Peterborough Transit Study

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A Peterborough Transit bus and shelter

The City of Peterborough is resuming the Transit Study following a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public engagement has been an integral part of the study to date. Each phase the project will continue to include an opportunity to inform, collaborate with, and involve the community and transit stakeholders.

The Transit Study has three interconnected components that will shape our community’s transit service now and in the future:

  • The Transit Route Review will redesign the route network in the near term to improve connectivity and service and lay a foundation that supports future growth and service enhancements; and
  • The Long-Term Transit Growth strategy will set the vision for the future of Peterborough Transit and identify the resources to achieve it; and
  • The Downtown Transit Hub plan will identify options to improve or relocate the existing transit terminal.

The Study Background Tab below provides a description of each of the Transit Study Projects.

How can you participate?

Starting February 12, 2021, the next phase of the Transit Route Review consultation will provide several ways for you to participate. Please check back here for your options to connect and engage:

Online interactive map

View the online interactive map showing the three route network options by clicking on the image below or through the documents library on the right side of the screen.

Each route network option includes regular and community bus routes and late night and express services. To learn more about each route network, you can attend one of our Transit Town Hall presentations with the dates and information in the key dates section on the right side of your screen, call our dedicated Transit Study phone line at 705-933-4756 or email us at transitstudy@peterborough.ca.

Once you are ready, tell us how you travel using our interactive route network maps.

How does the interactive map work?

There is one map that allows you to select Route Option 1, 2 or 3 to view in detail. On each map, you can place pins and comments. For each pin you place on the map, you can include a brief comment if you want to provide some detail.

  • Place a green pin on the map to show where you travel from
  • Place a red pin on the map to show the places you travel to most often
  • Place a yellow pin on the map to show the places you travel to less often

The City of Peterborough is resuming the Transit Study following a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public engagement has been an integral part of the study to date. Each phase the project will continue to include an opportunity to inform, collaborate with, and involve the community and transit stakeholders.

The Transit Study has three interconnected components that will shape our community’s transit service now and in the future:

  • The Transit Route Review will redesign the route network in the near term to improve connectivity and service and lay a foundation that supports future growth and service enhancements; and
  • The Long-Term Transit Growth strategy will set the vision for the future of Peterborough Transit and identify the resources to achieve it; and
  • The Downtown Transit Hub plan will identify options to improve or relocate the existing transit terminal.

The Study Background Tab below provides a description of each of the Transit Study Projects.

How can you participate?

Starting February 12, 2021, the next phase of the Transit Route Review consultation will provide several ways for you to participate. Please check back here for your options to connect and engage:

Online interactive map

View the online interactive map showing the three route network options by clicking on the image below or through the documents library on the right side of the screen.

Each route network option includes regular and community bus routes and late night and express services. To learn more about each route network, you can attend one of our Transit Town Hall presentations with the dates and information in the key dates section on the right side of your screen, call our dedicated Transit Study phone line at 705-933-4756 or email us at transitstudy@peterborough.ca.

Once you are ready, tell us how you travel using our interactive route network maps.

How does the interactive map work?

There is one map that allows you to select Route Option 1, 2 or 3 to view in detail. On each map, you can place pins and comments. For each pin you place on the map, you can include a brief comment if you want to provide some detail.

  • Place a green pin on the map to show where you travel from
  • Place a red pin on the map to show the places you travel to most often
  • Place a yellow pin on the map to show the places you travel to less often
  • Transit Town Hall presentation

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    Welcome to the second Peterborough Transit Study Public Information Presentation


    • A review of near-term transit network alternatives
    • A look at long-term transit investment scenarios
    • How you can get involved

    Transit study timeline

    Transit Study Elements

    • A Transit Route Review to determine how transit routes might be changed to improve transit service in the near term and establish a foundation for future growth
    • A Long-Term Transit Growth Strategy to set the vision for public transit in the city
    • A Downtown Transit Hub Plan to improve or relocate the downtown transit terminal
    • A Review of the Accessible Transit Service to develop options to meets community mobility needs

    Transit Route Review Update

    • Summarize what the study team heard from you
    • Review the critical success factors for the development of a new transit route network
    • Present three alternative designs for a new route network
    • Review different ways of allocating transit investment throughout the day, and in parts of the city that are difficult to serve with conventional transit

    Key themes from the first round of consultation

    • Reducing travel time (more direct routes) is a main priority for most respondents, followed by improving equity and accessibility
    • Having to transfer downtown is inconvenient for many riders
    • The low frequency of service on most routes is an unattractive feature of the network
    • Suburban neighbourhoods are less easily accessible using transit than the downtown, Trent, and Fleming

    Factors Influencing Transit Service Success

    • Balance service coverage and quality
    • Provide faster and more direct trips to key locations from across the City
    • Provide convenient transfers
    • Minimize duplication, maximize efficiency and improve on time service performance
    • Expand and introduce service to new neighbourhoods and developing areas
    • Reduce routes through the congested Downtown Terminal

    Where People are Travelling

    Major trip generators and high-ridership corridors

    Map of transit network showing high volume ridership areas


    Where People are Travelling

    Travel Flows from 2018 Survey (2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)

    • Downtown is an important destination, but is not the only focus of travel
    • Trent University and Fleming College generate a substantial number of trips
    • Elsewhere, travel demand is generally evenly distributed by location and direction

    Map of transit network showing patterns


    Transit Route Review Network Alternatives

    Three transit network alternatives are being considered. Each network illustrates different planning principles. The recommended network will reflect the results of the consultation and evaluation process.

    Grid

    Create more direct routes along high-demand corridors to key destinations connected by on-street transfers, fewer routes downtown.

    Option 1 - Grid

    • Creates direct routes to key destinations and new neighbourhoods using main corridors designed to reduce travel time and service duplication
    • May require some customers to travel further to a stop.
    • Creates hubs at the downtown terminal, Trent and Fleming.
    • Creates more direct connections to Trent and Fleming from other areas in the city.
    • Reduces routes operating through the Downtown Terminal resulting in faster trips for some customers.
    • Introduces new transfers for some riders.
    • Increases community bus service to provide localized travel options to key destinations.

    Radial

    Maintain focus on downtown terminal and create more direct routes to high demand destinations connected by timed transfers at the terminal.

    Option 2 - Radial

    • Adjusts former (2019) radial network, making some routes more direct and removing some routes from the downtown terminal
    • Creates more direct connections to Trent and Fleming from other areas in the city.
    • Maintains the downtown terminal as the primary operations hub, resulting in indirect trips for some customers.
    • Maintains timed transfers by operating most routes through the downtown terminal.
    • Some challenges in serving new neighbourhoods.

    Multi hub

    Create more direct routes through the city serving high demand corridors and destinations, with local feeder routes connecting at local hubs.

    Option 3 – Multi Hub

    • Creates transfer hubs at the Downtown Terminal, Trent, Fleming and Willowcreek Plaza.
    • Creates routes that serve key destinations and new neighbourhoods .
    • Reduces routes operating through the downtown terminal.
    • Local routes may result in shorter travel distance to bus stops for some customers but may require two transfers and potentially increased travel times.
    • Increases community (feeder) bus service to provide localized travel options

    Alternative Service Options

    It is also important to consider the best way to allocate resources to serve:

    • new neighbourhoods;
    • areas with lower demand; and
    • in areas where there are road network constraints.

    Regular bus service in these areas may not be justified based on demand but providing alternative service can help to promote transportation equity and access to critical services.

    Some alternative service options include:

    • expanding Community Bus routes
    • providing new TransCab locations
    • introducing new on-demand services

    New On-Demand Services

    On-demand (or demand-response) transit is a public transportation service that responds directly to customer trip requests, rather than having vehicles follow a fixed route.

    New technologies have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of on-demand transit, and it is now being used by some cities to replace regular, fixed-route services in some circumstances.

    On-demand transit has the potential to provide improved service:

    • during the late evening when demand is lower;
    • to areas that regular buses cannot serve;
    • to areas that have low demand;

    If successful, on-demand service could free up resources to meet service needs during peak demand times.

    An On-Demand Transit Review is in progress.

    Long Term Vision for Transit

    In 2012, the City’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan developed a long-term vision for public transit in Peterborough. The City is now in the early stages of updating this transportation plan, and will build off the updated long-term vision developed in this study to inform its recommendations.

    One of the most important policy objectives developed in the 2012 plan was to increase the proportion of trips made by transit, also known as the transit mode share. This is a critical element of the long-term vision because it helps determine the requirements for new investments and policies to increase transit use.

    Share of Daily Trips by Travel Mode (2018)

    Pie chart on share of daily trips by travel mode

    • As of 2018, transit represented a 7% share of all trips.
    • Students make up the largest percentage of transit riders. Transit mode share among students is approximately 30%, but just over 3% of the general population.
    • Transit mode share is relatively stable throughout the day.

    Long Term Vision for Transit

    Increasing transit mode share requires travellers to change their travel behaviour to make more of their trips using public transportation. The most effective way of doing this is by providing more transit service, as measured in the number of hours that buses are in service on an annual basis.

    However, providing more transit service requires more transit investment, as shown in the table below. These three scenarios illustrate different target mode shares and the investment required to achieve them.

    The target mode share helps determine the resources needed to increase the number of trips made by transit.

    Next Steps

    Route Review: Recommendations to Council Spring 2021

    • Review feedback
    • Select and refine a recommended network
    • Develop a service implementation plan for the recommended network
    • Develop a financial plan

    Long Term Growth Strategy: recommendations to Council Summer 2021

    • Develop recommended mode share / ridership targets
    • Develop longer term service strategy and costs to achieve ridership targets

    Accessible Services Review: relaunch fall 2021

    • Review feedback
    • Analyze and evaluate alternatives for service delivery
    • Develop recommendations to meet community mobility needs

    How You Can Get Involved

    The Transit Route Review consultation provides several ways for you to engage and participate:

    Go online to review route network maps and complete the Route Review Survey The Survey is open from February 12 to February 26 online at connectptbo.ca/transit. Paper copies of maps and surveys are also available at the Downtown Bus Terminal (190 Simcoe St.)

    Review the Public Consultation Presentation online at connectptbo.ca/transit.

    Submit your questions at connectptbo.ca/transit. New questions and answers will be added throughout the consultation process under Q&A.

    Email the Study Team at transitstudy@peterborough.ca.

    Get general information about the Transit Study under Frequently Asked Questions online at connectptbo.ca/transit.

    Attend one of two Virtual Town Halls on Thursday, February 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. or Wednesday, February 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    Contact our Dedicated Transit Study Phone Line at (705) 933-4756 to ask a question. A customer service representative is available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Launch of Transit Route Review Phase 2 consultation

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    Peterborough Transit has launched the next public consultation phase in the Transit Study. Three route network options have been developed for feedback by customers. A survey is available and two virtual town hall presentations are scheduled over the next two weeks.

    The Transit Route Review, which is one part of the comprehensive Transit Study, is evaluating how transit services and the route network should evolve to reduce travel times, provide better connections to destinations for customers, and set up the transit system to support long-term growth.

    Feedback collected through the public consultation will be reviewed as part of the development of route network recommendations that are expected to go to City Council in late spring. The recommendations to Council will include a timeline for implementation. The route network options map and the survey are available online at connectptbo.ca/transit. Paper copies of the maps and survey can be picked up at the Transit Terminal, 190 Simcoe St. The survey is open from Friday, February 12 until 9 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021.

    The online maps posted for review are interactive, allowing users to drop pins on the map to highlight areas for comment and add their feedback.

    The virtual town hall presentations will be held online and by telephone from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18 and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24.

    The virtual town halls will include a presentation on the three route network options and an opportunity for the Transit Study team to answer questions. Participants attending a town hall online will be able to type in questions for the panel. Participants attending by phone will need to submit questions before the town hall through the Ask a Question section at connectptbo.ca/transit, by calling our dedicated Transit Study phone line at 705-933-4756, or by sending an email to transitstudy@peterborough.ca. Questions and answers will be posted after the meeting at connectptbo.ca/transit.

  • Town Hall presentation information

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    The virtual town hall meetings will be held online and by telephone from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18 and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24.

    The virtual town halls will include a presentation on the three route network options and an opportunity for the Transit Study team to answer questions.

    Asking questions during the Town Hall presentations

    Participants attending a town hall online will be able to type in questions for the panel during the meeting.

    Participants attending by phone will need to submit questions before the town hall through the Ask a Question section at connectptbo.ca/transit or by calling the Transit Study consultation hotline at 705-933-4756.

    The moderator will read from the questions submitted before the meeting and from questions provided through the online tool during the meeting.

    Questions and answers will be posted after the meeting at connectptbo.ca/transit.

    How to attend the Town Hall presentations

    Town Hall, Thursday, February 18, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


    Town Hall, February, February 24, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


    If you join a Town Hall presentation online and lose your connection, please click on "live broadcast" when you re-join the meeting to bring your video/audio back inline with the live broadcast.

  • Trends and peer review

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    Peterborough has gone through significant changes in the past decade, which will inform the route review.

    From 2007 to 2017:

    • Population increased by 4%
    • Transit ridership increased by 43%
    • Transit service (measured by revenue vehicle hours) increased by 24%
    • Post secondary enrollment increased by 69%
    Peterborough currently provides more service and has higher ridership per resident than the peer average.



  • Challenges

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    Long Routes and Travel Times

    Travel time across the city by transit is not competitive with auto travel, and growing congestion is impacting schedule reliability on some routes.

    New Growth Areas

    New developments planned at densities that can support transit, but existing routes cannot be extended to serve them without substantially impacting service frequency, travel time, and reliability.

    Centralized Terminal

    • Minimizes the need for transfers, but results in long travel times for many transit trips
    • Buses often run behind schedule on weekday afternoons causing system delays or missed transfers
    • Accessing major destinations outside the downtown core by transit requires a transfer for most travelers

    Existing Transit Terminal Capacity

    • There is no space for additional routes at the downtown terminal
    • Passenger waiting platforms are at capacity during peak periods
    • Buses backing out of bays cause delays

    Ridership Trends

    • A majority of riders are post-secondary students, but the system must also meet the needs of all residents
    • Investment in the services is needed to meet future transit ridership targets
  • Recent initiatives

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    In 2012, the City completed a review of both the conventional and specialized (Handi-Van) systems and has since implemented a number of the study's recommendations.

    Handi-van Review (2016)

    Resulted in increased service hours, additional staff resources for reservations, updated operating policies, and the introduction of a pilot community bus route.

    Fleming U-Pass (2016/2017)

    Introduced two full-day express routes serving college:

    • Route 1 - Sept 2016
    • Route 2 ­ Sept 2017

    Ridership increased from 10,000 per month in 2016 to 119,000 per month in 2018.

    Transit Terminal Renovations (2016)

    Customer waiting area, interior staff areas, drivers' room, dispatch centre were all completely renovated - accessibility improvements incorporated.

    Statutory Holiday Service

    Started in 2016 - operate Sunday schedule each Statutory Holiday except Christmas Day and New Years Day (includes New Year's Eve). Statutory holiday service has experienced 2,500 to 3,000 passengers each day on average.

    Community Bus - Phase 1 (2018)

    • New fully-accessible service launched in March 2018
    • Approximately l ,000 riders per month
    • Relief to Handi-Van being provided

    100% Fully-Accessible Fleet

    • Achieved with new bus purchases in 2016

    Transit Stop Upgrade Program (2018)

    • 143 stops upgraded with fully-accessible concrete pads
    • 50 new solar powered transit shelters
  • Downtown Transit Hub

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    The downtown transit terminal was constructed in 1974, and was initially designed for smaller buses serving fewer transit routes and trips than the system carries today. The terminal in its current configuration is not suited to today’s operating environment.

    The design of the terminal results in various challenges:

    • The design causes delays entering and exiting the terminal and can affect transfers;
    • Buses can only safely exit the terminal four at a time; and
    • The terminal is over capacity so no new downtown routes can be introduced.

    The Downtown Transit Hub Plan will:

    • Evaluate the need for changes at the current terminal
    • Identify potential alternative sites for a new terminal
    • Recommend the most suitable location and prepare a concept plan
  • Long-term growth strategy

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    The Peterborough 2012 Comprehensive Transportation Plan identified a vision and long term goals for the city’s transportation system. One major goal for the transit system was to increase the share of trips being made by transit from 4.3% to 6% by 2031.

    The Comprehensive Transportation Plan identified a vision for transit in Peterborough provide "an efficient, reliable, convenient and affordable form of mobility throughout the city for all users that offers an attractive alternative to the automobile."

    The long-term transit growth strategy will identify key actions that the City can take to achieve its goals for transit. It will include:

    • Long-term route network recommendations
    • Investment requirements
    • A recommended phasing plan

    To identify the capital investments and operating improvements needed, the long-term transit growth strategy will test a variety of route network scenarios to identify the best options for meeting the City’s long term transit goals.


  • Route review

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    The transit route review will assess how transit services and the route network should change in the near term.

    The redesign of the transit network will aim to reduce travel times by transit, improve service frequency, increase ridership, and improve the utilization of existing vehicles and resources.

    As the 2016 Handi-Van study recommendations remain valid, this Transit Route Review will primarily focus on updates and improvements for the conventional bus system.

    The route review will:

    • Compare the performance of Peterborough Transit to peer communities;
    • Analyze the travel patterns and needs of the community to re-structure the route network;
    • Critically analyze the transit system and each route in detail to identify service gaps, unmet needs and opportunities for improvement;
    • Develop and evaluate route network alternatives designed to improve transit service; and
    • Recommend a new transit route service.
Page last updated: 12 February 2021, 09:06