Guelph Transit Scored a D+ Rating From TRBOT
In a comprehensive analysis of transit systems in 11 municipalities, conducted by Toronto’s chamber of commerce, Guelph was ranked among the bottom three primarily due to its inadequate provision of frequent service.
According to a recent report from the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT), Guelph Transit has received a D+ grade in their assessment of transit systems across southern Ontario. Among the 11 municipalities examined, including Waterloo Region and Hamilton, Guelph ranked in the bottom three due to its limited frequent service and a decline in service levels between 2010 and 2019.
TRBOT, the chamber of commerce for Toronto, conducted an analysis of transit systems in the Toronto area to identify deficiencies in the network. They evaluated various factors such as service frequency, coverage, punctuality, municipal prioritization of public transit, and integration with neighboring cities.
The report acknowledges that Guelph offers good service considering its smaller size, particularly on the core route connecting the university to downtown. Comparatively, Guelph demonstrates relatively high per capita ridership, with over a third of residents and jobs within walking distance of a basic all-day bus service.
However, the report highlights that the majority of residents and jobs, comprising 35% and 36% respectively, are not within walking distance of a route operating every 15 minutes throughout the day. Furthermore, Guelph experienced a significant 34% decrease in service between 2010 and 2019, resulting in a 14.61% drop in ridership.
Guelph’s score was also affected by its low transit priority, including the absence of dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, and queue-jump lanes. Additionally, the lack of 24-hour service and limited integration with surrounding cities, such as the absence of GO rail service on weekends, contributed to the lower score.
Regarding base service coverage, Guelph fares reasonably well, with 98% of residents and 93% of jobs located within an 800-meter walking distance of a transit stop offering service at least every 30 minutes on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, TRBOT considers this level of coverage as the “bare minimum.”
In terms of reliability, Guelph performs admirably, with buses arriving on time 88.33% of the time, according to Darwin O’Connor, the data compiler for the report. Notably, this data was not included in Guelph’s report card, implying that the overall score could potentially be higher.
To achieve a higher grade, Guelph would need to focus on improving frequent service coverage (with buses operating every 15 minutes throughout the day), implementing 24-hour service, and establishing better integration with neighboring cities like Kitchener and Cambridge to enhance commuting options and alleviate road congestion.