On-Demand Transit Service Design in Breslau

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What are we doing?

Grand River Transit (GRT) and Metrolinx (the provincial agency delivering GO Transit services and responsible for transit coordination across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area) have partnered to engage the community and design an on-demand transit service in Breslau, a residential and employment area located in the Township of Woolwich. GRT has run several on-demand service pilots in the Region of Waterloo, and we’ll use lessons-learned to develop a service that meets community needs and enhances connections to local and interregional transit. This project aims to connect people to nearby jobs, local destinations, and other GRT and GO Transit routes, and offers the opportunity to bring transit to Breslau in the short term. This pilot has been in the works since 2019, and is planned to operate for a minimum of one year.

What is on-demand transit?

On-demand transit differs from conventional transit in that there is no fixed route, rides are shared, and levels of vehicle supply are matched to demand. This type of transit service is useful in areas with low densities, indirect roads, and other physical barriers. While demand for transit may be low relative to other parts of the region, the need for transit in these areas is real and delivering cost-effective solutions requires creativity and community engagement. See below for an example of a typical journey via on-demand transit.

What are we asking?

GRT is seeking members of the public to provide their input, preferences and ideas about what an appropriate transit service in Breslau ought to look like. We're looking to hear from those who live and work in Breslau, as well as those interested in travelling to and from Breslau. If this describes you, we'd love for you to be involved!

The project team will use a variety of surveys, workshops, and interviews to ask you about where and when you'd like to travel, obstacles to transit use that need to be overcome, and elements of an on-demand service you would like to see. These results will be used to design and implement an on-demand pilot service that reflects the input of all participants.

At this stage, the project team has prepared a general survey asking about your travel behaviour and familiarity with on-demand transit, as well as a few questions about who you are. We're also looking for participants to be involved in interviews and workshops in the coming weeks. See below for links to both surveys.

Why Breslau?

Breslau is a fast-growing and economically-important part of the Region that currently lacks direct transit connections, and will be home to a future GO Transit station. On-demand transit has the potential to provide convenient and affordable transit service to Breslau for the first time, and create interim connections to existing GRT and GO services in Kitchener and Cambridge before the GO station opens in the coming years.

Please subscribe to this page (on the sidebar) to received email updates about the project as it progresses.

What are we doing?

Grand River Transit (GRT) and Metrolinx (the provincial agency delivering GO Transit services and responsible for transit coordination across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area) have partnered to engage the community and design an on-demand transit service in Breslau, a residential and employment area located in the Township of Woolwich. GRT has run several on-demand service pilots in the Region of Waterloo, and we’ll use lessons-learned to develop a service that meets community needs and enhances connections to local and interregional transit. This project aims to connect people to nearby jobs, local destinations, and other GRT and GO Transit routes, and offers the opportunity to bring transit to Breslau in the short term. This pilot has been in the works since 2019, and is planned to operate for a minimum of one year.

What is on-demand transit?

On-demand transit differs from conventional transit in that there is no fixed route, rides are shared, and levels of vehicle supply are matched to demand. This type of transit service is useful in areas with low densities, indirect roads, and other physical barriers. While demand for transit may be low relative to other parts of the region, the need for transit in these areas is real and delivering cost-effective solutions requires creativity and community engagement. See below for an example of a typical journey via on-demand transit.

What are we asking?

GRT is seeking members of the public to provide their input, preferences and ideas about what an appropriate transit service in Breslau ought to look like. We're looking to hear from those who live and work in Breslau, as well as those interested in travelling to and from Breslau. If this describes you, we'd love for you to be involved!

The project team will use a variety of surveys, workshops, and interviews to ask you about where and when you'd like to travel, obstacles to transit use that need to be overcome, and elements of an on-demand service you would like to see. These results will be used to design and implement an on-demand pilot service that reflects the input of all participants.

At this stage, the project team has prepared a general survey asking about your travel behaviour and familiarity with on-demand transit, as well as a few questions about who you are. We're also looking for participants to be involved in interviews and workshops in the coming weeks. See below for links to both surveys.

Why Breslau?

Breslau is a fast-growing and economically-important part of the Region that currently lacks direct transit connections, and will be home to a future GO Transit station. On-demand transit has the potential to provide convenient and affordable transit service to Breslau for the first time, and create interim connections to existing GRT and GO services in Kitchener and Cambridge before the GO station opens in the coming years.

Please subscribe to this page (on the sidebar) to received email updates about the project as it progresses.

  • Preliminary preferred details and final questions posted

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    As we near the end of the engagement process, we've now developed some preliminary preferred details outlining how the service will function, and we're looking to confirm some additional information around service hours, trip purposes, and how frequently you might use the service. You can view these service details and provide your input by clicking here! These brief questions will only take a couple minutes to answer, and will be available until March 12.

    In response to requests for more information about on-demand transit, please also visit the FAQ widget for a recent report from the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute, synthesizing the on-demand transit state-of-practice in Canada. This report provides an overview of how it's been operated in other parts of the country and some background about how it fits with broader transit systems.

  • Follow-up survey now closed

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    Thanks to all who participated in our follow-up survey about stop types, booking methods, and vehicles. The survey's now closed, but we received great feedback about your preferences and we'll be using these findings to pose final questions and present preferred design details later in January. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss the project in the interim, please reach out to one of the project contacts (see the "Who's Listening" tab in the sidebar).

    For more information about on-demand transit in general and about this project in particular, please visit the "FAQ" widget in the project sidebar.

  • Follow-up survey online now!

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    supporting image

    In fall 2020, the Region of Waterloo and Metrolinx developed an initial survey to collect community feedback on connecting people in the Region to and from destinations in Breslau with on-demand transit. The initial survey closed on September 25, 2020, with a number of interviews with potential customers and other key community stakeholders held afterwards. Following these engagement activities, feedback was analyzed by Overlap Associates and the project team. In our first round of engagement, we heard the following from the community:

    • Employees, employers, and students all expressed their desire for the service to help meet journey-to-work/school trips. This means that we need to pay special attention to shift and bell times, as well as the connections this service can make to fixed-schedule GRT and GO Transit services.
    • Overall, there’s a strong appetite for some type of transit service in Breslau. While most respondents were supportive of the on-demand concept, we heard that it’s important for the service to be as convenient and affordable as possible.
    • Among potential connecting locations, Central Station and Kitchener GO Rail topped the list, and Sportsworld Station and university / college connections also ranked high. We’ll keep these preferences in mind as we develop service parameters.
    • While the volume of travel in the community has dropped significantly from pre-pandemic levels, people are generally travelling for the same reasons – and there’s likely to be a strong contingent of the community who will use transit if appropriate measures are in place or once widespread COVID-19 vaccination has taken place.

    We’ve used these and other findings to develop and propose a number of potential elements that the on-demand transit service could include. These service elements have been designed to get a sense for customer preferences and get more feedback to inform the final design of an on-demand transit pilot in Breslau. Please review the follow-up survey we’ve posted on this page, review the elements, and let us know what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see changed. Please note that we’ll also be reaching out to other stakeholders to conduct a few more interviews in the coming weeks, and will offer another opportunity to engage and ask even more specific questions about service details. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact a project team representative (contact info in the sidebar) if you have any questions.

    Thanks for helping bring transit to Breslau!

  • November Update

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    Thanks to everyone who participated in the first round of engagement for this project – we’re well on our way to designing an on-demand transit service for Breslau. The second round will begin later in the fall and include a survey outlining ways in which the service could function, building on the insights we’ve gathered to date. Images representing on-demand service elements will be posted to this page and feedback solicited via additional surveying shortly: in the interim, please review some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in the project sidebar.