News Local

Considering an expansion of BWG Transit

By Miriam King, Bradford Times

BWG's Bus transit system launched in the spring of 2014, and Council recently received an update on service and plans for potential expansion. SUBMITTED

BWG's Bus transit system launched in the spring of 2014, and Council recently received an update on service and plans for potential expansion. SUBMITTED

The BWG Transit system has seen an increase in ridership, in its third year of operation.

During the first two years, the buses carried approximately 19,000 riders, along two routes; in year 3, that number was up to 24,409 – most of whom (15,701)  rode  the “Crosstown Route” along Holland St. to the GO Train Station; the rest, the “Around Town” route.

Also up was use of Taxi to GO, a shared taxi service subsidized by both the Town and Metrolinx, that carries commuters to and from the GO station, from 5 to 7 a.m., and 5 to 8 p.m.  In its first year, Taxi to GO carried just over 6,000 passengers; in Year 3, that number was up to 9,587 passengers, or about 38 per day.

The Transit system currently consists of 3 community buses – 2 in operation at any one time, one held in reserve – 84 bus stops, 9 bus shelters, and operates weekdays, 5 days a week, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Buses have also been used to provide shuttle service at events like Carrotfest, and free service on New Year's Eve.

The transit report by Paul Dubniak, Transportation Technologist, noted that over the next 2 years, the Town will be conducting a bus stop inventory and issuing new Service/Bus stop guidelines; developing a Ride Guide;  looking into creating a portal to facilitate the purchase of the Easy PASS online, and creating a transit app, that will let passengers know the time of the next bus.

Advertising on buses, and expansion of the service, are also under consideration. Bradford West Gwillimbury has ordered another vehicle, through Crestline Coach, with $76,387 of the total cost paid by a Public Transit Infrastructure Fund grant, that could be used to “augment existing service,” or expand service to new areas.

“It shows that our transit is increasing, our ridership is up, our revenues are up a little bit,” said Deputy Mayor James Leduc, calling for expanded service.

“We do hear comments that it would be nice to have a Saturday service, an evening extended service,” agreed Mayor Rob Keffer.  He urged residents to attend a public open house on Transit, planned for some time in October.

Operational costs of the BWG Transit system in 2016-2017 totalled $361,348; Operational Revenues came to $319,974, including gas tax revenues, Metrolinx subsidies, and fares.