Brent Forsyth Director of Transit and Parking Strategybrent.email@example.com
2018–2022 Strategic Plan
Infrastructure Master Plans
Transit ridership is one of three key performance indicators relating to the Improving the Ability to Get Around priority, one of five priorities outlined in City Council's
2018–2022 Strategic Plan.
Public transit is a vital part of a healthy road network, as demonstrated through the goals set out in the City of Barrie’s Transportation Master Plan where transit modal share targets are to increase from 3% to 7% by 2041. The usage of transit, as demonstrated by the transit ridership, is a leading indicator of the effectiveness of the public transit network.
In January and February of 2020 ridership was tracking slightly higher than the same time period from the previous years. When the pandemic hit, Barrie Transit focused its efforts to supplying safe and reliable transit to continue to support essential travel, as opposed to driving increased ridership. Measures that were implemented include but not limited to rear door boarding, on-bus capacity limitations, installation of driver protective barriers and mandatory masking.
Throughout the pandemic Barrie Transit ridership had fluctuated as low as 25% and as high as 50% of its pre-COVID ridership levels. Without a preemptive funding commitment from other levels of government, Barrie Transit reduced its service hours to as low as 65% of its regular service levels to mitigate further financial losses and, as per the guidance from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, on-bus capacity restrictions we implemented to support physical distancing. As a result of the service level reduction and capacity limitations overall effective capacity of the service was reduced by approximately 70%.
As the focus for 2020 was to continue to provide safe and reliable service for essential travel, Barrie Transit was able to successfully maintained services throughout the pandemic with minimal disruptions, as well as implement some innovative initiatives that have made a positive difference to the community. An example of this included the introduction of the Barrie
Transit on Demand service model which focuses on low-demand areas and could a tool to be used by the City of Barrie to align transit services with the growth of Barrie, in an efficient and affordable manner.
The focus for 2021 will be to establish and implement ridership recovery strategies. Ensuring we continue to offer safe and reliable service, while instilling confidence in our service will be important to encourage the return of ridership. We will continue to monitor and foster activities to support and encourage individuals utilize Barrie Transit, in hopes to drive the goal of working towards Transit’s modal share targets. In 2020, the City of Barrie received official funding approval from the provincial and federal governments for the construction of the Allandale Mobility Hub, set to open late 2022. As a result, work is underway on the transit network design to build a blueprint for growing our existing transit system to best meet the needs and goals of today’s city, while developing a long-term plan for a future network
2019 Performance: 3,295,723
From 2017 to 2019 Barrie Transit ridership grew by approximately 25% as a result of the introduction of the
Georgian College U-Pass. Most of the initial growth occurred in 2018 and stabilized in 2019 with a year-over-year increase of 1%. Other activities that have made a positive difference to the community and in turn have improved ridership include:
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