10 Aug

Routes sketched out for GO bus service to Brantford

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Since Premier Kathleen Wynne announced nearly three months ago Brantford would have GO Transit service starting in September, officials have been busy with behind-the-scenes preparations.
At a committee of the whole meeting in late June, members of Brantford council gave public works commission general manager Beth Goodger authorization to execute any cost recovery agreements with Metrolinx (GO Transit’s provincial parent agency) required to get the planned bus service up and running.
“This is an exciting time for Brantford and for Metrolinx as we continue to work together to introduce this new GO Bus service to the community this September,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Alex Burke. “New GO Bus service to Brantford will connect the community to the GO Transit network and the surrounding Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. It will also provide a reliable transit connection between Brantford and McMaster University.”
In April, GO Transit unveiled a plan to give Brantford twice as much bus service as the city’s 2014 business case requested.
The plan is to connect the Brantford Transit terminal on Darling Street with GO Transit’s Aldershot station in Burlington.
A report by Goodger delivered in late June stated that Brantford Transit has met with Metrolinx several times to discuss routing requirements from Highway 403 to the downtown transit terminal, stop locations, bus storage and fueling requirements.
Metrolinx has confirmed there will be 26 bus trips per day on weekdays and 18 trips per day on weekends, yet the schedule is still under development.
The route out of Brantford follows Darling to King Street, Colborne Street and Wayne Gretzky Parkway to Highway 403 East.
The return trip to Brantford will follow Highway 403 West, Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Colborne Street, Dalhousie Street, Clarence Street and Darling Street.
Additional stop locations along the routes are being finalized. Metrolinx will be working with the city to identify stop locations and to have the stops upgraded to meet their accessibility standards.
Tentative bus stop locations include Park Avenue, Puleston Street/Kiwanis Way, Chatham Street, Elgin Street and Henry Street.
The route will serve, in Hamilton, the McMaster Innovation Park bus stops on Longwood Road South at Frid Street, including the McMaster University GO terminal with timed train connections at the Aldershot GO Station in Burlington.
Brantford council has approved an extension of the no-parking restrictions on the north side of Darling Street just west of the transit terminal to provide an additional GO Transit bus stop.
Metrolinx has secured storage space for five double-decker buses from the city’s fleet services at the transit service centre, 400 Grand River Ave. Brantford Power has agreed to relinquish one of their three storage bays leased from the city for storage of three GO buses. The other two buses will be parked outside at the transit service centre. Fueling, minor maintenance and cleaning will be completed nightly by fleet services staff at the transit service centre.
Other requirement being fulfilled at the transit service centre include creating areas for drivers’ lunches and breaks, the installation of an 80-metre radio tower for bus communication, wi-fi installation driver information and Presto data collection.
Brantford Transit will also make sure its service levels are adequate to ensure passengers access to GO Transit buses, which may require an increase in service early in the morning and at night.
There will be room for improvements by Brantford Transit as it undergoes a needs assessment as part of a operational review. Transit terminal funding of $50,000 has been set aside in the 2016 capital budget, while $300,000 has been budgeted for renovations in 2017.


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