Complaint-laden service struggles with tight budget
LONDON TRANSIT: Manager Larry Ducharme says the highest priority is the Wonderland corridor where overcrowding is a major concern
By JOHN MINER, The London Free Press
Last Updated: May 13, 2012 7:34pm
As a newcomer to this forum and thread, but longtime reader (you guys post are slightly more insightful than those on the LFPress site) I'd like to jump right in and throw in my two cents on where the LTC can / could improve.
For a poorly funded, and mostly negleted transportation system, the LTC still performs its duties fairly well, and (In my experiences anyways) the staff and operators are well versed in customer service. As for being Ontarios second or third largest public traisit provider, the system could improve greatly, but that prospect seems unlikley to me as London chose long ago to adopt the personal automobile as its main means of mass traisit, therefore making public transit a tough sell. The increased and increasing ridership, should be a red flag to city hall that investment in the LTC is long over due. Londoners can take the tax increase if it means making mobility in the city more efficent, transit, namley public transit, which is key to growth and Londons goal of becoming a "green economy".
Light rail for the city seems like a pipe dream to me, we abandoned our street car system (LSR), and our inter-urban rail system (L&PS and L&LETC) over half a century ago. Their return is at best a long way off.
As for the current LTC, the city is, as usual, not hearing, or most likley, not listening to the non motoring public. I am in full agreement with the posters supporting extending service until 2 am, and moving the Saturday scheduel to Sunday, this should not be done ASAP, it HAS to be done ASAP, if downtown ever truly intends to be a magnet. More shelters, benches, and waste cans are a must. A the bare minimum every stop should have a concrete pad, for both doors of the bus, a bench, a scheduel on the sign post, and a garbage can.
Now regarding the idea being tossed around for a downtown bus terminal....have any of you cats ever considered converting the strech of King Street under the Galleria Mall, into a covered, centralized (just blocks away from VIA Rail, D&R, D&W), and viable (the mall has ample, under utalized underground parking) bus terminal. Make that block of King St. Bus only, add a couble of pedestrian islands and digital signs, a staircase/elevator/escalitor up into the mall, and there you go, boom done, a convienent downtown terminal. This in effect will move all downtown bus traffic out of the over congested D&R intersection with minimal route interruption during the construction phase. Freeing up D&R, and maybe oneday turning Dundas from Richmond to Talbot into a pedestrain only streetscape, would, from my perspective, be a massive step towards saving downtown, adding a level of interest to a rough corner, and clearing up our infestation of crack heads and dealers. Lots of people with jobs has a tendency to scare them away, because classical music dose not seem to be working...
The idea of rerouting CP, and CN around the city to the south and the city acquiring their entire ROW is just stupid, and will never happen, sharing the ROW, now there is a maybe. The Great Western has been there since the mid 1850's, and hopefully still be there in the 2050's, CP since the 1880's. Rail still has promise in North America, especially if the price of fuel continues on its enevatable upward trend.
To conclude my rant with a semi related downtown / traisit related point... the issue of a downtown grocer, what about in the Galleria itself, or in the parking lot at Clarence and King, or, thirdly, the parking lot near Richmond and Horton (also close to / serving SOHO)?