Friday, January 18, 2008

20-minute countdown - Guelph Tribune

Remember when the City of Guelph reduced transit frequencies during the peak periods from every 30 to every 40 minutes?

Guelph Transit runs a timed-transfer or "pulse" system, where all routes meet at the downtown terminal then leave at the same time.  Peterborough and St. Catharines also run similar systems, but last spring, Guelph found that congestion was preventing some routes from making the rendezvous. In July, the city decreased peak-hour frequencies to give buses more time to complete their runs, and in the process, became the only city I can think of that offered more fequent service in the off-peak than in the peak period (unless you count homebound service on the Georgetown line, but that's another post).

According to an Guelph Tribune editorial, the council committee responsible for transit is recommending that the city move to 20-minute frequencies this summer, finally bringing an end to this fiasco. Perhaps it's also time to look at eliminating the pulse system. While it is very convenient for transfers, missed connections would cost 20 minutes under the proposed system, 40 minutes under the current system, and 30 minutes under the old system - however, that would depend on how well buses can keep on schedule when running at 20 minute frequencies.

I'm glad that this misadventure has come to an apparent end, and like the Springfield Monorail, I hope this is the last folly the people of Guelph ever embark upon.

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