.3

47.0

10.1

46.3

15.3

3 – Northwood

17.3

6.7

46.1

14.7

17.3

6.8

46.1

14.7

4/6 – Neebing-Mission

10.1

2.3

10.4

10.1

2.3

10.4

7 – Hudson

12.0

6.7

18.5

14.0

12.0

6.8

18.5

14.0

8 – James

23.5

6.0

17.8

14.7

23.5

6.0

17.8

14.7

9 – Junot

35.3

14.0

28.0

14.0

35.3

14.3

28.0

14.0

11 – John

12.0

8.5

14.0

12.0

8.5

14.0

12.0

0.5

16.8

204.7

354.4

98.8

385.3

12 – East End

12.0

0.4

16.8

Total

354.4

97.7

385.3

204.7

Sum of individual routes may not equal to total due to rounding

Exhibit 41 – Stage 2 Revenue Service Hours by Period Stage 2 Mon-Fri Day

Mon-Fri Eve

Sat*

Sun*

Proposed Route 1

59

21

67

36

Proposed Route 2

59

21

67

36

Proposed Route 3

59

21

67

36

Proposed Route 4

35

12

40

21

Proposed Route 5

47

17

53

28

Proposed Route 6

47

17

53

28

Proposed Route 7

35

12

40

21

Proposed Route 8

47

17

53

28

Proposed Route 9

35

12

40

21

Route

Proposed Route 10

10

2

10

6

Total

435

150

490

260

* Preliminary service designs were not identified for Saturday and Sunday. The identified weekend figures by route are expressed as a percentage of total weekday service hours.

As discussed in Section 12.2, Stage 2 calls for the implementation of the preferred Route Network Concept shown in Exhibit 38. GENIVAR anticipates that the new network will require 585 revenue hours on a given weekday, which results in an increase in revenue hours of 29 percent from Stage 1. These revenue hour increases are attributed not only to an increase in

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the level of service in the system, but the increase in the quality of service to be provided. The quality of service is improved by lowering scheduled operating speeds with increased ridership and providing better service reliability in the network. 37 peak buses will be required to accommodate the proposed services in the system. The predicted 29 percent increase is applied to the existing service hours for Saturday and Sunday, resulting in predicted revenue hours on Saturday and Sunday of 490 and 260 hours on a given Saturday and Sunday respectively. Stage 2 will result in a service increase to approximately 191,000 annual revenue hours. Exhibit 41 summarizes the number of revenue service hours by route and by period on a given day.

12.4

Service Delivery Strategies

To be most responsive to customers’ needs, the system needs not only be flexible in its design of services, but also in how the services are delivered. GENIVAR has identified several strategies to reduce costs where appropriate while meeting the needs of each identified travel market. Operating Different Vehicle Sizes GENIVAR recommends that Thunder Bay Transit continue to operate using 40-foot buses for the operation of its routes in the City. Public feedback included suggestions to use smaller vehicles for less-travelled routes in the system to reduce capital and operating costs and to reduce vehicular impact on the community. While smaller vehicles cost less to purchase and require less fuel when compared to 40-foot buses, there are also other externalities that need to be considered. For instance, the introduction of a 30-foot bus will likely require the procurement of separate vehicle parts for maintenance and the additional training of staff to maintain the vehicles. At this point, given the size of Thunder Bay Transit’s fleet and the nature of the routes proposed in the Preferred Route Network Concept, there are limited applications for the operation of smaller buses because few routes in the urban area operate only in quieter residential communities. Given the limited applications, the lack of economies of scale for maintaining these smaller vehicles may diminish the viability for possible cost savings for the system. Alternatively, there are opportunities to operate low-demand routes and periods through the use of cutaway vehicles. Because there is already a large fleet of these vehicles through the operation of HAGI, the expansion of this fleet for low-demand routes may prove to be economically advantageous. Operating Commuter Express Services Based on feedback received during previous public consultation sessions, GENIVAR analysed the feasibility of operating express and peak-direction services to improve travel times for passengers travelling along high-demand corridors or to key destinations. From the analysis it was determined that there are limited opportunities for the operation of express services in Thunder Bay due to its geographic size, existing transit ridership levels, and projected population and employment. Despite some positive feedback for express services during the public consultation sessions, GENIVAR recommends that express services not be implemented at least in the short- to medium-term. Once the approved route network concept has been implemented and when a degree of ridership maturity is reached, a detailed monitoring of system ridership should be undertaken to better assess whether express services can better accommodate travel needs in a cost effective manner.

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Operating Charter Services Thunder Bay Transit offers affordable charter services for community and private events to any location within the City limits. Currently, a Thunder Bay Transit charter bus can be hired on a first-come, first served basis at a rate of $85 per hour, plus applicable taxes. There is a minimum charge for three hours of service. In line with Thunder Bay Transit’s mission to provide effective, efficient, affordable, and accessible transit services to City residents, GENIVAR recommends several processes to better administer the charter service program. The recommendations include:  Adjusting the existing charter rate per hour from $85 to $102 (plus applicable taxes) to be in line with the observed Cost per Hour of the system as outlined in Section 10.3.3, as well as considerations for vehicle amortization not included in the calculation of the $102 rate.  Establishing processes so that council and staff departments recognize the cost implications for providing support for transportation expenses for community groups, which are beyond the transit system’s primary purpose to provide effective and efficient mobility options to the general community.  Establishing policies that separately account for revenues and expenses incurred from charters from the general service operations. Refer to Section 14.4 regarding the funding and delivery of social discounts for service. Service to Rural / Exurban Communities Thunder Bay Transit currently provides transit service to areas in Neebing and Mission throughout the year and to Chippewa Park during the summer periods. The Existing Service Review (See Section 4.5) determined that ridership on Route 4 – Neebing is exceptionally low— ranging from one to seven passengers per vehicle hour. Route 6 – Mission performed with much higher ridership, ranging from 18 to 32 passengers per vehicle hour. The poor ridership levels on Route 4 – Neebing can be attributed to the dispersed residential land uses that exist along the route. Thus, the vehicle must travel a much longer distance to capture potential riders than a route operating within the urban area. Additionally, the lack of pedestrian infrastructure along the alignment where the route serves makes it difficult for passengers to access to and egress from the bus stop. On the other hand, land uses along Route 6 – Mission are closer together when compared to Route 4 – Neebing. Additionally, the route connects passengers to employment and community facilities for First Nations communities. For the reasons described, GENIVAR identified that Route 6 – Mission be retained for scheduled fixed-route service in the Preferred Route Network Concept. However, given the sparse nature of development in the Neebing community and past route performance analyses, there are limited opportunities for ridership on Route 4 – Neebing to improve through continued scheduled fixed-route service. Thus, GENIVAR has not identified that the route continue to operate under the Recommended Route Network Concept. Feedback from our previous public consultation has indicated that eliminating this service may be met with some community opposition. Given the possible opposition for service elimination to Neebing, council may propose a policy decision to continue to provide service to the community. They may consider one of the service delivery alternatives outlined in Exhibit 42.

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Exhibit 42 – Service Delivery Alternatives for Consideration in Neebing Service Delivery Alternative

Description

Trans-cab Service

A contracted taxi company operates on a set service frequency on behalf of Thunder Bay Transit for passengers within the defined Neebing community area. Passengers request service by phone and a taxi will provide service only within the defined Neebing community area and only provides connections to identified transit transfer point(s) within the City. Advantage – Potential for operational cost savings, if ridership levels remains low in the community. Disadvantage – Potential for fluctuating operational costs depending on the transit patronage in the community.

Demand Response Service

Thunder Bay Transit operates on a set service frequency in the defined Neebing community area on a flexible routing. Passengers request service by phone and Thunder Bay Transit will compile all requests for that run. The bus then operates the route that most effectively provides connections from Neebing to identified transit transfer point(s) within the City. Advantage – Passengers do not have to make all diversions that the route currently operates, which can improve passenger travel time. Disadvantage – No potential for operational savings because the existing Neebing service only utilizes one bus, with no possibility for further resource reduction without route elimination.

Integrated Service with HAGI

Similar to demand response service however, specialized transit vehicles are dispatched to provide service for the Neebing community. Passengers request service by phone and Thunder Bay Transit will compile all requests for that run. A HAGI bus then operates the route that most effectively provides connections from Neebing to identified transit transfer point(s) within the City. Advantage – The cost to operate cutaway vehicles is lower than the cost to operate conventional vehicles; opportunity for possible efficiencies when services are integrated. Disadvantage – May reduce opportunities for specialized passengers to receive services; will require specific policies about service priority and financial management

GENIVAR

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Public Review of Recommendations

Draft recommendations of the Transit Master Plan were made available for public review at two public open house presentations and via an online review survey. The public open house sessions were held on October 4, 2011 at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition and provided the public with an opportunity to discuss the draft recommendations with members of the consultant team and Thunder Bay Transit staff. The draft recommendations were summarized and on display at the open houses, and attendees provided input regarding their view of the recommendations via discussion with the study team and through submission of comment forms. Close to 50 people were in attendance including two media representatives. An online review survey was also developed, and respondents were given an opportunity to comment on the summarized draft recommendations. The survey was open for public review from October 3 to 31, 2011 and was completed by 60 respondents. Draft recommendations discussed at the open house sessions and in the online survey were from the following components of the Draft Report:  Preferred Route Network Concept  Terminal Locations  Terminal Location Challenges and Alternatives  Possible Express Services  Service Standards Response from the public review period was discussed by the study team and Thunder Bay Transit staff, and has been incorporated into this report as required.

13.1

Consultation Summary

A detailed summary of response is included as Appendix D, and the following provide a highlevel, general overview of comments received at the public open house sessions and from the online survey: Preferred Route Network Concept In general, respondents indicated that the preferred route network concept provides a sufficient amount of coverage throughout the City, that the transfer points and routes make sense and provide good linkages to major destinations, and that the concept could cut down overall travel time. However, concerns were raised regarding lack of coverage for certain areas of the City. Terminal Locations, Challenges and Alternatives Respondents were fairly divided, with many in agreement with an Intercity terminal site and equally as many stating that a two terminal system would be better. Many indicated that a terminal in the South Core is required and had concerns that residents in the South Core would not benefit from this plan. Respondents were generally in agreement that wherever the terminal(s) are located, safety, security and customer amenities are of paramount importance and must be sufficiently incorporated, and that the image of transit services needs to be improved. It was also notes that the terminal(s) should be located near trip generators and somewhere that promotes ease of transfer.

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Possible Express Services Express services were generally met with positive review, with respondents frequently noting the potentially beneficial aspects of the service, including that it would help commuters and students get to where they need to go and that it would move people in an effective manner and provide an efficient connection between the north and south portions of the City. Some respondents noted that there may be concerns whether existing ridership would warrant express services and that the system should first focus on providing more frequent service. Service Standards Response to the recommended service standards was mixed, with most people commenting on service span and service frequency, and typically noting that the service span could be increased with service frequencies never more than 20 or 30 minutes during any service period.

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14.

Fare Strategy

14.1

Overview

This section provides an overview of the existing fare policies, products, and structures utilized by Thunder Bay Transit, followed by recommendations. A detailed fare strategy that includes additional information regarding fare collection technology, performance metrics, peer review and other analysis is included as Appendix E.

14.2

Passenger Classes

Existing Classes Current passenger classes are based on a combination of age, educational status and disability, and are identified in Exhibit 43.

Exhibit 43 – Existing Passenger Classes Passenger Class

Criteria

Adult High School Student

Age 18 years and younger

Post-Secondary Student

Full-time student at • Lakehead University • Confederation College

Senior

Age 65 years and older

Disabled Person

Disability ID card

Accompanied Child

Age 0 to 8 years

Child

Age 9 to 12 years

Any passenger that does not meet one of these criteria will be deemed to be an adult for the purposes of transit fare payment. Interpreted strictly, this could mean that a 16-yr old person that is not a high school student or a 19-year old high school student or an unaccompanied child younger than nine years will be charged the adult fare. Students attending post-secondary students studying institutions other than Lakehead University or Confederation College are required to pay the adult fare. High school students are required to provide proof of attendance (student card) and seniors are required to provide proof of age on request by the driver. Full-time Lakehead University and Confederation College post-secondary students are required to present their student card with the U-Pass sticker affixed. A passenger with disabilities can obtain an identification card by providing proof that they receive income support from either the federal or provincial government. Recommendation It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit refine its passenger classifications to be based only on passenger age rather than on a combination of age, educational status and disability. The adjusted passenger classifications are shown in Exhibit 44.

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Exhibit 44 – Recommended Passenger Classes Passenger Class

Age Criteria

Child

0 to 5 years

Youth

6 to 17 years

Adult

18 to 59 years

Senior

60 years +

Subject to Thunder Bay Transit fare policies and purchasing protocols, passengers that have a stipulated educational or income status or that have a stipulated disability may be entitled to purchase a pre-paid fare product, such as a monthly pass, for a discounted price. When boarding a bus and paying their fare using this discounted fare product, some passengers may be required to present evidence of their entitlement to the driver (e.g. student card for educational institution but definitely not evidence of income or disability status). Consistent with age policies for other City services such as recreation centres and golf courses, the City should consider reducing the age of the senior classification to 60 years. The negative financial implications of this change have not been estimated nor included in the financial plan.

14.3

Fare Products and Media

Thunder Bay Transit currently accepts the following fare products for fare payment:  Cash  Tickets – sheets of ten perforated non-separable paper and numbered with no expiry  20-Ride Punch Pass – paper punch card numbered with hologram and no expiry  Day Pass – paper punch card with no expiry  Monthly Pass – paper flash pass, dated with hologram and unique monthly picture  Courtesy Pass – paper flash pass, dated  Life Time Gold Pass – paper flash pass, numbered and signed  Transfers – paper punched with time of issue, undated in several colours Recommendations Several Thunder Bay Transit paper fare products that do not carry a hologram appear to be relatively easy to counterfeit with commonly available printers and copiers, including the Day Pass, the Courtesy Pass and the Life Time Gold Pass. While the Gold Pass has a very limited use, it is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider producing the Courtesy Pass with a hologram and produce the Day Pass as a 2-1/2 inch x 5 inch scratch card that requires users to scratch off the day and month of use. An estimate of the unit cost including taxes to purchase this card would be 16 cents for quantities of 25,000 and 25 cents for quantities of 10,000, plus an additional one-time cost of $3,000 for the scratch die and plates. If Thunder Bay Transit moves to a smart card fare payment system, much of these counterfeiting risks will be eliminated.

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Concessionary Fare Policies

Concession discounts are currently provided only on monthly passes and not on cash or ticket fares. Thunder Bay Transit has two monthly pass fare levels – a full fare (‘Adult’) and a reduced fare (Discount). The same reduced fare pass price is provided to:  Seniors  Disabled persons  High school students  Children age 9 to 12 years In addition, Thunder Bay Transit provides free rides to the following groups of passengers:  Children 0 to 8 years accompanied by a fare-paying passenger  Visually impaired persons carrying a valid CNIB card  Persons carrying a Courtesy Pass valid for that day  Current or previous members of the Canadian Forces on Veteran’s Day (it is unclear how this entitlement is validated) Recommendation Family Day Passes

GENIVAR recommends the continuation of offering its Family Day Pass, which entitles one adult plus four children or two adults plus three children to unlimited travel on transit for a full calendar day. The price of the Family Day Pass should continue to be the same for all passenger classifications. It is also recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider enabling a full fare Adult Monthly Pass to be treated as a Family Day Pass on Sundays and statutory holidays. Employer Incentive Program

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider developing and offering an Employer Monthly Pass program with the discounted price of an adult monthly pass deducted at source by the employer and remitted to Thunder Bay Transit for all employees that elect to participate in the program. The level of discount could be based on the number of participants and the extent of the employer’s financial contribution or it could be set at a fixed percentage of the adult monthly pass (such as 90 percent). Annual Pass for Seniors

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider developing and offering an Annual Pass for seniors with a larger discount than the monthly pass (e.g. 12 months for the price of 10). The annual pass should run from January 1 to December 31 each year. Offering an annual pass will reduce the number of times during the year seniors need to travel to a customer service office in person to purchase their monthly pass. This pass should be available for sale well in advance of the year end. Funding and Delivery of Social Discounts for Service

As Thunder Bay Transit considers whether to develop and offer a discounted fare monthly pass program for lower income passengers, it is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit adhere to the principle that its proper role is to deliver a ‘social discount’ and not necessarily to fund that social discount. This means that if City Council directs Thunder Bay Transit to provide a new discounted fare program for lower income passengers which doesn’t generate an increase in GENIVAR

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ridership with a corresponding and offsetting increase in revenue, Council needs to either provide Thunder Bay Transit with the necessary funding to compensate for any revenue shortfall caused by the new program or permit Thunder Bay Transit to indicate the cost of the program in its financial reporting. Refer to Section 12.4 for further details about accounting for revenues and expenses used for charter service operations. Responsibilities for Determining the Eligibility for Social Discounts

It is also important that Thunder Bay Transit not inherit the responsibility to do passenger ‘means testing’ to determine whether a particular passenger is entitled to participate in the program. Thunder Bay Transit will need to arrange to have some other organization, such as Community & Social Services, check passenger credentials and periodically certify the entitlement of a passenger (e.g. annually). Intergovernmental Subsidies for Low Income Passengers

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit propose to the Canadian Urban Transit Association that CUTA make representations to the various provincial and federal governments recommending that both levels of government establish a subsidy program for low income Canadians for the purchase of monthly transit passes. A passenger would only need to present an approved government-issued evidence of entitlement, such as proof of receiving a Guaranteed Income Supplement, to receive the discount when purchasing a pass. Each City, on behalf of its transit authority, would then periodically submit a claim to the government for the total of the discounts provided directly to passengers.

14.5

Transfer Policies

When paying the initial cash or ticket fare on boarding the bus a passenger can request a transfer that is valid for 60 minutes from the time of issue for unlimited travel on other buses travelling in any direction. This universal transfer, which allows stopovers and returns, operates like a 60 minute time pass. Recommendation It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit retain its current transfer policies.

14.6

Fare Table

Current Fare Table Exhibit 45 identifies the current Thunder Bay Transit fare table.

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Exhibit 45 – Fare Table Passenger Class

Cash Fare

10-Ticket Booklet Fare

20-Ride Punch Pass Fare

Monthly Pass

Adult

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$69.50

$6.00

High School Student

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$59.50

$6.00

Lakehead University

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$74.20 (8mo)

$6.00

Confederation College

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$74.20 (8mo)

$6.00

Other Post-Secondary Student

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$59.50

$6.00

Senior

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$59.50

$6.00

Passenger with Disabilities

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$59.50

$6.00

Child (9 - 12)

$2.50

$2.00

$1.75

$59.50

Accompanied Child (0 - 8)

Free

HAGI

$3.00

$3.00

$3.00

N/A

U–Pass

Family Group Day Pass

Post Secondary Student

N/A

Recommendations Thunder Bay Transit should continue its practice of offering concession fare discounts only on its period pass fare products of one month duration or longer and of charging the same cash fare and the same ticket fare for all passenger classifications. Fare Price Adjustments

Based on the observations from the peer review, it is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider at least two significant adjustments to the fares that it charges seniors and U-Pass students.  Senior Monthly Pass – Price should be reduced in stages to become more consistent with the peer group average price of $46.45. This peer group average will increase over time, but the Thunder Bay Transit goal should be to reduce its current Senior Monthly Pass price closer to $50.00, which would still be eight percent higher than the peer group average. At the very least, the Senior Monthly Pass price should be frozen while the monthly pass price for other passenger classifications rises.  U-Pass – Price should be increased for Lakehead University and Confederation College in stages when possible under the provisions of the contract from its current $9.16 average monthly price closer to the peer group average monthly price of $23.83. o

Consider exploring the extension of a U-Pass program for the summer months upon renewal of existing agreements with student unions.

Fare Discount Classes

GENIVAR recommends adopting three price levels for monthly pass fare products that are applied as follows:  Full fare – Adult  Reduced Fare – Youth, Students, Persons with Disabilities, Lower Income Passengers (if implemented)  Senior Fare – Seniors

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Annual Review of Fare Table

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit establish the process of annually reviewing its fare table as part of its annual budgeting process and that it make required adjustments to its fare table every year at the same time. The objective is for Thunder Bay Transit to make frequent smaller fare increases rather than less frequent larger increases and for passengers to come to expect fare increases at the same time each year. Research indicates that transit ridership is relatively inelastic for small fare increases. It is recommended that fare adjustments be applied to all fare products at the same time rather than to cash fares one year and to tickets and passes the following year. The consistent public messaging should be that passengers are expected to pay their ‘fair share’ of the costs required to provide an excellent transit service. It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit establish a fare table discount framework or ‘template’ to be followed each time that the fare table is adjusted, so that the relative discount levels for passenger classes and fare products are preserved. Exhibit 46 depicts a possible fare table reflecting the recommendations of this report.

Exhibit 46 - Proposed Generic Fare Table Passenger Class

Cash Fare

Unit Discounted Fare (10ride)

Unit Discounted Fare (20ride)

Monthly Pass

U–Pass (monthly)

Family Group Day Pass

Adult

1.25X

X

.875X

35X

48X

3X

Youth

1.25X

X

.875X

30X

48X

3X

Child

1.25X

X

.875X

30X

48X

3X

Senior

1.25X

X

.875X

30X

48X

3X

Monthly pass prices for each passenger class should be set at a determined multiple of the unit ticket price such that a passenger can make the economic decision to purchase a monthly pass that month rather than tickets because the passenger expects to make more journeys during that month than a determined or ‘threshold’ number. This threshold number should be established as a consistent percentage of the number of monthly journeys that a pass-holder is expected to make. In the generic table shown in Exhibit 46, this multiple is described as 35 times the unit price for adults and 30 times the unit price for others. This equates to 40 times the 20-ride discount rate for adults and 34 times the 20-ride discount price for others. U-Pass rates are set at a level that would bring the cost of the U-Pass in line with the peer group average. Lower initial fares will be necessary in a transition to this rate, and all rates are subject to negotiation with the relevant students’ associations. Exhibit 47 shows the resulting fare table if the unit discount price was raised from $2.00 to $2.10.

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Exhibit 47 - Sample Fare Table

Passenger Class

Cash Fare

Unit Discounted Fare (10ride)

Unit Discounted Fare (20ride)

Monthly Pass

U–Pass (monthly)

Family Group Day Pass

Adult

$2.65

$2.10

$1.8375

$73.50

$100.80

$6.30

Youth

$2.65

$2.10

$1.8375

$63.00

$100.80

$6.30

Child

$2.65

$2.10

$1.8375

$63.00

$100.80

$6.30

Senior

$2.65

$2.10

$1.8375

$63.00

$100.80

$6.30

14.7

Fare Structure

Current Fare Structure Currently, the system operates in a single zone, charging a flat exact fare, without making change, for continuous journeys across the entire service area. Recommendation It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit retain its current fare structure. If a long distance rural service is introduced in the future, Thunder Bay Transit might consider establishing a second fare zone and charging a zone supplement for a journey that involves both zones. To prevent charging two fares to passengers that are making a short journey across the zone boundary, there should be separate “in-bound” and “out-bound” zone boundaries several kilometres apart.

14.8

Fare Collection Technology

Thunder Bay Transit buses currently utilize a GFI Cents-a-Bill registering farebox system that accepts, counts, and records exact cash fare payments of coins and banknotes and record paper ticket fare payments. Day passes and individual rides from multi-ride punch passes are manually cancelled by drivers using a punch that is unique for each driver. Drivers are expected to key into the farebox every transfer and pass fare accepted and ticket fare cancelled, although there is no way of confirming the extent to which this requirement is followed. This means that the quality of the ridership information collected by the farebox may be questionable. On HAGI specialized transit services passengers pay their fare with cash or pre-purchased coupons. HAGI drivers return cash and coupons collected to the dispatcher at the end of their shift. HAGI-registered passengers can also purchase Taxi Scrip coupon books from the HAGI office at a discount to pay fares for participating taxi services. The two receiving vaults are overhauled each year at a cost of $2,000 each. Farebox maintenance costs have proven to be significantly higher than anticipated. Recommendation It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit undertake development of a business case to determine the feasibility of implementing a ‘closed loop’ smart card fare collection system. With such a system, all pre-purchased fare products including passes and multi-ride ticket ‘books’ will be offered only on reloadable and disposable smart cards. Single journey fares would be paid either from these ticket books by using a single journey ticket encoded on the smart card or by paying the appropriate cash fare using either electronic cash stored on the

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smart card e-purse, conventional cash (coins), or potentially using a contactless credit card such as MasterCard PayPass or Visa payWave. Passengers would be able to purchase fare products by loading value onto their smart cards in various ways – in person at Thunder Bay Transit customer service locations, in person at third party retail sales agents, by telephone and on the internet using Autoload and potentially at unattended kiosks and reload machines conveniently spread throughout the City. Passengers will be able to purchase single journey tickets pre-encoded on disposable smart cards at retail sales agents and potentially at unattended kiosks. Additional information regarding ‘open’ and ‘closed loop’ systems is provided in Appendix E.

14.9

Other Fare Policy Recommendations

These recommendations are presented based on Thunder Bay Transit continuing to operate its existing registering fareboxes accepting cash and paper-based pre-purchased fare products such as tickets and passes. Free Service for Passengers with Visual Impairments It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit develop a policy framework for eventually phasing out the provision of free rides for passengers with visual impairments who present a CNIB card. It not is equitable under the AODA to single out one disability for a special benefit and to deny that benefit to all other disabilities. The alternate option to extend free travel to all passengers with disabilities is likely not financially feasible. If a reduced fare is provided for passengers with disabilities, it should be provided to all passengers with disabilities. Under such a program, it would be difficult to determine what constitutes a disability and how to validate the entitlement of a passenger. It is not recommended that such a policy change be implemented today; however, it is recommended that a contingency plan be developed. Acceptance of Bank Notes for Cash Fare Payment It is also recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider phasing out the acceptance of banknotes for on-board cash fare payment. This should reduce both farebox maintenance and cash handling costs. Fare Product Sales Distribution Fare Product Sales Agents

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit require each fare product retail sales agent to carry and sell the entire range of Thunder Bay Transit fare products and to support and participate in all of Thunder Bay Transit’s marketing communication activities and promotional efforts. Fare products should be sold to the sales agent for the face value of the fare product less an established commission. Since tickets and day passes do not expire, Thunder Bay Transit should consider adopting a policy that they are not distributed on consignment. Depending on the commercial strength of the merchant, Thunder Bay Transit can either require COD terms or can extend 30 day terms. Pass Sales to Secondary Schools

It is recommended that high school student monthly and semester passes be sold through the school boards; however, because these passes expire, there would be a small added administrative load for inventory reconciliation and invoicing.

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Promotional Discounts to Encourage Transit Use

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider the feasibility of distributing a small number of two-ride punch card tickets at no charge to organizations such as Welcome Wagon to be used as a marketing promotion to use transit services. The cost of these free promotional rides must be included in transit’s annual marketing budget. Successive Monthly Pass Sales

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider the feasibility of establishing a process whereby passengers would be able to order and pay for a number of successive monthly passes at one time. The price of the passes should not be discounted; the benefit to the passenger is eliminating the need to go to a transit sales location at the first of every month to purchase their monthly pass. These could be called ‘Subscriber Monthly Passes”. A special loyalty benefit other than a discounted price could be provided to these ‘subscribers’. The passes could be given at the time of purchase or if the passenger provided a pre-authorized debit or credit instruction for the first of the month, the pass could be mailed out to the passenger. There is no reason why this arrangement could not continue for several years. It will be necessary to establish a process with the City’s merchant payment processor to hold and process the credit or debit card information for the passenger each month. Expanded Payment Options for Monthly Passes

It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider the establishment of a process that would enable passengers to purchase their full fare monthly passes by telephone, mail or online (subject to the City’s e-commerce capability) with the passes mailed out to the passenger each month. The same process with the City’s merchant payment processor will be required. On-Bus Technology Integration With the proliferation of proprietary technologies for the array of on-board systems and the age distribution of the Thunder Bay Transit fleet, it is unlikely that one common on-board technology platform for the entire fleet will be achieved through the procurement specification of new buses. A better approach would be to stipulate that all on-board systems purchased from this point forward be designed in accordance with an internationally recognized standard such as the APTA TCIP (Transit Communications Interface Profiles) Standard which should enable future on-board technology providers to integrate with installed systems. It is recommended that new technology procurement specifications stipulate that important ‘bilateral’ integration be provided. An example would be to require that the smart card fare collection system use the Wi-Fi data transmission utility of an existing Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system on the bus and that it acquire the GPS coordinates or bus stop ID number from the AVL system. This is not to say that Thunder Bay Transit will be able to achieve a complete ‘Smart Bus’ strategy through retrofits. What it will be able to achieve is selected strategic integration of some on-board technologies. Next Steps It is recommended that Thunder Bay Transit consider the following next steps:  Undertake development of a business case to determine the feasibility of implementing a ‘closed loop’ smart card fare collection system.

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 Conduct an audit of the extent to which all Thunder Bay Transit marketing communications elements are consistent and reflect management’s strategy to focus on customer service.  Undertake a comprehensive ‘AODA Fare Policy Audit’ to determine the detailed fare policy and fare technology implications of the new AODA regulations on both current and potential conventional and specialized operations.  Ensure that the language and terms used and information provided in all publications such as the Ride Guide and the City website are consistent and reflect management’s strategy to focus on customer service.

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15.

Technology

15.1

Introduction

To date Thunder Bay Transit has deployed various Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies and systems ranging from “NextBus” passenger information systems to onboard CCTV camera surveillance systems. This section presents an overview assessment of current ITS systems deployed at Thunder Bay Transit as well as strategies and recommendations for future growth. The methodology for compiling this ITS Brief includes the following steps:  High level review of current installed base of ITS technologies and requirements and background information.  Evaluate options, potential strategies, and improvements.  Outline recommendations in the context of the Transit Master Plan. The work will consider both the in-vehicle systems (both conventional and specialized transit fleet) and the central systems installed at Thunder Bay Transit.

15.2

ITS Review

Thunder Bay Transit has deployed a number of ITS technologies on conventional transit services, including those identified in Exhibit 48.

Exhibit 48 – Current Conventional Transit Technologies ITS Technology

Description

Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)

An integrated NextBus AVL system from Webtech Wireless (Grey Island) applies GPS tracking to provide real time vehicle location for its fleet which is accessible through the NextBus online tracking interface.

Advanced Passenger Information Systems (APIS)

An Automated Voice Announcement system by Strategic Mapping is equipped on board the conventional fleet to provide automated announcements in compliance with the requirement for stop announcements. An on-board variable message sign (VMS) provides visual information on next stops. NextBus system provides users with passenger information on VMS located at key locations throughout the City. A Teleride system by Ontira provides passengers with telephone based next bus arrival times for transit stops throughout the City. A Trip Planner system is provided by Google through the Google Transit internet site (currently in testing). IPS Luminator Destination Signs are also used on conventional fleet buses for passenger information outside the vehicle.

• • • • • Service Planning and Scheduling Software

The Master Scheduler (TMS) service planning system houses the system’s schedule information, performs runcuts, generates running boards, produces signups.

Onboard Security System

A Seon CCTV with digital video recording (DVR) has been installed on board each conventional fleet bus providing multiple camera angles within each bus and at the doors, as well as a view of the forward view in front of the vehicle.

ArcGIS

An ArcGIS system houses all GIS information (e.g. roads, sewer, planning) on central database layers and is primarily used for planning stop locations and routes.

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Description

Automated Passenger Counter (APC)

On-board NextBus system is also integrated with passenger counting equipment on board each vehicle.

GFI (Genfare) Farebox

Automatically validates and processes coins, bills and tickets for safe and efficient fare collection.

As shown in Exhibit 48, Thunder Bay Transit has deployed a number of individual systems under the ITS umbrella for various aspects of its operations. In speaking with transit staff it was apparent that several of the systems were experiencing issues due to lack of properly integrated data and that some of the systems such as the Teleride system may require upgrading in order for them to work properly. Overall it can be said that ITS deployments at Thunder Bay Transit have not been integrated or leveraged together as part of an overall ITS deployment plan. There are no ITS deployments on the HAGI specialized transit fleet to date and in as much as this service is provided by a third party, Thunder Bay Transit currently does not integrate any systems with HAGI. However, to improve the operational efficiency, it is recommended that the planning and management functions of HAGI be integrated with the conventional system. The integration of these two functions and their related ITS systems allow for the better use of existing resources and promotes better coordination of services where appropriate. This integration of HAGI functions with the conventional system is described in more detail in the HAGI report. Thunder Bay Transit utilizes a private mobile radio system for voice communications which provides coverage across the transit service area. According to staff, no interference or “dead zones” are apparent in the City. For data communications, conventional fleet vehicles utilize a wireless connection provided by TBayTel which has recently been migrated from an older Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network infrastructure.

15.3

Potential Strategies, Options, and Improvements

In reviewing Thunder Bay Transit’s ITS deployments, it is encouraging to note that investments have been made in technology which aims to improve passenger information, customer service, and operations. Many smaller Canadian transit agencies have not taken these steps to advance ITS deployments, and as such have not been able to leverage technology to their advantage. Small transit agencies typically face the biggest challenges in deploying ITS due to lack of specialized staff expertise in-house and lack of models to guide ITS deployments. There are many benefits to be realized in deploying ITS, including:  Improved safety and security.  Enhanced data availability.  Improved dispatching and operations.  Reduced operating costs.  Better passenger information, making transit more attractive.  Better schedule adherence and on-time performance. The overriding strategy which should be considered in Thunder Bay Transit’s case is to first create a specific ITS strategy and architecture to guide future deployments. The ITS strategy and architecture would include a comprehensive review of technology requirements based on

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operational procedures, technology standards in the industry, and opportunities for linkages between systems. Once this architecture is developed a deployment plan or “blueprint” can be put forward. Using the plan, systems can then be deployed more effectively with the knowledge that interoperability and other implementation issues have been considered. An ITS strategy and plan should also address technical details which can severely impact the function of Thunder Bay Transit’s systems. It is important to understand the road map for future deployments and how technologies should be deployed moving forward. Scheduling, budgeting, and human resources also need to be considered in support of future technology deployment initiatives. Factors to consider when creating an ITS strategy should include:  Technology integration.  Leveraging Thunder Bay Transit’s existing installed base of ITS systems.  Leveraging and following the Canadian ITS Architecture which includes protocols and standards.  Considering what cost effective ITS solutions (including any potential funding) are available for smaller transit agencies such as Thunder Bay Transit. This type of overall strategy and plan will ensure that any additional systems are not isolated, fully meet requirements, and fit into the overall technology architecture. The other main concern from a technology perspective is ensuring that proper maintenance and support can be provided to all of Thunder Bay Transit’s ITS deployments and systems. Expertise in maintaining technology (especially older systems) can be difficult to find and vendors will sometimes be forced to drop support programs altogether in favour of newer systems. Redundancy and protection of key data is also important, considering the amount and various types of data stored at Thunder Bay Transit – from scheduling data to on board CCTV video. Another important technology and infrastructure area which needs to be considered and planned under the ITS umbrella is transit security. Threat-risk and security planning should leverage ITS technology in order to provide a safer and more efficient system for transit users. To properly utilize security technology, security assessments should be completed on a regular basis and security measures deployed accordingly. As an operation grows and becomes more complex, ITS issues become more important. The Canadian ITS architecture includes service packages for different components of ITS and provides a framework for understanding the implications of ITS information flows and integration with other related systems. This framework and set of system relationships are critical in the development of an agency specific ITS architecture and the Canadian ITS architecture model and tools should be leveraged as much as possible. A sample of the Transit Fixed Route Operations from the Canadian ITS Architecture is included as Appendix F.

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Recommendations

Overview As discussed in the previous section and in advance of any significant future technology upgrade, an ITS Strategy and Architecture Plan should first be developed and include a deployment plan. As a basis for any additional ITS installations, design and deployment criteria should be maintained for future ITS deployments, which will include the ability of specific ITS deployments to:  Leverage and integrate with existing subsystems.  Fit into ITS Strategy and Architecture.  Assist in meeting transit service objectives.  Avoid/minimize throwaway technology initiatives. Integrating and leveraging the existing ITS systems will avoid duplication in deployment, wherever feasible. Leveraging existing subsystems should also reduce the overall deployment costs of new ITS systems. ITS technologies should enhance transit service through improved customer service and management of transit operations. The recommended ITS initiatives within the TMP should provide a benefit to transit customers and operators. In as much as the specialized transit fleet has not benefited from ITS technologies to date, consideration should be given to real-time tracking and software-based trip scheduling and management. Given the higher cost of providing door-to-door transit services, utilizing technology to make the specialized transit fleet more efficient may be justified. Thunder Bay Transit should continue its deployment of passenger information systems at any new terminals and leverage the NextBus technology it has invested in. In as much as safety and security are paramount to any transit agency’s service offering, Thunder Bay Transit should consider undertaking regular security assessments to properly define security issues and deploy ITS-based security technology and resources effectively.

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16.

Staffing Review

16.1

Existing Organization

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Part of this assignment was to review the administrative staff functions and organization within Thunder Bay Transit to ensure the organization is properly configured to meet existing and future service needs. As shown in Exhibit 49, there are five divisions within the City of Thunder Bay, all under the Facilities & Fleet Department, responsible for the transit infrastructure and service delivery.  Transit Division – responsible for service delivery.  Fleet Services Division – responsible for transit fleet storage, maintenance, asset life cycle management, operator testing, training, and operators’ license and records management.  Facilities Services Division – responsible for transit facilities such as terminals.  Energy and Support Services Division – provides transit administrative staff. Construction and Renovation Services Division – provides space planning and rationalization of transit facilities and lead in the design and construction of a new terminal.

Exhibit 49 – Current Staffing Organization

For the most part, this organization is quite typical of many transit organizations, though it is also not uncommon for fleet services to be the direct responsibility of the Transit Division. One specific anomaly in this organization is the reporting relationship of the administrative staff; this will be discussed in more detail in the next section. Exhibit 50 shows the specific detail of the current structure of the Transit Division. The functional positions in this organization are typical of many transit systems of similar size.

Exhibit 50 – Transit Division Organization

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16.2

Functional Assessment

16.2.1

Supervisors and Controllers

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The current organization includes two supervisors who work a day shift and six controllers who provide dispatch support coverage during all operating hours. These eight positions are managerial (non-unionized) positions and oversee the performance of the unionized transit operators. The job descriptions for the supervisors include a variety of managerial and supervisory functions, while the controller positions are primarily related to dispatch and daily operation functions. A review of these positions together, along with that of the Manager, identifies some issues in the overall responsibilities, primarily related to on-street supervision: a system of Thunder Bay’s size and scope should have regular on-street supervision for quality control, schedule adherence and operator communication and support. Also, the separation of scheduling functions from operations (currently in planning function) should be addressed. Based on this assessment and review with staff, GENIVAR recommends:  Maintaining current operations supervision functions and positions.  Re-allocating the existing controller resources (6.0 FTE) to include three dispatchers and three inspectors. Dispatchers and inspectors would be scheduled to provide full coverage during all operating hours on a five-on, two-off rotating schedule. This is a change from the current four-on, four-off schedule used by the controllers, but would align these positions with the 35-hour work week common in the Corporation.  Assign dispatcher responsibilities such as: •

Administering the transit communication system.

Coordinating daily work assignments.

Logging payroll entries and exceptions; checking and approving operator payroll.

Dispatching emergency crews as required.

Preparing reports of daily operational activities.

Monitoring for compliance of Laws, Legislation, and Corporate and Divisional policies and procedures.

Providing guidance to operators and reporting non compliance to supervisors.

Participating in resolving operational issues, including coaching, mentoring, and disciplining of transit operators.

Developing operator sign-up, work schedules, and running boards.

Booking charters.

Requisitioning new schedules and transfers.

Inputting new route schedules.

 Assign inspector responsibilities such as:

GENIVAR

Booking early morning operators and filling last-minute book-offs.

Monitoring routes, terminals and bus activity, assist with passenger issues as required.

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Responding to investigate, resolve, and report on service inquiries.

Responding to and conducting investigations into emergency situations including on road accidents: effectively collects all relevant information.

Calling for emergency crews as required.

Preparing reports of emergency situations and daily operational activities.

Monitoring for compliance to all laws, legislation, and Corporate and Division policies and procedures.

Providing guidance, coaching and mentoring to operators; reporting noncompliance to operations supervisors.

Participating in resolving operational issues providing, participates in progressive discipline process regarding operators.

Monitoring for route, and schedule efficiencies.

Setting up detours.

Performing route and bus stop audits.

Monitoring contractor efficiency for snow ploughing.

Addressing on road customer care issues.

 Establishing a new Operations Coordinator position. This position would report to the Operations Supervisor(s) and assist with the coordination of the inspection and dispatch functions, including support for the scheduling and planning functions moved to the operations stream. The position would backfill the dispatch positions as well, and will require 1.0 FTE.

16.2.2

Administrative Staff

As noted in the previous section, the administrative staff for transit (Supervisor – Financial & Administrative Services and two clerks) report to the Manager – Energy & Support Services. The clerks and the supervisor are essentially dedicated to transit division responsibilities, work on-site at the transit office, and provide support to the Manager – Transit and supervisors. The Supervisor – Financial & Support Services is also responsible for three accounting clerks in the Energy & Support Services division, but reportedly, spends very little of her time outside of the transit office and transit responsibilities. Part of the reason for this would appear to be insufficient administrative resources in the transit group, with the existing clerk positions (2.27 FTE) insufficient to properly manage the required functions. Further evidence of this is the informal support provided by other transit staff to the administrative positions on an ad hoc basis. The department should realign these positions and consider them part of the Transit Division organization. In separate recommendations from the specialized transit review, staffing for call centre and reservations are recommended for addition to the organization in 2013. Call centre staff fall under the same category of customer service, and these staff members should report to the Transit Division under the Supervisor – Financial & Administrative Services For these reasons, GENIVAR recommends that:

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 Supervisor – Financial & Administrative Services, along with the existing transit clerks be realigned to report to the Manager – Transit.  The overall staff complement should be evaluated in conjunction with the introduction of specialized transit call centre staff to the organization. For planning and budgeting purposes, two FTE’s have been assumed.

16.2.3

Planning and Marketing Analyst

The Planning and Marketing Analyst is responsible for all planning and scheduling of routes and services within the system, as well as marketing, advertising, customer service and fare issues. Functionally, this is a very broad position and as the transit system grows and the demands in each of these areas increase, additional support will be required in this area. With this in mind, it is appropriate to consider re-allocating some of these functions to the operations stream, as part of the role of the proposed Operations Coordinator. Even with this re-allocation, it is likely that additional support will be required in this area within the scope of this review. For budgeting purposes, one FTE has been included in Stage 2 implementation.

16.2.4

Operator Training

Operator training is currently provided by the Fleet Services Division, with three fleet trainers responsible for all fleet training within the Corporation except Police Services. Transit operator training is quite specialized and ideally, includes a variety of topics not directly related to vehicle operation, such as route familiarity, customer service, and other in-service aspects. In the transit industry today, it is widely recognized that vehicle operation is an increasingly smaller component of an operator’s responsibilities (though no less important), and many of these components are best understood and delivered from within the transit department. GENIVAR recommends that Fleet Services continue to be responsible for vehicle training, and that additional resources be developed within the transit department to provide in-service training through the Transit Supervisors. In the longer term, dedicated training resources for this function should be considered.

16.2.5

New Organizational Positions

In total approximately five new full-time positions are recommended over the five-year view of this plan, including those required to bring specialized transit service (planning and management) in-house. Additional resources will be required beyond Stage 2, and if a decision is made to fully integrate specialized transit as an in-house operation. Specialized Transit Operations Supervision As recommended in the specialized transit review (published separately), bringing responsibility for the planning and management of the specialized transit service will require an Operations Supervisor position. In the existing contract operation, this position is rated at 0.4 FTE, which has been demonstrated to be less than the required effort to effectively manage the service. In the short-term, this function is recommended to be integrated into the responsibilities of the Manager – Transit and the Supervisor – Finance & Administrative Services. If and when the City makes the decision to fully integrate specialized services into Thunder Bay Transit, this position will require a dedicated FTE. In addition to the new dedicated position in this scenario,

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additional operation supervision support would be required (1.0 FTE), and dispatch would require approximately 2.0 FTE (assuming some integration with fixed route dispatch) as well. Specialized Transit Call Centre This position will initially require 2.0 FTE, planned for 2013. Additional resources (1.0 FTE) will likely be required after January 1, 2014, when the AODA requirement for reservation system availability will require call centre service to be extended to after 9:30 pm. Operations Support Coordinator This position will require 1.0 FTE. Planning and Public Relations This position will require 1.0 FTE in Stage 2 implementation.

16.3

Proposed Staffing Summary

16.3.1

Prior to Stage 2

Conventional Transit To support the initial service changes for conventional transit, and to establish a more effective support framework, the recommended re-organization of the Operations section should proceed, with the addition of 1.0 FTE for the Operations Support Coordinator. Specialized Transit To support the initial transition of specialized transit to in-house operation (planning and management), the addition of two FTEs for call centre support will be required.

16.3.2

Stage 2

Conventional Transit For the balance of the five-year view of this plan, an additional FTE is recommended to support the increased activities of the Planning and Marketing group. Specialized Transit In specialized transit, an additional FTE will be required to support and expand the service offered by the call centre, in accordance with AODA. If the decision is made to fully integrate specialized transit as an in-house operation within the five-year view of this plan, 3.0 additional FTEs will be required to support specialized transit, management, operations and dispatch, along with the drivers required at the time. These resources are shown in year five of the plan.

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17.

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Marketing Strategies

Thunder Bay Transit incorporates a range of materials to market the system, including route maps and schedules, technology, signage and advertising, and Transit Marketing Plans are updated every two years. As an important component of the City, Thunder Bay Transit also ensures it is visible in the community, including presence at special events and at major postsecondary institutions. The City has a range of plans and policies in place that envision a sustainable future for Thunder Bay and that prioritize and support transit growth and investment, including the City of Thunder Bay Official Plan and the Ridership Growth Plan. The Ridership Growth Plan provides strategic direction to improve services and increase ridership on the system via strategies for growth management, urban design, service quality improvement, fare media and marketing initiatives. The marketing initiatives of the Ridership Growth Plan have been reviewed and have informed development of the materials and recommendations within this strategy. The Official Plan, the Ridership Growth Plan and the City’s vision of sustainability serve as appropriate foundations for marketing Thunder Bay Transit, as quality public transit contributes to an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable future.

17.1

Review of Existing Conditions

Existing marketing materials of Thunder Bay Transit and previous marketing strategies have been reviewed and the results of this form the foundation of the Thunder Bay Transit Master Plan Marketing Strategy. Marketing materials include route maps, schedules, notices, web content, advertising and other materials that are utilized to promote or provide information regarding the system. Online Materials The 2009 Thunder Bay Visual Identity Guide provides guidelines and requirements for all materials displayed on the City of Thunder Bay website. This guide applies to online content of Thunder Bay Transit, including standards for text and font type, style and size, image placement and size, page headers, colour schemes and text placement. As such, Thunder Bay Transit online content is consistent with the online content of other City departments. Within the guidelines of the Visual Identify Guide, the Thunder Bay Transit website provides detailed information regarding a range of transit system components, including for service alerts, “NextBus” technology, schedules and maps, community events, fares, tickets and passes, travel and safety tips, contact information and more, including information regarding accessibility, strollers, and bikes on-board transit vehicles. The primary colour utilized for online Thunder Bay Transit content is green, which reflects an overall theme of sustainability as well as the newer “green fleet” vehicles. Schedules and maps for each individual route are provided, as is an entire system map. The style, colours and font are not currently consistent with other Thunder Bay Transit online or information and marketing materials but are in the process of being updated. Signage and Other Materials Thunder Bay Transit has begun to incorporate a new branding campaign that is consistent with guidelines of the 2009 Visual Identify Guide and Thunder Bay web content and reflects the “green” theme of sustainability. This branding applies to transit schedule templates located at bus stops and in terminals, signage at bus stops, and in flyers, posters, newspapers and other customer notices. The outer decals, paint and appearance on transit vehicles has also been

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rebranded to be consistent with the online and other materials, and more than 50 percent of the fleet have already been retrofitted with the new materials.

17.2

Needs and Opportunities

Based on our review of the existing marketing materials we have identified strengths and weaknesses of Thunder Bay Transit. These strengths and weaknesses have led to development of needs and opportunities, which in turn formed our recommendations and marketing strategies. Strengths  100 percent fully accessible vehicles and ongoing accessibility initiatives may be attractive to a system with high levels of seniors’ ridership.  Successful implementation of U-Pass at Lakehead University and Confederation College.  North Core, South Core and Intercity area are provided with high-level of peak period service.  Bike racks on vehicles.  Thunder Bay Transit incorporates a number of progressive system components, including an AVL system and “Next Bus” GPS technologies.  Increased safety and security measures, including patrolled terminals, the night stop program, and installation of video surveillance cameras.  Successful events that increase the profile of transit in the community include the “Santa Bus”, “Clean Air Day” and “Summer in the Parks” programs.  “Green Fleet” marketing promotes transit as a contributor to a clean, environmentally conscious, sustainable community.  Transit growth and investment and environmental sustainability is supported and prioritized in policy, including the Thunder Bay Official Plan and the Ridership Growth Strategy. A number of recommendations of the Growth Strategy, including bike racks on vehicles, increased safety measures, on-board technologies and others have already been implemented. Weaknesses  Ongoing public perception of transit as unsafe and dirty.  Public perception of transit providing poor customer service.  External factors including declining population, low-density residential development, quick automobile travel times, and the relatively low cost and high availability of parking contribute to difficulty in attracting choice riders.  Lack of engagement and services provided to Aboriginal communities.  Other elements of the system including stops, shelters and sidewalk infrastructure are not as accessible as the 100 percent accessible vehicle fleet.  Customer complaints regarding hours of service, service frequency, schedule adherence and service coverage.  Lack of community awareness of the benefits of taking transit.

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Needs and Opportunities  Opportunity to evaluate ongoing marketing and rebranding efforts; follow-up on results of subsequent marketing plans.  Opportunities to enhance accessibility on the system with an aging population and AODA legislation.  Need to change ongoing public perception of the transit system as unsafe, dirty and dangerous.  Potential that schedule, route, and terminal location changes resulting from implementation of the Transit Master Plan may require extensive marketing, which presents an opportunity for continued rebranding and customer engagement.  Opportunity to identify existing and new steps being taken to improve customer service and customer relations.  Opportunity to market the service to Aboriginal communities.  Potential for partnerships with local environmental groups; build on “Green Fleet” and sustainability theme.

17.3

Recommendations

Overview As everyone in the community benefits from public transportation, including students, seniors, persons with mobility challenges, commuters, and business owners, it is important for Thunder Bay Transit to brand itself as a clean, safe, efficient, and customer-focused transportation option that provides the entire population with access to opportunities and mobility. Thunder Bay Transit should continue to pursue marketing strategies that raise awareness of transit in the community and increase ridership, and existing marketing may be enhanced through implementation of our recommendations. These recommendations are also supported by the marketing initiatives included in the Thunder Bay Transit Ridership Growth Plan. The following sections identify recommended strategies that may be implemented to increase ridership and improve the public image of Thunder Bay Transit. Consultation Consultation is paramount to the success of transit, and Thunder Bay Transit should capitalize on opportunities to engage both externally with the public and internally with staff. Numerous recommendations in this marketing strategy identify opportunities for consultation and engagement, including when conducting market research, identifying potential system improvements, development and review of future marketing materials and strategies, and when evaluating the results of future marketing plans. Thunder Bay Transit should ensure that consultation is incorporated into these strategies as appropriate. A formal “Transit Marketing Engagement” advocacy group could be considered. This group could comprise transit and City staff and members of the public, including representatives from student groups, seniors, and persons with disabilities, among others, and could be consulted at various stages of the transit marketing development and review process.

17.3.2

Marketing Materials

Thunder Bay Transit schedules and maps should be updated to reflect any service changes (including modifications to scheduling, routing or terminal locations) that may result from implementation of this Transit Master Plan study. Informing customers of these changes in

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advance of their implementation and marketing them as growth and improvement strategies that are responding to customer demands can help introduce the changes in a positive manner. The following are recommended updates to Thunder Bay Transit marketing materials:  Schedules and maps should be updated to be consistent with the format of other Thunder Bay Transit marketing materials and online content, and to reflect the visual guidelines of the 2009 Visual Identify Guide, including fonts, layout and colour selection.  Individual route maps should be scaled correctly, with each route displayed on a base map of the overall Thunder Bay street network that contextualizes the route in relation to the City. This would help clarify where routes are going and make the individual maps consistent with the full system map.  To help customers interpret route maps and identify stop locations, assign letters or numbers to each of the major stops on the schedules. These letters or numbers would then correspond to matching letters or numbers placed on the actual route map. For example, Intercity Mall could be identified with the letter “E” on the #1 Main Line schedule, and a corresponding “E” would then be placed on the #1 Main Line route map at the Intercity Mall location.  Schedule, map and other transit system information and marketing materials could be consolidated into a “Ride Guide” that provides information for all routes and system components in one place.  Ensure system information and marketing materials including route maps and schedules are available on board all vehicles and in easy to see locations at major stops, shelters and terminals as appropriate.  Ensure that all bus stop signage, schedule templates, public notices and vehicles utilized throughout the system are updated and incorporate the new branding materials.  Ongoing and new steps taken to improve customer service and customer relations (e.g. re-implementing the CUTA Transit Ambassador Program) should be advertised to the public.

17.3.3

Safety

The public perception of the system in recent years is that transit is unsafe, with criminal activity occurring at terminals and occasionally on-board vehicles. This perception has been identified in previous marketing plans as a weakness and reinforced through comments received from riders and non-riders throughout the consultation stages of this study. Efforts should be made to communicate all steps that are being taken to increase safety throughout the system, including security hired to monitor terminals, the night stop program, promoting transit buses as a “Community Watch” participant and video surveillance cameras, and improvements should be marketed to riders and the general public to improve perception of the service. For example, incorporating crime prevention design principals throughout the transit system such as those of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) may facilitate proactive safety improvements at terminals, stops and shelters, and also present an opportunity to market the application of publicly known safety principles to the local system. Similarly, efforts made to increase cleanliness throughout the system should be marketed and customers should be encouraged to do their part to keep the system clean. Consistently reinforcing the existing and ongoing improvements to safety and cleanliness throughout Thunder Bay Transit as part of the marketing strategy can help to change public opinion and rebrand the service as a safe, clean, and attractive means of transportation.

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17.3.4

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Partnerships and Community Presence

Thunder Bay Transit should strive to demonstrate and increase its presence in the community via public and private partnerships. Private-sector partnerships may allow the system to share the cost of marketing with a corporate partner and may help to enhance the image of the service to the general public. Corporate partnerships could include development of a Corporate Sponsorship Plan that identifies and evaluates potential partners and provides a strategy for Thunder Bay Transit to successfully pursue corporate support and develop long-term partnerships. Local businesses may be approached to partner with Thunder Bay Transit for promotional days or special events. Partnerships could also be sought with local employers to distribute Thunder Bay Transit information at the workplace or encourage businesses to participate in discounted employee pass programs. Community presence can be enhanced by ensuring a transit presence at, and providing service to, community events including holiday celebrations, concerts, family activities and sporting events. These events may have limited parking or increase congestion throughout the City, and as a result, may provide opportunities to promote and provide services to riders who do not typically take transit. Successful existing events such as the “Christmas Santa Bus” and “Summer in the Parks” service should be continued and identified as such in marketing materials. Events should be marketed as broadly as possible, including at major terminals and destinations including post-secondary institutions and via social media, newsletter, email, newspaper, radio and other means of communication. Thunder Bay Transit should ensure positive relations with media and utilize these relations as a marketing tool whenever possible, as media can be a gateway to positive exposure and visibility for the system. Staff should ensure awareness of community events and other potential opportunities to incorporate positive media coverage and partnerships. Previous examples including the “Bus Driver Bob” campaign are noted to have been received positively by the community and should be continued or pursued further. Consider a “Thunder Bay Transit Update” weekly in print media or on radio.

17.3.5

Accessibility

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act includes a range of accessibility standards to identify, prevent and remove barriers to accessibility in Ontario. Accessibility standards that have already been developed and are now legislated include the Customer Service Standard (in 2008) and the Integrated Standard (in 2011). The Integrated Standard is a composite document comprising accessibility requirements for Employment, Information and Communications and Transportation. The final standard is for the Built Environment and is currently under development. Once law, these standards legally require Thunder Bay Transit to provide services in compliance with the regulations of the standards. As the standards may require significant investment from providers, changes are typically phased in over a number of years, allowing systems appropriate time to take the steps required to meet the regulations. Further to the increased accessibility from AODA compliance, Thunder Bay Transit has a 100 percent accessible vehicle fleet. As part of the marketing strategy Thunder Bay Transit should campaign to raise public and target community awareness of the overall system accessibility, including the fully accessible fleet, service and communication components that are brought into compliance with AODA standards, and any other accessibility improvements that are made to the system.

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17.3.6

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Social Media

Thunder Bay Transit should utilize social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as frequently as possible to increase community awareness and improve system efficiencies by providing information regarding service changes, cancellation or delay and other transit updates, including real-time information, as well as making route and schedule information available. These outlets can also be used to raise awareness regarding transit promotions/events or promotions/events that will have a transit presence.

17.3.7

Environmental

As efficient public transit is a hallmark of an environmentally sustainable community, the environmental benefits of taking public transit should be emphasized in all marketing materials. Promotional days, including Clean Air Day, are opportunities to increase the visibility and awareness of transit in the community. Media partnerships should be utilized and transit presence should be increased at the post-secondary institutions, North Core, South Core and Intercity area during environmental themed events. The environmental, personal health benefits and overall sustainability of transit and its contribution to development of a sustainable community should be a component of all Thunder Bay Transit marketing materials.

17.3.8

Internal Marketing

Employee dissatisfaction and low staff morale have been identified as ongoing problems facing Thunder Bay Transit, and this issue can be compounded by a poor public perception of transit employees. A number of strategies could be implemented to improve employee morale, including through engagement, social events, and employee recognition and awards, as well as utilizing drivers in advertising and marketing campaigns. Proper managerial support and supervision should be provided for operators during all hours of provided service, including on mornings, evenings and weekends. Thunder Bay Transit should conduct a full evaluation of the results of previous and ongoing efforts to identify and improve employee satisfaction. Review of employee morale and satisfaction could include surveys or employee engagement sessions, and should be conducted and compared to the goals of previous efforts. Based on results of this review, Thunder Bay Transit should identify areas where additional employee engagement is required, and ongoing and new initiatives should be communicated and marketed to employees. Thunder Bay Transit should ensure that all employees are made fully aware of their job expectations, and ensure that proper training is provided for employees to effectively deal with the public. As such, the CUTA Transit Ambassador Program should be reinstated, and should be considered mandatory training for all employees. Thunder Bay Transit should consider including information regarding additional employee customer service training in marketing materials. The system should continue to encourage assigning employees to terminals and major transfer locations to answer questions and help customers navigate the system. This will provide a service that assists customers, improves the public perception of transit employees and may increase safety at terminals due to the constant presence of an additional employee on the platform. Depending on available resources, this could be implemented on a daily basis or just during special event service.

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17.3.9

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Target Market Identification

Primary Markets Marketing transit in Thunder Bay should continue to focus on making the service attractive and acceptable for captive riders, but should also attempt to attract new, choice riders, who may choose transit if their exposure to and experience on the system is positive. Captive riders who ride transit due to necessity rather than choice continue to account for high levels of ridership on the system. These riders include students and seniors, and comprise the primary customer base for Thunder Bay Transit. These demographics have been identified in previous marketing plans and should continue to be a focal point for future marketing strategies. The comparatively young Aboriginal communities may also be primary transit markets. Promotions could be developed in conjunction with corporate or other partnerships to reward existing riders or monthly pass holders for their patronage. These promotions could occur as service changes are implemented and would promote new service improvements while thanking existing riders. Students

Students continue to be an important ridership demographic for Thunder Bay Transit. The UPass program has been successfully implemented at both Lakehead University and Confederation College and has increased student ridership accordingly, and Thunder Bay Transit should continue to work in conjunction with the participating post-secondary institutions to promote student ridership. Thunder Bay Transit has representatives on campus at Lakehead University and Confederation College during orientation week to promote the service, and similar promotional and special event days could be repeated again throughout the school year to encourage as many students as possible to utilize their U-Pass. A transit display booth is located at an entrance near the bus stop at Confederation College, and a year-round presence at both schools should be encouraged and could include a permanent transit information centre with schedules, maps and other system information provided in a designated area. The U-Pass program should continue to be promoted to the student market, and awareness and use of bike racks on vehicles should also be promoted to students, as they are a market segment likely to make use of active transportation networks as well as public transit. Seniors

As the senior population in Thunder Bay grows, demand for accessible transit services will also grow. It will be important to engage with the senior communities, both to inform them of potential service changes and to improve customer service by responding to their concerns. The fully accessible fleet, audible and visible on-board stop announcements, as well as continued improvements to accessibility throughout the system due to existing and pending AODA requirements should be emphasized. Additional promotions and partnerships between Thunder Bay Transit, senior citizens advisory groups, seniors’ apartment buildings and local retailers such as grocery stores or other merchants or locations of interest should be pursued. Thunder Bay Transit should promote transit to seniors in a way that advertises the benefits of transit and destinations throughout the City, and should also conduct sessions that inform seniors about system improvements, including increasing system accessibility and on-board announcements, and provide instructions on how to board, pay for a trip and request a stop. Thunder Bay Transit should maintain presence at senior citizens residences beyond promotional presentations or events, ensuring that easy to read information materials are available year round.

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Aboriginal Communities

Affordability, language, and access to transit have been identified as barriers to transit use for Aboriginal communities. While the overall Thunder Bay population is aging, the Aboriginal population is relatively young, with approximately 40 percent under 19 years of age. The average age of the overall population is 46.3 years, while the average age of the Aboriginal population is 23.0 years. Thunder Bay Transit should conduct consultation with impacted communities to determine how service should respond to the needs of the Aboriginal populations. Improvements could involve ongoing engagement with the communities, providing verbal and visual signage, system information and marketing materials in Aboriginal languages, and new training for Thunder Bay Transit employees regarding communication with Aboriginal customers. All resulting service changes and improvements should then be marketed toward these communities. Marketing to Non-Riders While marketing to existing riders should be an important component of the marketing strategy, transit awareness, particularly service improvements, should be promoted to the general public, including non-riders who may be convinced to become choice riders. Some people may be unaware of the benefits or existence of transit in the community while others may choose other forms of transportation for a variety of reasons, in either case, the public perception of the system may be improved via marketing. Marketing to non-riders may also include inducements to raise awareness of and attract new customers to the system such as reduced fares or free rides on promotional days. Engagement strategies with non-riders and targeted marketing to populations living or traveling within the North Core, South Core and Intercity area could further public awareness of the system and potentially attract new ridership.

17.3.10

Evaluation

Ongoing evaluation of initiatives is an important part of a successful marketing strategy and a means of identifying the relative effectiveness of the campaign. Evaluation should be qualitative and quantitative, occurring at predetermined intervals (for example once per quarter or annually), and a consistent part of the marketing plan. Evaluation should be incorporated as part of all recommended marketing strategies to identify the effectiveness of the strategy, identify successes and areas requiring continued improvement. This will help Thunder Bay Transit asses how riders and non-riders are responding to the marketing efforts, identify successes and challenges, and establish priorities, updates and potential improvements for future marketing plans. Further to this and if possible, Thunder Bay Transit should fully evaluate current or previous marketing campaigns to assess the success of implemented strategies. Quantitative evaluation efforts could focus on measurable metrics such as ridership on routes or services that have been the focus of the marketing strategy (including pricing or event-based promotions), and could be evaluated based on a comparative analysis of ridership during a determined time period versus a baseline or previous period. Revenue generated on specific products or services may be evaluated, for example, from passes or fare box revenue, and compared to projections, benchmarks or specific performance metrics such as revenue per passenger and revenue per service hour. Qualitative evaluation could include community consultation and conducting market research to measure effectiveness of marketing based on the image and public perception of Thunder Bay Transit among riders and non-riders. This could include conducting regular research such as on-board, intercept, mail-back or telephone surveys to understand ongoing public perception and the relative effectiveness of current marketing initiatives. This type of regular and consistent customer and community outreach can help Thunder Bay Transit understand existing service GENIVAR

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strengths and areas requiring improvement, increase community exposure and awareness of the service, and improve the system image and customer service.

17.4

Short- and Long-Term Actions

Short-term Short-term actions may be implemented immediately or in the next 12 months and include:  Develop evaluation criteria for review of marketing strategy success moving forward.  Evaluate results of current or previous marketing campaigns to identify what has changed and what has not, including successes, needs and opportunities.  Community outreach and consultation with identified target markets including seniors, students and Aboriginal communities.  Consultation and market research with general public, including riders and non-riders via on-board, telephone and intercept surveys, questionnaires, and public forums.  Revise route maps and schedules to be consistent with other marketing materials.  Revise route maps and schedules with correct scaling on a base map of the street network and with easier to understand route identification.  Development of a consolidated “Ride Guide”.  Ensure system information and marketing materials including route maps and schedules are available on board all vehicles and in easy to see locations at major stops, shelters and terminals as appropriate.  Ensure that all bus stop signage, schedule templates and public notices utilized throughout the system are updated and incorporate the new branding materials.  Reinstate the CUTA Transit Ambassador Program and make it mandatory training for all transit employees; include information regarding additional customer service training provided to employees in marketing materials.  Ongoing and new steps taken to improve customer service and customer relations (e.g. re-implementing the CUTA Transit Ambassador Program) should be advertised to the public.  Consistently reinforce in marketing materials the existing and ongoing improvements to safety and cleanliness throughout the system.  Reinforce via marketing materials ongoing improvements to system accessibility, including 100 percent accessible vehicles and changes due to AODA legislation.  Develop a formal “Transit Marketing Engagement” advocacy group comprising transit and City staff and members of the public (including representatives from student groups, seniors, and persons with disabilities, among others), to be consulted with at various stages of the transit marketing development and review process.  Actively seek private-sector and corporate partnerships for discounted employer pass programs, providing transit information in the workplace and to advertise and participate in special community events.  Continue to build on community events such as the “Christmas Santa Bus”, “Clean Air Day” and “Summer in the Parks.”

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 The environmental, personal health benefits, and overall sustainability of transit and its contribution to development of an environmentally and socially sustainable community should continue to be a component of all Thunder Bay Transit marketing materials, including the “Green Fleet” branding.  Engage with employees to identify initiatives to improve employee morale, including potential social events, employee recognition and awards, or utilization of drivers in advertising and marketing campaigns. Provide proper managerial support and supervision for operators during all hours of provided service, including on mornings, evenings and weekends.  Continue to look for opportunities to increase usage of social media outlets in a manner that raises customer satisfaction and increases the presence of Thunder Bay Transit in the community. Long-term Long-term actions are recommendations that may be implemented beyond the next 12 months and include:  Follow up consultation to evaluate impacts of implemented strategies and determine needs and opportunities for future marketing efforts.  Ensure that all vehicles in the fleet are updated to incorporate the new branding materials.  Market any changes to service, schedule and terminals resulting from implementation of the Transit Master Plan.  Ongoing accessibility marketing that reflects AODA requirements as they are complied with by Thunder Bay Transit.  Consider development of a Corporate Partnership Plan that will provide a strategy for Thunder Bay Transit to successfully pursue long-term corporate support and partnerships.  Follow-up on results of employee engagement to evaluate success of marketing efforts internally as well as public perception of transit; utilize this information to determine needs and opportunities for future marketing efforts.

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18.

Accessibility

18.1

Overview

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The City of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Transit continue to work together to make transit fully accessible for all residents of the community. The overall population is aging and conventional Thunder Bay Transit services already average more than 18,000 wheelchair customers annually. Thus, improving accessibility throughout the transit system is of paramount importance. The following summarize existing municipal programs and initiatives that improve accessibility of the system.  Thunder Bay develops an annual City of Thunder Bay Accessibility Plan (currently its 8th edition) that aims to break down barriers for persons with disabilities in the community and to promote their full engagement in municipal services and programs. Thunder Bay Transit participates in development of the plan, and consultation is conducted with a range of stakeholders. Key tasks of the current plan include identification of barriers to accessibility that can be removed from all City facilities, development of a new multi-year plan for barrier removal at existing facilities, ensuring accessibility of waterfront development and implementing AODA regulations as they are legislated.  A multi-year barrier removal accessibility plan (2012-2017) is currently under development. This plan updates the previous five-year plan (ending in 2011), and will focus on the removal of barriers to accessibility in City facilities, incorporating results of a municipal accessibility assessment, as well as requirements from AODA legislation as they are implemented.  Thunder Bay Transit has identified barriers to accessibility throughout the system that will be resolved based on resource availability and in conjunction with mandatory legislation compliance dates. Identified barriers to access include delays in clearing snow and ice from stops and shelters, inaccessible concrete pads at bus stops, lack of bus shelters during inclement weather, and legibility issues with some print materials and signage throughout the system. Barrier removal is prioritized annually in conjunction with consultation with persons with disabilities and other impacted communities.  The City of Thunder Bay and the existing and proposed AODA legislation do not have legally required accessibility standards for bus stops and shelters. However, it is plausible that continued improvements to accessibility throughout communities and transit systems will result in requirements for fully accessible stops and shelters. Thunder Bay Transit continues to work with the community to mitigate accessibility problems, and is upgrading the infrastructure at stops and shelters on an ongoing basis.  Other municipal programs that improve accessibility throughout the community with relevance to transit users include a Sidewalk Ramp Program, Lift and Level Program, Trip Edge Removal Program, as well as an additional program dating back to 2006 to install audible pedestrian crossings at signalized intersections. These programs identify and remove barriers to travel and further improve access to and from bus stops, municipal sidewalk infrastructure and destinations throughout the community.  Additional initiatives that have been implemented to improve system accessibility include:

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Achieving a 100 percent low-floor accessible bus fleet (since 2007).

Providing existing staff and new employees with sensitivity and customer service training.

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Designating priority seating for persons with disabilities on all vehicles.

Deploying the automated stop call out system on all buses.

Installing electronic “next bus arrival time” signs (equipped with audible read out capabilities) at major destinations.

Providing TTY services for hearing impaired to receive transit information.

Establishing a public notification process related to service disruptions.

Developing a customer service system that allows the public to contact customer service representatives to report service concerns and requests, and to answer questions regarding accessibility of transit services (completed).

 Further to the internal accessibility initiatives currently implemented by the City of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Transit, provincially mandated accessibility standards resulting from the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) will impact the future of accessibility in Thunder Bay and throughout the transit system. This legislation is discussed in detail in Section 18.2.

18.2

AODA Legislation

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is legislation that aims to make the province of Ontario fully accessible for all residents by January 1, 2025. As part of this process, AODA requires development of province-wide, enforceable standards pertaining to accessibility in customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation and the built environment. As they are approved, these standards become law and require compliance throughout the public sector, including public transit agencies such as Thunder Bay Transit. Taken together the following standards will detail accessibility requirements of the AODA legislation in Ontario:  Customer Service Standard (2008) – Includes legal requirements as to how customer service is provided to persons with disabilities. Compliance to the Customer Service Standard has been legally required of the public sector (including public transit providers), and includes accessible customer service requirements such as establishing policies, practices and procedures for providing services to persons with disabilities, setting policies allowing use of personal assistive devices to access services, communicating with persons with a disability in a manner that considers their disabilities and providing training on a number of topics relating to accessibility.  Integrated Standard (2011) – Includes accessibility requirements as they relate to Transportation, Employment and Information and Communications. Requirements of the Integrated Standard will be phased in between July 1, 2011 and January 1, 2021 and apply to the public sector, including to both conventional and specialized Thunder Bay Transit services. The first group of phased requirements are now law and include accessibility requirements as they relate to non-functioning accessibility equipment, fares, storage of mobility aids, and pre-boarding and on-board announcements, among others. Compliance to the requirements of Integrated Standard are discussed in detail in Section 18.3.  Built Environment (under review) – A regulation that will provide accessibility requirements that remove barriers to accessibility in buildings and outdoor spaces. This includes a range of built environment elements including common access and circulation areas, interior accessible routes, communication elements and facilities, plumbing

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elements and facilities, exterior spaces, and elevators, among others. The final version of the standard is under review and will be eventually passed and signed into law.

18.3

AODA Integrated Standard Readiness Assessment

Components of the Integrated Standard will be phased in, having started July 1, 2011 and to be fully implemented by 2017. A “readiness assessment” was conducted to evaluate existing conditions of Thunder Bay Transit against the current and pending requirements of the AODA Integrated Standard. Results of the assessment are provided in Exhibit 51. The readiness assessment identifies requirements of the Integrated Standard that are relevant to transit, notes the current compliance status and estimates the cost of bringing areas of non-compliance into compliance. The descriptions in the “Requirement” column of Exhibit 51 are high-level, summarized versions of the actual components in the Integrated Standard. The actual standard should be referred to for full legal requirement details. The following points explain how to interpret information contained within the readiness assessment:  Assessment is sorted by compliance date, chronologically from July 1, 2011 to January 1, 2017.  The “Requirement” column identifies the name and numeric location of each requirement within the Integrated Standard. Each item is accompanied by a brief description.  The “Status” column identified the existing status of the requirement for conventional and specialized services in Thunder Bay, based on the following abbreviations: •

C (compliant) – existing conditions meet the requirement.

MI (minor work) – minimal amount of work needed to meet the requirement.

MA (major work) – a large amount of work needed to meet the requirement.

NA (not applicable) – this requirement will not apply to the Thunder Bay context.

 The “Conv” column indicates that a requirement applies to conventional services and the “Spec” column indicates a requirement applies to specialized services. If the requirement applies to both conventional and specialized services, they are both checked. The “Cost” column rates the cost of bringing Thunder Bay Transit into compliance with each requirement (High, medium, low). Specific costs are included in the Financial Plan depicted in Exhibit 52.

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Exhibit 51 – Integrated Standard Readiness Assessment Requirement

Status

Conv

Spec

Cost

35 – Non-functioning accessibility equipment take reasonable steps to accommodate passengers with disabilities; effect repairs as soon as possible.

L

39 – Transition, existing contracts existing vehicle purchases prior to July 1, 2011 to be honoured.

N/A

40 – Transition, existing vehicles no vehicle retrofit required unless a major modification is made.

N/A

46 – Fares cannot charge a higher fare on conventional services to a person with a disability.

48 – Storage of mobility aids cannot charge a fee to store a mobility aid or assistive device.

51 – Pre-boarding announcements provide verbal, pre-boarding announcements, on request.

52 – On-board announcements provide audible verbal on-board stop and destination announcements.

C

MI

MA

NA

Compliance Date: July 1, 2011

68 – Origin to destination services specialized service provider to provide origin to destination services taking into account and accommodating customer abilities; may include accessible conventional services.

Compliance Date: January 1, 2012 13 – Emergency procedure, plans or public safety info if emergency procedures/plans/safety info is made available to the public, provide the same info in an accessible format, upon request.

L

27 – Workplace emergency response information provide individualized workplace emergency response info to employees with a disability.

L

34 – Availability of information conv/spec service providers make available and provide on request current info on accessibility equipment/services/features .

L

37 – Emergency preparedness and response policies establish emergency preparedness/response policies and make available to the public, upon request.

L

44 – General responsibilities deploy lifting devices/ramps etc. upon request, ensure adequate time for boarding/securing persons with disabilities, assist with storage of mobility aids, allow travel with a medical aid; make information available in accessible formats, upon request.

L

47 – Transit stops if stop unavailable, allow persons with disabilities to board/deboard vehicles at closest available safe location that is not an official stop along transit route; report inaccessible stops.

L

GENIVAR

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Requirement 48 – Storage of mobility aids store mobility aids in passenger compartments or in baggage compartment of same vehicle if not possible within the passenger compartment; ensure operators secure/return mobility aids.

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Status C

MI

MA

NA

Conv

Spec

Cost

49 – Courtesy seating (1) ensure there is clearly marked seating designated for persons with disabilities only.

(2) located as close as practicable to the entrance door.

(3) signage for seating indicating that other passengers must vacate if its use required by a person with a disability.

(4) develop communications strategy to inform public about courtesy seating.

L

74 – Companions and children (1) allow companions to travel with persons with disabilities if space is available and does not deny service to other persons with disabilities.

(2) allow dependants to travel with a person with a disability who is the parent or guardian.

Compliance Date: January 1, 2013 3 – Establishment of accessibility policies (1) develop/implement/maintain policies re. how accessibility will be achieved through meeting AODA requirements; include statement of organizational commitment to meeting access needs.

(3) prepare written documents describing policies and make documents publicly available in an accessible format.

(1) establish/implement/maintain/document a multi-year accessibility plan outlining strategy to prevent/remove barriers and meet regulations; post plan on website and provide in accessible format; review every five years.

(2) accessibility plans should be established/reviewed/updated in consultation with persons with disabilities and the accessibility advisory committee.

M

4 – Accessibility plans

5 – Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities incorporate accessibility criteria and features when procuring/acquiring goods, services or facilities.

M

6 – Self-serve kiosks incorporate accessibility features when designing, procuring or acquiring self-service kiosks.

L

N/A

41 – Accessibility plans, conventional transportation services (1) conventional providers shall identify the process for managing, evaluating and taking action on customer feedback.

(2) hold at least one public meeting involving persons with disabilities to ensure they have an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the accessibility plan.

GENIVAR

M

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Requirement (3) if providing conventional and specialized services, address both in the accessibility plan.

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Status C

MI

MA

NA

Conv

Spec

42 – Accessibility plans, specialized transportation services specialized service accessibility plans shall identify the process for estimating demand for service and develop steps to reduce wait times.

Cost

M

L

43 – Accessibility plans, conventional and specialized transportation services describe procedures for dealing with accessibility equipment failures on conventional and specialized transportation service vehicles in accessibility plans.

45 – Alternative method of transportation conventional providers who do not provide specialized services shall ensure that persons unable to use conventional services due to disability are provided with an alternative method of transportation.

N/A

50 – Service disruptions when service is temporarily changed and known in advance, conventional providers shall make alternate accessible arrangements to transfer persons with disabilities to their route destination where alternate arrangements for other passengers are inaccessible; ensure this info is communicated in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

M

53 – Requirements re. grab bars etc. ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 are equipped with grab bars, handholds, handrails or stanchions provided where appropriate at locations and in accordance to technical design requirements identified in the standard .

54 – Floors and carpeted surfaces ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 have non-glare, slip resistant floors and that carpeted surfaces have a low, firm and level pile or loop, securely fastened.

55- Allocated mobility aid spaces ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 have two or more mobility aid spaces meeting technical design requirements identified in the standard; are equipped with securement devices.

56 – Stop requests and emergency response controls ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 have accessible stop-requests, meeting technical design requirements of the standard, located throughout the vehicle.

57 – Lighting features ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 are equipped with lights above or beside each door, meeting technical design requirements identified in the standard, that are constantly lit when the door is open and that illuminate the lifting device/ramp.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

Requirement

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Status C

MI

MA

NA

Conv

Spec

Cost

58 – Signage ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 display signage with the route, direction, destination or next major stop; must be visible at the boarding point and consistently located, shaped, coloured and positioned when used in the same type of vehicle and meet additional technical requirements of the standard.

59 – Lifting devices, etc. ensure vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 are equipped with lifting devices, ramps or bridge plates meeting technical requirements of the standard.

60 – Steps ensure vehicles equipped with steps meet technical requirements for steps described in the standard.

61 – Indicators and alarms ensure that vehicles built after Jan. 2013 or purchased after July 2011 equipped with a ramp, lifting device or kneeling function have a visual warning lamp and audible alarm meeting location and technical requirements of the standard; does not apply to manually operated devices.

62 – Accessibility, rail cars if rail services provided ensure that min one car per train is accessible, and where washrooms are provided on rail cars ensure that min one is accessible and located on the accessible car.

N/A

66 – Fare parity (3) where one provider provides both conventional and specialized services, ensure fare parity between conventional and specialized services.

M

(5) ensure same fare structure for conventional and specialized services.

M

(6) ensure same fare payment options are available for all transportation services; make alternative options available to persons with disabilities who cannot, because of their disability, use a fare payment option.

M

(1) make services available to visitors and consider as eligible visitors who show they are eligible for specialized services where they reside or meet eligibility requirements of the service.

(2) develop criteria to determine who falls into the category of visitor.

(4) have policies respecting collection, use and disclosure of personal info collected for determining eligibility.

N/A

67 – Visitors

69 – Coordinated service where specialized services are provided in adjacent municipalities within contiguous urban areas, specialized services shall facilitate connections between the services and determine accessible stops and drop-off locations.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

Requirement 70 – Hours of service where one provider provides both conventional and specialized services ensure that specialized services have, at a minimum, the same hours and days of service as conventional services.

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Status C

MI

MA

NA

Conv

Spec

Cost

H

M

73 – Service delays where specialized services require reservations, provide info on the duration of service delays (delay of 30 min or more after scheduled pick-up time) to affected passengers by a method agreed to by the provider and passenger; does not apply to delays that arise during the trip. 78 – Duties of municipalities, general (1) consult with the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the public and persons with disabilities in the development of accessible design criteria to be considered in the construction, renovation or replacement of bus stops and shelters.

(2) identify planning for accessible bus stops and shelters, including steps that will be taken to meet the goal of accessible stops and shelters, in the accessibility plan.

(3) when entering into arrangements for construction of stops and shelters ensure that the consultation and planning outlined in 78(1) and 78(2) is undertaken.

Compliance Date: January 1, 2014 7 – Training ensure that training regarding requirements of the accessibility standards and the OHRC is provided on an ongoing basis, and as soon as possible, to all employees, volunteers, persons who participate in developing organizational policies and persons who provide goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization, as appropriate to their duties; keep record of the training provided.

M

11 – Feedback the process for receiving and responding to feedback shall ensure the processes are accessible to persons with disabilities, upon request, by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communications supports; notify the public of this info availability.

L

14 – Accessible websites and web content ensure that all new websites and web content are compliant with WCAG 2.0 level A.

M

22 – Recruitment, general Notify employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in the recruitment process.

L

23 – Recruitment, assessment or selection process notify job applicants selected for an assessment that accommodations are available upon request in relation to materials or processes to be used; if an applicant requests accommodation, consult with the applicant and provide or arrange for the provision of a suitable accommodation that takes into account the applicant’s disability.

L

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

Requirement

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Status

Conv

Spec

Cost

24 – Notice to successful applicants when making offers of employment notify the successful applicant of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities.

L

25 – Informing employees of supports inform employees of internal policies used to support employees with disabilities; provide the information to new employees as soon as practicable; provide updated info whenever there is a change to existing policies on the provision of job accommodations that take into account accessibility needs due to disability.

L

26 – Accessible formats and communication supports for employees when requested by an employee with a disability, consult with the employee to provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for info needed to perform the employee’s job and info generally available to employees in the workplace; consult with the employee making the request to determine the suitability of an accessible format.

L

28 – Documented individual accommodation plans develop and have in place a written process for development of documented individual accommodation plans for employees with disabilities; ensure compliance to the technical elements and requirements detailed in section 28.

L

(1) develop and have in place a return to work process for employees who have been absent from work due to disability and require accommodations in order to return to work; document the process.

(2) process shall outline steps to be taken to facilitate return to work of employees absent due to their disability and will utilize documented individual accommodation plans.

L

30 – Performance management if using performance management, take into account accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and individual accommodation plans when using the performance management process in respect of employees with disabilities.

L

31 – Career development and advancement take into account accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and individual accommodation plans when providing career development and advancement opportunities.

L

32 – Redeployment take into account accessibility needs of employees with disabilities and individual accommodation plans when redeploying employees with disabilities.

L

36 – Accessibility training conduct employee and volunteer accessibility training, including training on the safe use of accessibility equipment, procedures for temporary barriers, and emergency response procedures; keep record of the training.

L

C

MI

MA

NA

29 – Return to work process

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

Requirement

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Status

Conv

Spec

Cost

L

(1) applicant for specialized services shall have temporary eligibility 14 days after application until a decision is made.

(2) no fee charged to persons with disabilities who apply or are eligible for specialized services.

(3) allow reassessment of persons with temporary eligibility class registrants at reasonable intervals.

(4) upon request, make available to the applicant the eligibility application and decision info in an accessible format.

L

(5) establish an independent appeal process to review decisions respecting eligibility.

(6) make a decision regarding an eligibility appeal within 30 days of receiving the appeal; if no decision made within 30 days grant temporary eligibility until final decision is made.

M

M

M-H

38 – Fares, support persons cannot charge a fare to a support person accompanying a person with a disability where there is need for a support person.

C

MI

MA

NA

64 – Eligibility application process

(8) develop policies respecting the collection, use and disclosure of personal info collected for purposes of determining eligibility. 65 – Emergency or compassionate grounds (1) develop procedures respecting provision of temporary specialized services earlier than 14 days (in 64(1)) where the services are required due to emergency or compassionate grounds and where there are no other accessible services to meet the person’s needs. (2) determine the manner by which persons shall apply for services in (1). 71 – Booking (1) where the specialized service requires reservations. a - provide same day service to the extent it is available. b - if same day service not available, accept booking requests up to three hours before the published end of service period on the day before the intended day of travel. (2) provide accessible means to accept reservations. 72 – Trip restrictions do not limit the availability of specialized services to persons with disabilities by restricting the number individual trip requests or implementing any policy/practice that unreasonably limits the availability of specialized services.

GENIVAR

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Requirement

Status

Conv

Spec

Cost

(1) upon request provide accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs and at a cost that is no more than the regular cost charged to other persons.

M

(2) consult with the person making the request in determining the suitability of an accessible format or communication support.

L

C

MI

MA

NA

Compliance Date: January 1, 2015 12 – Accessible formats and communication supports

(3) notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports. Compliance Date: January 1, 2017 51 – Pre-boarding announcements provide electronic pre-boarding announcements.

L

M-H

(a) all destination points or available route stops announced through electronic means.

M-H

(b) all destination points or available route stops legibly and visually displayed through electronic means.

52 – On-board announcements

63 – Categories of eligibility Specialized services to have three categories of eligibility: (a) unconditional – disability preventing person from using conventional transit. (b) temporary –temporary disability preventing person from using conventional transit. (c) conditional – where environmental/physical barriers limit ability to use conventional transit.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

19.

Implementation and Financial Plan

19.1

Implementation Plan

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This Transit Master Plan includes a multitude of recommendations that provide for the changing travel needs of Thunder Bay residents. This section describes GENIVAR’s projected chronological sequence for which the activities recommended in this plan should occur. 1. Implement plans from Stage 1. •

Revise customer schedules and operator paddles to reflect the recommended changes to off-peak service.

Launch a communications plan to inform riders about the schedule changes and the benefits of such a change.

2. Finalize terminal location in the Intercity area. •

Develop detailed cost estimate for a terminal at the identified candidate sites.

Negotiate and acquire the sale of one of the candidate sites.

Develop a detailed design for the acquired site.

Undertake construction in relation to the timing of the implementation of the recommended route network concept.

3. Continue to develop the Multi-year Barrier Removal Accessibility Plan (2012-2017). •

Use the completed readiness assessment as a guide in the development accessibility plan.

Implement the activities as identified in the accessibility plan.

4. Execute recommended fare strategies. 5. Employ proposed staff requirements and begin executing recommended organizational improvements. 6. Develop processes for performing the service review and planning in conjunction to employing proposed staff requirements. 7. Execute recommended marketing strategies. •

Execute the short-term actions that can be implemented immediate or in the next 12 months.

8. Execute the ITS strategies. •

Develop an ITS Strategy and Architecture Plan.

Expand required systems set out in the plan, while continuing to ensure the interoperability between different systems.

9. Complete detailed planning and scheduling of the Phase 2 recommendations. 10. Implement the recommended route network concept.

GENIVAR

Develop a marketing communications plan to ensure that riders recognize the upcoming changes to the transit network.

Monitor the ridership and operational conditions of the new service.

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11. Undertake the identified longer-term marketing activities where appropriate.

19.2

Financial Plan

The following financial plan summarizes the costs of the recommended changes over the next five years, including the impacts of AODA requirements, bringing part of the specialized transit service in-house, and the recommendations for changes in the preferred routing plan. Capital costs include costs for new and replacement vehicles, and new facilities. The Financial Plan summarizes the financial requirements, as well as the short-term (Stage 1), as well as for the transition to and follow-up from the preferred route network concept (Stage 2). Stage 1a includes the transition to assuming control of the planning and management functions of specialized transit. Nominally, the date for the implementation of Stage 2 (the preferred route network concept) is shown for 2014. However, this must remain flexible to the performance of the system and the availability of a central terminal, either temporary or permanent. Exhibit 52 and Exhibit 53 summarize the Financial Plan for the recommended transit strategy for conventional and specialized transit services respectively. The exhibits show each of the various cost elements in both operating and capital costs, with the considerations and explanations as expressed in the following sections.

19.3

Operating Costs

19.3.1

Transportation Cost

Conventional Transit Transportation costs for conventional transit have been calculated based on 2010 data from the Canadian Urban Transit Factbook, as reported by Thunder Bay Transit. Because these costs include both variable and fixed costs (for management staff for example) it is necessary to estimate the incremental costs based on an adjusted hourly rate. This hourly rate was calculated by summing transportation, fuel and maintenance costs and subtracting estimated costs for managerial staff that are accounted for separately in the staffing section. This amount, divided by the 2010 total operating hours, gives a direct operating rate of $73.69. This rate was held constant used to calculate the cost of the operating hours in each year. Annual operating hours were estimated from the service designs for Stage 1 and Stage 2. Operating hours for Stage 1a was calculated as a 2.5 percent increase over Stage 1, to allow some flexibility for minor service changes or reliability updates. Specialized Transit Transportation costs for specialized transit have been calculated based on 2010 data from the Ontario Specialized Transit Factbook, as reported by HAGI. An hourly rate was used to calculate future costs based on the 2010 reported hourly rate for dedicated trips. This rate was $56 per hour. Stage 1a (2013) includes the additional costs associated with assuming control for planning and management of the service, as well as additional hours for added specialized transit capacity related to AODA requirements. Annual operating hours were calculated for each year from 2012 through 2016, based on estimates of hours required in each year. In 2012, this is shown as no change. In 2013, however, a 17 percent increase to 40,000 hours is estimated to account for the AODA requirement to operate similar hours as conventional transit. In future years, increases of GENIVAR

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approximately five percent have been included in each year to maintain compliance with AODA performance requirements in the face of increasing demand. Taxi scrip ridership is also increased at approximately five percent per year for the same reason.

19.3.2

Other Operating Costs

These costs apply to conventional transit only and include the current costs for plant and administrative supplies. Since all values are in constant 2010 dollars, these values are constant throughout the plan.

19.3.3

Staffing Requirements

Staffing requirements are based on the recommendations in Section 16 of this report. Salaries are based on current values and similar positions with benefits at 2010 levels. All future values are in constant 2010 dollars.

19.3.4

AODA Requirements

AODA costs are based on high level estimates of costs of achieving compliance according to the readiness assessment described in Section 18. Costs of complying with level of service requirements are included in the transportation costs and capital costs are accounted separately. For conventional transit, these include the costs of such items as:  Preparing and maintaining alternative formats for communication materials.  Complying and maintaining compliance with website requirements.  Preparing and maintaining accessibility plans.  Introducing pre-boarding announcements by the end of 2016. For specialized transit, these include the costs of such items as:  Expanding capacity requirements yearly (included in service hours).  Introducing fare parity in 2013 (shown in reduction in average fare).  Expanding call centre capacity in 2015 (shown in staffing requirements and operating costs.  Complying and maintaining compliance with website requirements.  Preparing and maintaining accessibility plans.

19.3.5

Terminal Operating Costs

A budget allocation of one percent of total estimated capital costs for the terminal is included for terminal operating and maintenance costs.

19.3.6

Total Operating Costs

Total operating costs are the sum of the components described and range from about $14 million and $2 million for conventional transit and specialized transit respectively in 2010, to about $18.5 million and $3 million for conventional transit and specialized transit respectively at the end of the five year financial plan.

GENIVAR

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Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

19.4

Ridership and Revenue

19.4.1

Ridership

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Conventional Transit Ridership for each stage was estimated using the 2010 ridership as a base, and applying elasticity factors relevant to each change in service frequency, transfer requirement, coverage and hours of service. Since population is projected to remain stable, no population impact was included. However a small general increase was included in each year to allow for external factors, such as gas and parking prices, increased environmental awareness, increasing student enrolment and an increased aging population. In Stage 1, a slight reduction in ridership can be expected for the reduction in evening headways. However, this is offset by improved service reliability that results from the increased running times. The net result is a small increase in projected ridership in 2012. In Stage 1a (2013), a nominal increase related to the increase in service hours is included. In Stage 2, ridership is increased based on the elasticity factor, but discounted somewhat to allow for a slower response to the service changes over the first year. In subsequent years of 2015 and 2016, ridership is calculated on the basis of passengers per vehicle-hour, with a gradual return to current levels. This ridership estimate should be considered conservative. Specialized Transit For specialized transit, ridership is estimated to increase in relationship to the number of hours of service provided. While many of the additional hours are in off-peak times when the total trips per hour will likely be lower, this was assumed to be offset by productivity improvements related to the service delivery recommendations outlined in the specialized transit report.

19.4.2

Revenue

Conventional Transit For revenue estimates, the current average fare was used (in constant 2010 dollars), but adjusted in each year to reflect the recommendation to increase the U-Pass negotiated price. A modest enrolment increase was combined with an increase in the U-Pass price from $70 to $125 for eight months, beginning with Stage 2 (or the first renewal of the agreement if it is earlier) with an initial step of $35 followed by annual increases of $10 afterward. If the contract renewal precedes Stage 2 implementation, the initial increase may need to be smaller. The result of this change is an increase in the average fare from the current level of $1.32 to about $1.42 after 2016. These estimates see the annual revenue for conventional transit increasing from about $5 million in 2010 to about $7 million in 2016. If the U-Pass rate is held constant, this 2016 revenue level is projected at about $6.6 million Specialized Transit For specialized transit, the average fare per trip was adjusted in 2013 to reflect the need to establish fare parity with conventional transit. The value used is $2.30, which assumes that about 70 percent of riders will pay cash, 20 percent will take advantage of the 10-ride discount and 10 percent will take advantage of the 20-ride discount. This value may be high (and overestimating revenue) if there is a large shift to monthly passes.

GENIVAR

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The specialized transit fare will still be expected to be higher, since the service carries a much larger proportion of adults. These estimates see the annual revenue for specialized transit increasing from about $282,000 in 2010 to about $285,000 in 2016. These revenues do not count the contributions from the Ministry of Health contracts for long-term care trips.

19.4.3

Net Operating Cost

Conventional Transit Based on these estimates, the net cost for conventional transit is estimated to increase from about $9.3 million in 2010 to about $11.2 million in 2016. Specialized Transit Based on these estimates, the net cost for specialized transit is estimated to increase from about $1.7 million in 2010 to about $2.6 million in 2016.

19.5

Performance Indicators

The forecast changes for conventional and specialized transit also results in changes to the recommended performance measures.

19.5.1

Passengers Per Hour

Conventional Transit Conventional transit passengers per hour is projected to stabilize at the current level of about 25 passengers per hour by 2016. At the introduction of Stage 2, this value is expected to decrease to 22.0, since ridership will take some time to mature, with increases in each year following the introduction of Stage 2.

19.5.2

Cost Recovery

Conventional Transit Conventional transit cost recovery is projected to increase from 35 percent to 36 percent prior to the introduction of Stage 2. With Stage 2, this value is expected to decrease to 33 percent, since ridership will take some time to mature, with increases in each year following the introduction of Stage 2 to about 39 percent in 2016. Specialized Transit For specialized transit, the cost recovery is expected to decline by about 30 percent to about 11 percent in 2016.

19.6

Capital Costs

Capital costs are estimated in each year based on the service requirements, technology requirements, AODA elements and the introduction of a terminal in the Intercity area.

19.6.1

Vehicles

Conventional Transit Vehicles for growth in conventional transit are based on the service designs for each stage, with similar interpolations as described in the calculation of service hours. Required spares are calculated at 25 percent, the industry standard for fleets of this size. With the increase in vehicles required for the implementation of Stage 2, the total fleet requirement with for the Stage GENIVAR

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2 implementation is 47 vehicles, which is less than the current fleet size. Therefore, if maintenance practices can perform adequately with this spare ratio, then no new vehicles would be required (though some existing vehicles would still need to be replaced). Currently, the amount of work contracted out and the limited capacity for maintenance during evening hours requires a higher spare ratio. In this scenario, expansion of the fleet would be required Replacement vehicle requirements are based on maintaining the current average fleet age and targeting an average life span of 15 years. Average cost per vehicle is estimated at $450,000 (2010 dollars), consistent with the current City capital forecast. Vehicle requirements for conventional transit will increase from the current peak requirement of 30 vehicles to 37 peak vehicles for the implementation of Stage 2. A 20 percent spare ratio is included, bringing the total fleet requirement to 47, which is less than the existing fleet complement. In 2015 and 2016, one additional vehicle is included in each year to support the general service increases. Specialized Transit Vehicles for growth in specialized transit are related to the increase in service hours. Spare vehicle requirements are calculated on the same basis as conventional vehicles. On this basis, the existing fleet can accommodate the initial two years of service expansion. Replacement vehicle requirements are based on maintaining the current average fleet age and targeting an average life span of eight years. Consistent with the current City capital forecast, the average cost of a specialized vehicle is assumed to be $85,000 (2010 dollars). High level cost estimates are added for the recommended ITS components including: ďƒ ITS deployment strategy development. ďƒ  AVL and MDTs for specialized transit. ďƒ  Automatic enunciators for on-board and off-board announcements. Central Terminal A lump sum amount of $7.9 million for capital construction and land acquisition costs is included prior to the implementation of Stage 2 for the central terminal. This value is estimated based on averages for the primary sites under consideration.

GENIVAR

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Exhibit 52 - Conventional Transit Financial Plan Existing

2012 Stage 1

2013 Stage 1a

2014

2015 Stage 2

2016

Five-Year Total Increment

Operating Expenses Transportation Cost Conventional Operating Hours Direct Operating Cost/hour

150,000 $73.69

148,500 $73.70

151,470 $73.69

191,000 $73.69

195,775 $73.70

200,669 $73.69

50,669

Transit Operating Cost Fleet Maintenance Cost Total Direct Operating Cost

$8,563,318 $2,490,665 $11,053,983

$8,478,000 $2,466,000 $10,944,000

$8,647,000 $2,515,000 $11,162,000

$10,904,000 $3,171,000 $14,075,000

$11,177,000 $3,251,000 $14,428,000

$11,456,000 $3,332,000 $14,788,000

$2,892,682 $841,335 $3,734,017

Other Operating Costs Plant, Admin Supplies (Const. 2010 $)

$2,367,025

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

$2,367,000

0

13

13

14

14.5

15

15

2

$762,500

$835,700 $73,200

$835,700 $0

$872,300 $36,600

$908,900 $36,600

$908,900 $0

$146,400

$50,000

$50,000 $25,000 $75,000

$25,000 $25,000

$50,000 $25,000 $75,000

$225,000 $90,000 $315,000

Staffing Requirements Staff Complement Total Administration Salaries Annual Increment AODA Operating Cost Elements One-Time Costs Ongoing Costs Total AODA Operating Cost

$0

$50,000

$75,000 $15,000 $90,000

Terminal Operating Cost Total Terminal Operating Cost

$0

$0

$332,000

$332,000

$332,000

$332,000

$1,328,000

$14,183,508

$14,196,700

$14,786,700

$17,721,300

$18,060,900

$18,470,900

$4,287,392

Total Operating Cost Total Operating Cost Revenue Ridership and Revenue Ridership Boardings Revenue Net Cost Total Net Cost

3,770,000 4,134,400

3,883,100 4,702,855

3,999,593 4,796,912

4,200,340 5,088,000

4,600,713 5,371,700

5,016,734 5,671,200

$4,966,000

$5,114,980

$5,285,355

$5,851,232

$6,476,703

$7,125,534

$9,217,508

$9,081,720

$9,501,345

$11,870,068

$11,584,197

$11,345,366

35% 25.1 $1.32

36% 26.1 $1.32

36% 26.4 $1.32

33% 22.0 $1.39

36% 23.5 $1.41

39% 25.0 $1.42

38 30 8

38 30 8 3

38 30 8 3

47 37 10 3

48 38 10 3

49 39 10 3

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$1,380,000 $0 $1,380,000

$6,900,000 $0 $6,900,000

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

$0

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000 $100,000 $150,000

$200,000 $100,000 $300,000

$25,000

$50,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000

$25,000 $7,900,000 $7,925,000

$50,000

$25,000

$25,000

$150,000 $7,900,000 $8,050,000

$1,405,000 $1,405,000 $0

$9,355,000 $1,405,000 $7,950,000

$1,480,000 $1,405,000 $75,000

$1,455,000 $1,405,000 $50,000

$1,555,000 $1,405,000 $150,000

$15,250,000 $7,025,000 $8,225,000

Performance Indicators Cost Recovery Ratio Conventional Passengers/Hour Conventional Transit Average Fare

$2,127,858

Capital Vehicles Required Fleet Peak Spares @ 25 percent Replacement Replacement Growth Total Vehicles Cost Intelligent Transporatation Systems (ITS) ITS Strategic Deployment Plan AODA Requirements Total ITS Cost Facilities New Stops and Shelters Central Terminal - Land/Construction Total Facilities Cost Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Approved Long-range Capital Budget Total Capital Cost Exceeding Approved Budget

GENIVAR

$0

135


Thunder Bay Transit Transit Master Plan

111-12560 March 23, 2012

Exhibit 53 - Specialized Transit Financial Plan Existing

2012 Stage 1

34,000 $56

34,000 $56

2013 Stage 1a

2014 Stage 2

2015

2016

44,000 $56

46,000 $56

Increment

Operating Expenses Transportation Cost Specialized Operating Hours Direct Operating Cost/hour Dedicated Service Taxi Scrip Operating Cost

40,000 $56

42,000 $56

12,000

$1,750,000 $150,000 $1,900,000

$1,742,500 $157,500 $1,900,000

$2,020,000 $180,000 $2,200,000

$2,211,000 $189,000 $2,400,000

$2,301,550 $198,450 $2,500,000

$2,391,628 $208,373 $2,600,000

0

2

2

3

3

8

$0

$97,600 $97,600

$97,600 $0

$146,400 $48,800

$146,400 $0

$475,800 $329,400

$475,800

$25,000

$25,000 $25,000 $50,000

$25,000 $25,000

$25,000 $25,000 $50,000

$130,000 $90,000 $220,000

Staffing Requirements Staff Total Administration Salaries Annual Increment AODA Operating Cost Elements One-Time Costs Ongoing Costs Total AODA Operating Cost

$641,628 $58,373 $700,000

$0

$25,000

$55,000 $15,000 $70,000

$1,900,000

$1,997,625

$2,297,670

$2,546,450

$2,646,425

$3,075,850

$1,175,850

94,000 10,000 104,000

94,000 10,500 104,500

108,000 12,000 120,000

113,400 12,600 126,000

118,800 13,230 132,030

124,200 13,892 138,092

30,200 3,892 34,092

$282,000

$282,000

$248,400

$260,820

$273,240

$285,660

$3,660

$1,618,000

$1,715,625

$2,049,270

$2,285,630

$2,373,185

$2,790,190

$1,172,190

15% $3.00

15% $3.00

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

11% $2.30

23 18 5

23 18 5 0 2

25 20 5 0 2

27 21 6 2 3

28 22 6 3 3

29 23 6 4 3

Growth Replacement Total Vehicles Cost

$0 $190,000 $190,000

$0 $190,000 $190,000

$190,000 $285,000 $475,000

$285,000 $285,000 $570,000

$380,000 $285,000 $665,000

$855,000 $1,235,000 $2,090,000

Approved Long-range Capital Budget Projected Capital Budget Increase

$190,000

$255,000 -$65,000

$340,000 $135,000

$255,000 $315,000

$340,000 $325,000

$1,190,000 $900,000

$100,000 $75,000 $175,000

$2,440,000 $1,250,000

Total Operating Costs Total Operating Cost Revenue Ridership Dedicated Taxi Scrip Total Ridership Revenue Net Cost Total Net Cost Performance Indicators Cost Recovery Ratio Specialized Transit Average Fare

Capital Vehicles Required Fleet Peak Spares @ 25 percent Growth Replacement

ITS Components Specialized Transit AVL/MDT AODA Requirements Total ITS Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Total Capital Cost Exceeding Approved Budget

GENIVAR

$100,000 $0

$100,000

$0

$0

$75,000 $75,000

$190,000 $190,000

$390,000 $135,000

$475,000 $135,000

$570,000 $315,000

$815,000 $475,000

136

Thunder Bay Transit Master Plan  

Developed by GENIVAR Consultants LP for the City of Thunder Bay

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