Suggested Actions - Transportation

The following is a synopsis of the discussions of the transportation working group at the Age-Friendly Forum June 2011. The actions below may be initiated by any level of government, community group or individual.

Coordinate cross-boundary services

  • Ask transit providers to re-evaluate their criteria to make it easier to go across municipal boundaries. We need a transit system that works for all. It takes three hours to go from Halton Hills to an appointment in Oakville or Burlington. You cannot get from Acton/Georgetown to Milton.
  • One recommendation is to integrate bus services so services are coordinated from one community to another (e.g., Oakville is integrated with Mississauga’s transit service). People use transfers.
  • Our buses run along main routes but it’s still compartmentalized. Some regions (York and Durham) have ‘regionalized’ their transit through by-laws.

Reduce financial burden for seniors using transit

  • The buses run on their schedule regardless of whether or not they have passengers – why not give free transit pass to seniors, etc. In Scotland, anyone can travel across the city for free. Seniors can get out, explore, and get some exercise.

Improve convenience of bus service for seniors

  • To encourage seniors to use the buses, the buses need to go where the seniors want to go (e.g. public buildings, shopping centres, Seniors’ Centres, parks etc).
  • Transit providers should coordinate routes/bus stops to provide a more “car like experience” with more direct origin/destination routes and frequencies.
  • Consider distance from bus stop when planning spaces and public buildings. The locations of some stops are not very accessible, especially for seniors (400-800 meters is a long distance).
  • Use clear, large signage to identify bus stops.
  • More stops for GO buses.
  • Use smaller buses – it is cheaper.
  • Increase the number of low floor buses in Halton.
  • Support seniors who are transitioning from driving to using buses.
  • Transportation hubs should be planned at locations that meet community needs.
  • Consider a ‘dial a bus’ program (i.e. residents calls for a bus and it would pick them up at their home).

Explore consistent sustained funding. Move away from cost recovery
approach

  • Explore options for consistent long term funding. “Scotland uses a different way of funding  transit”.
  • Sustainability is the issue. Some of the solutions will be incorporated in the bus rapid transit system along Dundas Street.
  • Could the Official Plan amendments incorporate changes so that developers cannot build until there is transit? “Hopefully in the future people will not have two cars and houses will be within walking distance of a bus stop. Convenience is most important.”