Comments on Draft 2015-2040 Strategic Plan

In early December the City released a Draft of it’s 2015-2040 Strategic Plan. The following are comments submitted to the City on behalf of BFAST:

Actions not matching words
Like previous strategic plans, this update contains a number of good goals and objectives. What is missing is the follow-up implementation reflected in specific plans, actions and budgets to make these goals a reality.

This is particularly true in the transportation sector in general and transit in particular. There are many statements about transit throughout the document:

“Key Strategic Impacts – “better infrastructure and public transportation”; More Public Transportation and Modal Splits”; and, “Improved traffic flows within the city and region through improved public transportation”

The fact that the City’s actions do not match its words can be seen in the soon to be approved City Budget for 2016. Despite overall cuts to the transit budget over the past four years, worsened by recent fare increases and service changes, the 2016 budget is exactly the same as the 2015 budget, In fact, when inflation is considered, the 2016 transit budget is actually less than 2015.

The service cuts, schedule changes, and fare increases has resulted in a 17% drop in transit ridership over the past three years. In contrast, our neighbor Oakville has seen large increases in transit use as a result of higher funding and the resulting better service levels.

Since the completion of the iTrans 5 year review in 2009, the city has had no well researched, long-term transit plan, Also, it appears that the ongoing Transportation Master Plan will not develop a long-term transit plan.

We note again that the OMB has required in its approval of ROPA 38, that Burlington increase its transit modal share from the current 2% to 11% by 2030. The Draft Strategic Plan does include the goal of “More Public Transportation and Modal Splits (sic)”- but it has become very clear that the City of Burlington has no intention of meeting this requirement.

Other comments
Healthier Environment: The transportation sector is ignored in the discussion of energy conservation initiatives. Motor vehicles are a major source of GHG’s and air pollution. The reduction of single occupant motor vehicle trips through more transit, walking and cycling should be included.

Mobility Hubs: So far, the city has not identified any mobility hubs north of the QEW. There should be a mobility hub planned for north Burlington to connect 407 GO, Dundas St. Bus Rapid Transit, and BT’s northern bus routes.

Doug Brown for BFAST

1 thought on “Comments on Draft 2015-2040 Strategic Plan

  1. John Jones

    I am hoping (though maybe without reason) that once Burlington GO is finally completed, the current routes will be reconfigured and improved, and the city can start to identify “build-out points” to get transit to be better. I have no reason to believe this will happen, but I can dream. 🙂

    Your mention of a northern mobility hub is an interesting one. It brings to mind Oakville’s Uptown Core, which makes me think that Appleby/Dundas might be a good place for a mobility hub; a good transfer point for buses connecting elsewhere.

    Much of Burlington’s “transit solution” at the moment seems to be designed around the idea of people taking a bus from home to a GO station to catch a train, and vice-versa. Very little consideration is in place for those who travel within the city itself, or work within it. The city calls Harvester-QEW-North Service its “employment corridor”, yet runs buses only every 30 minutes along it during rush hour. This is really problematic when you look at the fact that some of the “connecting” buses are at intervals of 20 minutes, as these buses do not connect with each other very well. Why take the bus to work if you are faced with the choice of ending up stuck at the GO station for up to 20 or almost 30 minutes, or leaving your home up to 40 minutes earlier to catch a bus that connects?

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