Peterborough Transit Study

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People waiting to get on buses at a transit terminal

Take part in our consultation on the Peterborough Transit Study to help shape our community's transit service now and in the future.

Meaningful public engagement is an integral part of this study to make sure the recommendations meet the needs of the community. Each phase of the project will include an opportunity to inform, collaborate with, and involve the community.

The study includes three parts:

  • A transit route review to re-design the transit network in the near term so that connectivity and service are improved;
  • A long-term transit growth strategy to set the vision for the future of transit and identify the resources needed to achieve it; and
  • A downtown transit hub plan to identify a plan to improve or relocate the downtown transit terminal.

You can find a description of each of the three parts - the transit route review, the long-term growth strategy, and the downtown transit hub plan - in the study background tab below.

Take part in our consultation on the Peterborough Transit Study to help shape our community's transit service now and in the future.

Meaningful public engagement is an integral part of this study to make sure the recommendations meet the needs of the community. Each phase of the project will include an opportunity to inform, collaborate with, and involve the community.

The study includes three parts:

  • A transit route review to re-design the transit network in the near term so that connectivity and service are improved;
  • A long-term transit growth strategy to set the vision for the future of transit and identify the resources needed to achieve it; and
  • A downtown transit hub plan to identify a plan to improve or relocate the downtown transit terminal.

You can find a description of each of the three parts - the transit route review, the long-term growth strategy, and the downtown transit hub plan - in the study background tab below.

  • Trends and peer review

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    08 Oct 2019
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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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    08 Oct 2019

    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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    08 Oct 2019

    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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    08 Oct 2019

    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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    08 Oct 2019
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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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    08 Oct 2019

    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.