Transit Hours to be reduced

Because of the Covid-19 Crisis, ridership on Cobourg’s Transit system has been substantially reduced and Town staff proposed that hours of operation be reduced “to further protect drivers and riders from being unnecessarily exposed and to discourage riders from using transit for purposes other than essential work, medical appointments, or pharmacy/grocery supplies. The proposed hours will meet the demand of those using transit to commute to work and when essential businesses are open.” At Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, new hours of operation were approved.  Transit will continue to be free, rear door entry only, passengers limited to 8 and 2 meter spacing required.  Similarly, the demand for Wheels has dropped so its service hours will also be reduced to be in line with demand.

The saving with the change will be $7,300 per week.

Here are the changes


  Existing Schedule / Hrs New Schedule / Hrs
Route 1 Route 2
Monday to
6:15 AM-
7:45 PM
13.5 hrs 7:00 AM-
5:30 P.M
10.5 hrs 7- 10am
5 hrs
Saturday 8:15 AM-
6:45 PM
10.5 hrs 8:30-4:30 8 hrs 0 0 hrs
Sunday 8:45 AM-
3:45 PM
7 hrs 0 hrs 0 hrs 0 0 hrs

Route 1 includes the East End and the mall while Route 2 covers the North East and William Street.  More detail on the Cobourg Internet Transit Page here or the Town’s Transit page here. (Download the schedule to see the routes).


Since March 14, 2020 Wheels ridership has dropped by over 85% Monday to Saturday and over 90% on Sunday. Daily ridership is averaging at 3 when it is typically 24. Wheels must continue to operate at an early hour in the morning for dialysis patients and the last drop off for dialysis patients is 4:30.

  Existinq Schedule / Hrs New Schedule / Hrs
Monday to
6:15 AM-
10:00 PM
15.75 hrs 6:45 AM-
5:30 PM
10.75 hrs
Saturday 8:15 AM-
6:45 PM
10.5 hrs 8:30 AM-
4:30 PM
8 hrs
Sunday 8:45 AM-
3:45 PM
7 hrs 0 hrs 0 hrs

It should be noted that Wheels is not an on demand service. Bookings must be made the day before usage.

The changes will go into effect on April 13 – notices will be prepared and posted on shelters, the website will be updated and unused bus stops will be bagged, if necessary.

Although all Councillors approved, ratification at the regular Council meeting on April 14 is required. The approved motion also includes delegating authority to the CAO to re-implement regular transit services incrementally or fully when required.

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Deborah O'Connor
11 April 2020 8:59 pm

Chew on this, boys. “Indeed, one of the reasons people may resist the idea of free public transit is that the cost is shared by all residents, whether or not they use public transit. This is true of many services, not least the way that we highly subsidize private car use through road and highway infrastructure at a much higher rate (more than six times!) than transit, therefore incentivizing personal vehicle use over public transit”.

Excerpt from :

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
11 April 2020 9:14 pm

Deborah, this discussion is about cancelling the bus to protect Cobourg’s residents and bus drivers. Why do you continue to ignore this goal? I find it hard to believe that any intelligent person can fail to comprehend the importance of slowing the spread of a pandemic.

Deborah O'Connor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
11 April 2020 9:21 pm

Are you the official censorship czar for the blog? Who appointed you to critique the comments made by others? Jeez.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
11 April 2020 9:25 pm

Absolutely no censorship Ms. O’Connor. However posters who repeatedly choose to ignore the health of our residents must be challenged.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
11 April 2020 9:55 pm

Pot calling the kettle black. If you can’t argue a point logically, please refrain from name calling.

Are you capable of having an adult conversation about the worst health and financial crisis facing humankind?

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
12 April 2020 10:27 am

I appointed him on a temporary basis but he is on probation😏

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
11 April 2020 9:44 pm

As usual, you’re missing the point of the discussion completely. Stay focused on the subject at hand, which is the health risk of spreading COVID-19 through public transit. By ignoring the risks, are you and Walter suggesting there are none? This has nothing to do with rich or poor. This has to do with stopping the spread of a lethal virus.Chew on that and think about saving someone from becoming seriously ill and the efforts of our frontline health care workers.

Walter Luedtke
11 April 2020 1:16 pm

It takes a crisis to bring out the best or the worst in people.
Some folks in our community pull together in the face of hardship, uncertainty and outright fear.
Others stoop to use the crisis to trot out their mean-spirited, long-held grudges to point fingers and attack Council, Town Staff and members of some professions. In older times, they would hunt witches.
Typically, they snipe from cover, hiding behind pseudonyms.
Canuck Patriot accuses our Council to be ‘morally responsible’ for a corona death infection caught on our buses.
He/she is entitled to his/her own brand of hysteria, but Council and we are entitled to know the name of the accuser.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
11 April 2020 2:00 pm

Walter, rather than attacking the poster please consider if his/her comment is accurate. If someone — passenger or driver — is stricken where should the blame lie? What if the passenger or driver then infects another, where should the blame lie?

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
11 April 2020 3:22 pm

By deciding to allow our bus service to continue, one has to conclude that Council has considered all the risks and either there are none or they are minimal.

Did they consult with public health experts beforehand? What hygiene measures are being practiced? Is hand sanitizer or wipes available for all passengers? Are passengers required to wear face masks to help avoid exhaling droplets?

I saw no discussion of these critical points when Council considered the matter. When Council makes a decision it and it alone must assume full moral responsibility for any consequences that result. When the risk of infection leading to possible death is high, why are we gambling with people’s lives?

Asking legitimate questions about public health and safety has nothing to do with being mean spirited or trotting out any sort of grudge.

Walter you may not care about making others sick when the situation is avoidable. But I do.

There is no justifiable reason to risk the health and welfare of our community and overload our health care system.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
11 April 2020 3:48 pm

…but Council and we are entitled to know the name of the accuser.

No kidding. And whom is this anonymous “we” that you write of? Hmmm? Is that a “we” that you have made up out of nothing? So what is this Quixotic posture that the great Walter Luedtke runs to defend Council, whether they asked for it or not, and standing with others hiding behind a plural possessive pronoun — “we“. The fact remains that Walter and the “we” that he uses as a shield, are entitled to no such thing. He presumes he has that entitlement, but it is all huff and puff from a condescending righteous snobspeaker posing as a unicorn.

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  Wally Keeler
12 April 2020 7:56 am

“We” is a personal pronoun. You may want to consult ‘Mastering Effective English’, used in High School composition classes, to avoid embarrassing mistakes in the future,

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
12 April 2020 9:33 am

Walter, when referring to a single person, as in your posting, “we” is only used by a monarch — the “royal we” or pluralis majestatis. Was that your intent?

Canuck Patriot
9 April 2020 11:13 am

Sorry but Council needs to get their collective heads out of the sand and face the sobering reality that we are in a pandemic. Public transit has got to be one of the prime means of contributing to the community spread of COVID-19. There is absolutely no way the buses can be sanitized properly as passengers embark or disembark and it’s got to be a challenge at the best of times to maintain the 2 meter distance requirement. I’m not a hygiene expert but keeping the windows open to blow the COVID droplets around doesn’t sound like it’s a smart move either.

By making the decision they did, Council is assuming moral responsibility for anyone who contracts the virus as a result of being exposed to or by a passenger who has COVID-19 and who dies as a result.

What is so hard to understand about self-isolation?

Merry Mary
Reply to  Canuck Patriot
9 April 2020 3:37 pm

There has been some very positive data on John’s “Go here” (top right) link for weeks regarding the confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, confirmed community outbreaks in the entire Northumberland County. This week: LCBO: one young cashier with customers and two other older employees standing around close together talking and laughing. WALMART: two young cashiers with customers while other older employees are standing around talking or filling the shelves with merchandise within less than 2 metres and so forth around the town of Cobourg. Ideal practises on Public Transit.

9 April 2020 10:51 am

So we worry about public transit, the dog park and walking on the beaches etc, etc.
But what we must know are the REAL numbers of virus cases in Northumberland.
And this can only be found out by testing, testing and more testing.
Premier Ford has emerged as a strong leader and is getting frustrated about the pace of testing. Ford said yesterday he is directing his top health officials to immediately start conducting up to 13,000 tests a day. This week, Ontario only tested about 2,500 to 3,200 people a day,
Somebody in political authority in our County should join Ford in putting on the pressure.
As Ford said, “no more excuses!’
We are entitled to know the real numbers.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Curmudgeon
11 April 2020 3:52 pm
The shipment of much-needed swabs, a critical component of the testing, was the first instalment of a big order procured by the federal government, with hundreds of thousands of more from the contaminated batch on the way. The contamination is believed to be mould.
Without the federal order, the province currently has about 200,000 swabs on hand, enough for seven to 10 days’ worth of tests, according to provincial officials. Multiple agencies and departments are actively working on acquiring more.

Constance Mealing
9 April 2020 9:55 am

What a joke! There is only a couple of people ever on those big buses Waste of money. Smaller buses needed.

Reply to  Constance Mealing
9 April 2020 10:23 am

…except for rush hour at the start and end of the work day, when buses are often full, in my experience. Special events and holiday festivals, too, no doubt. Full sized buses needed at those times.

Cobourg taxpayer
Reply to  JimT
9 April 2020 7:48 pm

I have lived in Cobourg for 16 years and have never seen a full bus: they should be commuter van size.

Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
9 April 2020 8:01 pm

Eliminating the bus entirely would be even better.

Greg H
Reply to  Constance Mealing
10 April 2020 10:42 am

I believe the major reasons that few people use the Cobourg Transit buses is that they are infrequent, circuitous, and there is little publicly available information about them. The article above by John Draper gives more information about the buses than is generally available. My suggestions for improvement, in the long term, are: Simplify the routes, and make them more straight. For instance one route could go from Northumberland Mall, to the hospital, then down William Street, past the library, then east along King Street through downtown and continue along King Street East to the town limits at Lucas Point Industrial Mall. The second route would be from the bus station on Albert, up Division Street to the 401 and return on D’Arcy Street past the CCC and then to the bus station. This would make the CCC much more convenient for public transit users. Both routes would have almost no meandering through neighbourhoods, but would be straight, just like streetcars used to be, and still are in Toronto. The direct nature of the routes would mean that, instead of an hourly schedule , both routes could be every half hour. Passengers would travel more quickly, and it would be clear where the buses go. Thus travelling by bus would become more attractive. Each bus stop would have a simplified map showing where the buses go, and also a notice about the time of the first and last buses. Cobourg buses would take Presto cards. Did you know even today the same Presto card can be used on the TTC, GO Transit ( buses and trains), and on the new LRT in Ottawa, and in other cities ? If the buses were more frequent they could be smaller to save on operating costs, and perhaps a third route would then… Read more »

Reply to  Greg H
10 April 2020 10:58 am

I have always found the routes confusing and they are often not using the headliner as I see them travelling about trying to see the little route display in the window before they pass. As I view the two way routes on the map provided I wish they were of different colour to differentiate. There are those that have complained they have a long walk in to their homes who might not like the straight routes that miss neighbourhoods. Some have stated they are full at “rush” hour so they would need more if smaller buses were used. Glad to see someone else finds the routes confusing.

Greg H
Reply to  Observer
10 April 2020 11:09 am

Generally straight routes do not go through every neighbourhood, but the frequency of them makes them more useful for most people. A third route could address issues of areas without transit, such as New Amherst and West Park Village.