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Guelph Transit changes see $400,000 in savings

The changes to the city’s bus system that went into effect Sunday, including a switch from 15-minute to 20-minute peak service, are expected to save the city about $400,000 this year.
This estimated saving in fuel and maintenance costs comes from a 10 per cent reduction in the number of kilometres that Guelph Transit buses will now travel, says a new city staff report.
“There is no labour savings associated with the changes, as the same number of vehicles are required to provide 20-minute service as 15-minute service in the peak” travel times, the report says.  “The difference is the speed at which the vehicles travel,” says the new information report from Guelph Transit general manager Michael Anders, which was made public Thursday.
The Feb. 3 changes to the bus system also included additional service on Route 20, and this requires more resources, the report says.
The major revamping of transit routes that came into effect in January 2012, along with the start of 15-minute peak service, included a reduction in service on Route 20, which serves the northwest industrial area.
“Field experience indicated that shift start and finish times for employees in the northwest industrial area of the city were ‘around the clock,’ and that by not providing transit service during certain periods of the day it caused hardship for a number of enterprises and employees in that area of the city,” the report says.
City council voted in December to accept city staff’s recommendation to abandon 15-minute peak service for the time being, largely because passengers were missing too many connections.
The Feb. 3 switch to 20-minute service in peak travel periods leaves the service interval at 30 minutes in off-peak periods – late morning, mid-day, evenings and weekends.
The Feb. 3 change to full service on Route 20 was accompanied by a few other route changes, designed to help the buses operate on schedule.
One of these changes means Routes 2A/B and 3 A/B will no longer take passengers right to Wal-Mart. Instead, to help reduce bus travel times, passengers are now being let off on Woodlawn Road at the main entrance to the SmartCentres Guelph mall.

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