Transit Master Plan: Sunday service not a priority

Nick Seebruch
Transit Master Plan: Sunday service not a priority
Cornwall Transit.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council received a report at their meeting on Monday, Oct 23 that outlined the currenty state of Cornwall Transit and suggested a path for the future.

The report was a part of the Cornwall Transit Master Plan formulated by Stantec and presented by Graeme Masterton. Masterton explained that the City of Cornwall would be better served by focusing on other transit objectives besides creating Sunday service.

“You have a bunch of other things to do first to set your system up successfully,” Masterton said.

He explained that despite apparent demand, the use of Sunday service would not match.

“Sunday ridership is pretty narrow,” Masterton said. “Saturday ridership 50 percent of weekday ridership, Sunday ridership 50 percent of Saturday. Five percent of people who say they would use Sunday buses would actually use them.”

He went on to say that Sunday service was something that could be considered for the long term and rolled out once there was a viable plan for it.

Masterton gave the councillors options they could do in the immediate and short term to improve service, such as ensuring that bus times are reliable, simplify the route system and increase route frequency to every 20 minutes.

Simplifying the route system would involve ending the practice of having all routes go to the downtown terminus and then heading back out. Instead routes would go on loops. Route 1 for example would start north of Hwy 401, follow Pitt St. and then end at St. Lawrence College and go back. Masterton said some of these changes could be implemented immediately.

In the long-term, the report suggesting things such as adding Wifi to all buses and making regular buses more handicap accessible.

Councillors received the report warmly and made suggestions such as changing the transfer system, so that riders can transfer in other locations other than only downtown. Councillor Mark MacDonald suggested reducing fares.

As it stands now, Cornwall Transit has 20 riders per hour, a revenue of $1.1 million and expenses of $4 million.

Masterton offered three guiding principles for the new Transit Master Plan: Simplify system, create more travel opportunities, and build ridership. He offered the option of buying two new buses in the short term, which would increase the budget by 10 percent, but would increase ridership and therefore income by 15 percent.

“If we build it, they will use it,” he said.

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