Burlington Transit asking its riders what they want – expect to see the words better service in many of the responses.

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 27, 2015


Burlington Transit is conducting ridership surveys on various bus routes, at the downtown transit terminal and online at www.burlingtontransit.ca to help develop new service standards.

“We are gathering information from our riders to determine what is important to them,” said Mike Spicer, director of Burlington Transit. “These findings will be part of a report presented to City Council later this fall to help shape the future of Burlington’s public transportation.”

Transit - breakouts - Youth

A transit users conference held in Burlington had everyone who cared about transit in the room – except anyone from Burlington Transit. Now they are holding surveys to find out what people want. Go figure!

On-route surveying has been completed on Routes 1, 2/3, 10/20 and 80/81.

Remaining on-route survey schedule

Tuesday, July 28, 4:40 to 6:45 p.m. – Route 15

Downtown Terminal schedule

July 27 to July 31, 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.

Online Survey

The online survey (click here) will be available until Aug. 10, 2015 at

Burlington has always been chintzy about transit;
intensification is going to add to traffic congestion;
transit is seen by the politicians as the answer.
Now they have to convince the public to use it.

While the city figures out what transit users want there is a Transportation Master Plan that is being created that makes it very, very clear that transit is going to play a very big part in how the city handles its intensification.

The Region of Halton is going to have to absorb a million additional residents – just how many of that million Burlington is going to have to take in has not yet been determined.

More people usually means more cars which in the past has been translated into more roads. But those days are over. Burlington cannot widen its roads nor can it afford to build any more roads and add to the traffic congestion we are already dealing with.

In the near future you will hear the words “complete streets” working its way into the language used by the planners – how the politicians get that message across to you will be something to watch.

The province has decided that it will try using tolls to change public behaviour on how they use the QEW. Burlington is going to make transit better and convince the public that transit is the more convenient way to get around town.

Smart Transit System has been in the works for
a couple of years.  Costing millions it will give transit
users up to date data on bus arrivals.

Burlington Transit will be launching a Smart Transit System (STS) in phases starting late Fall this year. The STS will improve how customers access transit information. Conventional transit users will be able to use an on-line trip planner which will provide detailed bus location information in real-time. As well, all bus stops are being replaced with new signs which will include information on the routes that service each stop and have a numerical code allowing passengers to access next bus arrivals in real-time through their mobile devices.

Transit wkshp = Edwardth = Mayor with cell

Mayor Goldring getting the hang of reading the bus schedule from his Smart Phone.

New electronic visual and audio displays will be installed on all buses to allow passengers to read and hear each bus stop location as it approaches.
Handi-Van passengers will no longer have to rely only on contacting dispatch during hours of operation to book their trips as they will have access to a new on-line feature and phone system allowing them to book and manage their trips 24/7. In addition, they will receive a programmed automatic call-out to let them know when their van is about to arrive.

Real-time bus data will also be available through the City’s Open Data feed allowing app developers to access this information.

Goldring selfy

The Mayor of the city took a “selfie” on one of the days he took the bus to work – it wasn’t one of his better moments – was it.

Of note is that Burlington Transit didn’t use the Insight Survey the city bought and paid a pretty penny for – which has all kinds of flexibility and allows for good follow up questions.  Transit is using the Survey Monkey service – the software that high school students use for their projects.

When the results are out we will have some idea as to how good the transit people are at asking questions and actually mining the data they collect.

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3 comments to Burlington Transit asking its riders what they want – expect to see the words better service in many of the responses.

  • Marie

    The survey questions were poorly worded and will not give the information that is needed to measure the concerns of Burlington residents. The survey asks “How often do you use Burlington transit to connect to GO transit?” Well, if there were more buses to my area that would take me to GO transit, I guarantee you I would use Burlington transit every day. But since the current service is inadequate I do not use it.

    Rather than seeing that there is a *need* for better service to GO transit, I am concerned that whoever uses the survey results will think that there is little need for service to GO transit — after all, not many people use local transit to connect to GO.

    The survey itself is flawed.

  • Ruth Graves

    Since you are looking for potential ridership comments—I travel to Toronto from Burlington GO once or twice a week. I would gladly take the 87 Route Tyandaga bus to the Go station and not try to find parking there. Problem is location of bus stop according to which way the bus is going and no buses at noon or 9:00 pm.

  • The reality is that as you add “traffic congestion” busses are stuck in the same mess as everyone else. This idea that some cheap public service campaign is going to convince people to spend extra hours on a bus traveling a grid locked city is just not credible.

    You either make massive investments in permeant high quality transit systems with things like enclosed stations OR you upgrade the road infrastructure OR the livability of you city goes down hill.

    You can not accommodate the transit needs of thousands of new residents for free – period.