Province Contributes to Cobourg and Port Hope Transit

At an announcement on Friday (16 August), MPP David Piccini said that the Provincial Government will provide $413K funding to Cobourg’s Transit and $90K funding to Port Hope’s.  Cobourg will use the funds to help replace three buses and Port Hope will upgrade their Transit accessibility.  Over the past several months, Port Hope and Cobourg have been holding discussions on how to link their transit systems to gain efficiencies and better interoperability.  John Henderson said that this funding will go a long way to helping connect the two Communities.  Both Mayors (John Henderson and Bob Sanderson) and the Warden (John Logel) were at the announcement together with Councillors Brian Darling and Adam Bureau.  Additional funding is expected (hoped for?) from the Federal Government.

Transit Announcement
John Logel, David Piccini, John Henderson, Bob Sanderson

Note that integration of the Transit systems in Port Hope and Cobourg is an objective in Cobourg’s Strategic plan under the Partnership Pillar:

Work with transit authorities in the area to integrate transit services, including accessible and active transportation services.

The funding is part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) which is a joint Federal, Provincial and Municipal program. If approved, the nominated projects will be eligible for total funding of more than $1.5 million from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.  MPP Piccini emphasized that this funding is for projects outside of the GTA.  There is no prediction of the effect that the election might have on federal funding nor of the timing of Federal approval.

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Michelle
21 August 2019 8:34 pm

I find the sounds of garbage trucks, buses, fire trucks and ambulances kinda comforting. These are the services we pay for.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Michelle
23 August 2019 3:01 pm

But try riding one of our transit buses some time. The noise inside from the diesel engine is beyond endurance. Listening to music on head phones is impossible. I literally cannot tell if there is any music there or not.
I think we should take the plunge and get electric battery-driven buses and have done with it, including all that expensive maintenance required by obsolete diesel technology.

Michelle
20 August 2019 4:43 pm

I ride the bus at least 4 times a week. I have a bike which is great in the warmer months but not helpful in the winter. I bought a house here in part because there is a transit system. The service is essential to me. The town has an excellent walk score as well however, I unexpectedly developed a problem with one of my legs, which can happen as we age, and walking became quite a challenge.

Jesse
20 August 2019 11:57 am

Frenchy, not all can afford private transportation, as the population grows, public transportation will become the norm.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Jesse
20 August 2019 12:57 pm

Norm or not, as the population ages door-to-door transport (private car or taxi) will become essential. Public transit that requires a lengthy walk while carrying parcels is useless for those not especially fit.

Frenchy
Reply to  Jesse
20 August 2019 1:14 pm

Jesse, I’m not opposed to buses, I think they are a great idea and necessary. I’m just opposed to
big empty noisy ones.
Electric might be an idea worth looking at.

Merry Mary
Reply to  Frenchy
21 August 2019 9:24 am

As someone who uses both the Cobourg Transit System and,occasionally, the Port Hope System, the transferring from one to the other is already seemless and with the exception of early morning and later afternoon to evening the buses are full, often with some riders having to stand. Given the complexities of both Cobourg’s Route One and Route Two Buses, which travel the full distances from west to east and from south to north, it is difficult to imagine how the Cobourg Transit System could improve in that regard. Without naming names, the Cobourg Buses are by far not the only type of vehicles within the Town that are noisy!!

Frenchy
Reply to  Merry Mary
21 August 2019 10:17 pm

it is difficult to imagine how the Cobourg Transit System could improve

Maybe you’re right Merry Mary, maybe we should send the money back to the province and tell them to give it to some other municipality that needs an improvement.
Here in Cobourg, we’re Okey Dokey.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Merry Mary
23 August 2019 3:05 pm

It’s an unfortunate feature of our system here that the buses run totally empty or just one or two riders for much of the time, but can be overfull for short periods as noted. We have to run buses with no riders in order to have them there when everyone needs transportation at the same time, as you state.

Mark
Reply to  Jim Thomas
23 August 2019 3:43 pm

Just wondering , which 1/2 hour is the bus full
Electric buses would be a great purchase
The police probably look at electric cars , the area they look after is not large

GailR
20 August 2019 11:20 am

If there was a bus service that went seamlessly between Cobourg and Port Hope I would definitely use it. Hopefully it would be smaller and much quieter – maybe even electric as with Quebec City buses in the CBD. Haven’t set foot on a Cobourg bus yet,

Jim Thomas
Reply to  GailR
23 August 2019 3:06 pm

What’s a CBD?
Please don’t force us to decode in order to get your message.

Jeffy
Reply to  Jim Thomas
24 August 2019 12:15 pm

Central business district

Miriam Mutton
20 August 2019 10:07 am

Many people retiring to this area will age out of being able to drive their own cars; and, many others are trying very hard to care for themselves and their families on minimum wage and not being able to afford a private vehicle to use getting back and forth to work. A reliable public transit service will become an even more important essential service in our community to support independence of citizens. And how about getting to schools across town? So, how reliable is the transit service? Town Council needs to find out in order to make appropriate changes to improve the service. For example, what can be done to address times when buses are way off schedule. Tracking a bus on a mobile device is not an option for everyone.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
20 August 2019 11:11 am

How about investigating the Uber / Innisfil partnership model? See https://www.uber.com/en-CA/blog/the-story-of-innisfil/ for some details. We could ditch the expensive, noisy and inconvenient buses and provide a better service for less.

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Ken Strauss
20 August 2019 1:11 pm

https://www.tvo.org/article/why-one-ontario-towns-uber-experiment-shows-that-theres-no-quick-fix-for-public-transit
Possibly because of reasons explored in this link, the Innisfil experiment may not be the answer.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
20 August 2019 2:27 pm

Perhaps but… “Staff estimate that the program will cost $1.2 million this year, well above the $900,000 that was budgeted. Transit isn’t cheap to run at the best of times”. Considering the differences in population (Innisfil at 37,000 and Cobourg at 19,500) even $1.2M is a considerably lower cost per capita than Cobourg’s bus. Plus, the Innisfil service is far more convenient than Cobourg’s bus.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Miriam Mutton
23 August 2019 3:10 pm

I was told recently that taxis in Cobourg are hard to get early in the morning because they are all booked for getting students to school.
Who knew?

cornbread
20 August 2019 9:10 am

1 imperial gallon of diesel produces 26.562 lb. of CO2…our 2 big buses probably each consume 20 gallons a day, times 7 days, times 52 weeks, times 2 buses equals 386,743 lbs of CO2 per year…and that gets spread over our town of about 10 square miles….hopefully my math is fairly correct.

cornbread
Reply to  cornbread
21 August 2019 3:08 pm

4 thumbs down, 1 more than up, shows me that some people in Cobourg either can’t do the math, or they have their heads in the ground when it comes to CO2 levels. Love to see any thumbs down comments.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  cornbread
21 August 2019 4:07 pm

I didn’t give you a thumbs up or down, I don’t know how much diesel a Cobourg bus uses each day although I suspect that it is more than 20 gallons, Google tells me that an Imperial gallon of diesel produces about 26.8 pounds of CO2 rather than 26.562 pounds, I didn’t verify your other numbers and I don’t think that heavily subsidized large and mostly empty buses are a good use of our tax dollars. That said, 386,000 pounds of CO2 over 6400 acres is considerably less than 60 pounds for the typical lot in Cobourg. Since a single tree needs about 60 pounds of CO2 per year the amount from buses is insufficient to significantly enhance our lawns and gardens.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 August 2019 3:15 pm

Plus we are talking about cubic miles, not square miles of atmosphere, since it goes way, way up, and it all gets carried off over the lake and the landscape very quickly, and diluted and absorbed by vegetation.
Not helpful to promote the notion that it lingers and accumulates over our municipality.

Jeffy
20 August 2019 8:53 am

For the number of people that use transit a couple of Corollas would suffice.

Jim Thomas
Reply to  Jeffy
23 August 2019 3:16 pm

Except during rush hours, when the buses are packed. I know whereof I speak.

Lyle
20 August 2019 8:50 am

Nows the time to ask the Feds for some money as they are buying as many votes as possible, as far as the current passenger problem perhaps the town could get a local decal company to put darkened images on the bus windows to make it look like there are riders :))) So much for all this chatter about saving the planet

Durka
Reply to  Lyle
20 August 2019 9:07 am

Always people on it when I look and the stop near my place always has people waiting.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Durka
20 August 2019 11:13 am

Always people on it when I look and the stop near my place always has people waiting.

What fraction of the seats are filled? Wouldn’t smaller and cheaper buses be better?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Lyle
20 August 2019 11:01 am

Whether from the Feds or the Province or Cobourg everything is paid for by the same taxpayers! I fear that the “free money” announced will only encourage Cobourg to continue with a completely uneconomic transit system that doesn’t even satisfy a need.

According to the last Cobourg transit study (and not a lot has changed since then) there were about 112,000 rides/year. Our transit system cost $810,395 to operate or about $7.20 per ride yet the average fare paid was only $1.21. In a large city public transit might be justified to reduce congestion but in Cobourg?

cornbread
20 August 2019 8:33 am

Our Cobourg Bus System has a huge Carbon Footprint per actual passenger travelled mile…is there an engineer in town who could do the math on this one? Perhaps a couple of much smaller electric vans could do the job most of the time as I often follow the current large capacity buses around town during the day and only see a couple of passengers onboard most of the time. Perhaps a well run airport shuttle bus company could help our city fathers see a new light as opposed to another possible high price consultant.

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  cornbread
20 August 2019 4:28 pm

Forget the “city fathers”. Let’s get our inspiration from the Mothers instead, they get things done right in half the time for half the money.

Frenchy
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
20 August 2019 7:14 pm

I’m with you sister!
We have almost half (one of them in a pretty dominant spot) of council being female, let’s see what they can do. I voted for two of them, only because they were women and they were new.

Mark
19 August 2019 6:42 pm

I hope the new bus for Cobourg are same size as Port Hope bus

Frenchy
Reply to  Mark
19 August 2019 9:04 pm

big
noisy
empty
buses