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So it looks like there will be a 15-minute or less network during weekdays until 19:00. Simcoe (401) and King/Bond (Pulse) will have this service (same as pre-covid, I think), and in addition, Taunton(915?), Rossland(916?) and Hwy 2 West (902?) gets this service.

So for Taunton, assuming they use the 915 route, it also means 15 minute or better service along Westney, to and from Ajax station. Assuming the 916 route for Rossland, that also means 15 minute service for a short portion of Brock to and from Pickering station. So, 3 new frequent routes east-west across Durham, that also go a little north and south through Ajax and Pickering. yippee!
The improvements in this package are good, and meaningful.

Still a long way to go.

But if over the next 4 years, they get the 15-min routes extended to cover evenings and weekends; and get the 30m routes to 15 on weekdays 700-1900, and weekends 1000-1900 that would be a dramatic move in the right direction.
The Transit app is now showing updates and schedules for the Sept. 28 service changes, and it looks pretty exciting!

900 Pulse: 8-10 busses per hour, frequency is between 5-10 minutes
902 (Hwy 2 West): 6 busses per hour, frequency is 5-15 minutes
901 Pulse (Simcoe): 6 busses per hour, frequency is 10 minutes
915 (Taunton): 8 busses per hour, frequency is between 5-10 minutes
916 (Rossland): 6-8 busses per hour, frequency is between 5-15 minutes

So by the looks of it, 15 minutes is the max, but on many of these routes you'll be seeing 5-10 minute service intervals throughout the entire day until 19:00. You can look at it yourself on Transit app, they also have the schedules for the 30-minute routes, reinstated routes that weren't running, as well as on-demand info. The 901 route is the exact same as the 401 route but oddly enough there will still be 401 busses every 20-ish minutes after the 901 goes in (might be an error, idk)

But if over the next 4 years, they get the 15-min routes extended to cover evenings and weekends; and get the 30m routes to 15 on weekdays 700-1900, and weekends 1000-1900 that would be a dramatic move in the right direction.

I can certainly hope so, that would be a move towards a network similar to the current TTC. More importantly, I hope these changes can bring about some dense corridors in Durham that are similar to, say, the corridors in Markham, RH, etc. and large employment nodes along these areas. Most of the area is desolate suburbia with small, scattered employment.
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First day of urban OnDemand was, pardon me, a shitshow. In the morning the Transit app had no connection to the OnDemand app like it was supposed to. Just using the OnDemand app, I wasn’t able to book any trips. Finally after messing around with stop locations, I got a trip booked. They ended up using a contracted taxi. I didn’t feel that provided adequate COVID safety so I cancelled my ride. Played around with the stops some more and got a minibus. It actually came promptly. I was the only one on board, and it drove me straight to my destination.

Going back I had just as much trouble with the apps. Couldn’t book anything. But as I’m waiting at the station an OnDemand minibus pulls up. Unfortunately, because I didn’t book a trip, I couldn’t get on. I couldn’t even just tell the operator where I wanted to go. So I have to take the regular bus and walk the rest of the way.
I didn't get a chance to use OnDemand (well, I don't live in the qualifying area anyway so probably won't ever). Also it seems that Transit app has updated the schedules as of today. I hope I cover them all but I may miss some.
2 routes for the 10-min all day network is the same as expected:
Routes 900, 901 (replaces the former 401)

3 routes revised to be every 15 min all day, and not every 5-10 min as previous schedules suggested:
Routes 915, 916, 902

3 more routes will have 15-min service during the peak hours and then 30-min service outside of those times. The 'peak hours' are typically around 6h to 9h and then 15h/16h to 19h:
Routes 216, 224, 302

7 routes make up the remainder of the infrequent all day 30 minute network:
Routes 120, 403, 407, 405, 410, 905, 917

I think some good next steps in the post-COVID world would definitely be reinstatement of some of the removed routes that are currently on-demand only. Depending on ridership growth, it may be a good idea to reduce the headways on the 915 from 15 minutes to 10 minutes or better; this is the 3rd busiest DRT route and captures a lot of ridership from the newer neighbourhoods in northeast Durham plus it acts as a N-S route for Ajax. I'd say it is very likely to be the next "Pulse" route. It is also beneficial to expand the 10 and 15 minute routes to run well into the late evening and night (not necessarily 24h). Whitby lacks a N-S all day frequent route (the other 3 towns/cities are now served by at least 1 all day frequent N-S route) so I would suggest the 302 to expand from 15 min peak/30 min all-day to 15 min all-day. Also because I live near and I'd like to take the 302 to Whitby station without checking the schedule 😁
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Smoother experience with the OnDemand service now. The Transit app and OnDemand app are now linked like they were supposed to.

You can plan a trip in the Transit app and it will suggest a trip and OnDemand if it is available.

After speaking with customer service: it turns out there are set drop off locations based on one’s pick up location. That’s why rides may not be available if one doesn’t put in those specific locations. I suggested that DRT make this a bit more flexible to make the service easier to use.

Personally, still not a fan of the contracted taxi. Hopefully DRT can bring it all in house.
Received this Metrolinx's newsletter today:
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One other observation from looking at the station/stop stop for Rouge Park; Canada's only urban National Park.

That seems kinda goofy.

People, in theory, can walk from Sheppard/Pt. Union, but that's a bit of a jaunt, 925M to be precise; downhill one way.............but uphill the other!

Now, its only 550M from Altona Rd. But there's still the matter of a steep hill.

From both a tourism and a social equity lens, I think it would make sense to put a stop in at the Glen Rouge entrance to the park.

I saw this in a design drawing for whitby, thought it was interesting. Dundas street through downtown whitby will become a very short transit mall, it seems, with no cars allowed. Only pedestrians and bus lanes! Sidewalks will extend right up to the centre bus lanes, replacing the outer traffic lanes. So, I guess this would be the first transit mall for Durham (and the GTA?), although a very short one lol. I've never been in a car-free transit mall so that would be cool. However, it's still under review and I'm sure the less-than-pleased drivers will push for this section to allow cars.

From both a tourism and a social equity lens, I think it would make sense to put a stop in at the Glen Rouge entrance to the park.

Not to mention it would round out the number of stops to a very nice "50" :D There's no bus stop there at all today.
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