CREATE A CUSTOMER-FIRST TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
It often appears as if the GTHA’s current transportation system is designed and operated with the
needs of the transportation provider in mind, rather than those of the traveller. With limited resources
available to them, local transit agencies have had to focus on meeting immediate demands.
To achieve an effective transportation system, this must change. The comfort and convenience of
the traveller must be the primary consideration in how the transportation system is planned,
designed and operated. Regional travel must be made more convenient and barrier-free as
travellers transfer between modes, services and across municipal boundaries. Travellers must have
the information they need to make the best choices about whether, when, where and how they
travel. Planning a trip with certainty, regardless of destination or mode, should be easy for
travellers or commercial users. Most of all, the system needs to strive to make transportation a
more reliable and enjoyable experience for users.
BIG MOVE #5
An information system for travellers, where and when they need it.
5.1 Create a regional transportation information portal that is accessible online and by telephone, e-mail or smart phone that provides all users of the transportation system with comprehensive, easily accessible and standardized information on the full-range of transportation alternatives and optimal routings available to them, as well as the status of all of the elements of the transportation network.
5.2 Establish region-wide standards and public reporting requirements for all transit services in
the GTHA that are appropriate to the local context, and that address customer service
issues such as minimum service frequency, crowding, safety, service reliability including ontime
performance and cancellations, cleanliness, responsiveness and customer satisfaction.
5.3 Coordinate schedules among transit service providers,
including demand-responsive services for persons with
disabilities. Establish best practices that ensure GO
Transit and local transit agencies provide each other
with a minimum 90-days’ notice before implementing
any changes in service, to allow time for agencies to
adjust and coordinate their schedules.
5.4 Establish customer service
centres at all mobility hubs where travellers can obtain
information on schedules, connecting trips, fares and
other information for any transportation provider in the
5.5 Equip all mobility hubs, and key transit stations and stops with real-time information
displays that tell transit riders the arrival time of the next transit vehicle, and what
alternatives are available in the event of a service disruption.
5.6 Phase out the restrictions that currently prevent transit agencies from picking up
passengers while passing through neighbouring jurisdictions.
5.7 Encourage developers to provide information about transportation alternatives, including
local transit routes and schedules, and active transportation networks, to new home buyers.
EXAMPLES: HELSINKI, LYONS & SINGAPORE
Regional transportation information portals in places such
as Helsinki, Lyons and Singapore provide travellers with
information on a wide range of matters including:
- schedules, routes and fares for public transit as well as
inter-city motor coach and rail services;
- real-time location and arrival time of individual
- walking and cycling routes;
- accessibility of stations, stops and vehicles;
- road and transit closures, construction and detours;
- planned infrastructure improvements;
- school bus cancellations;
- parking lot locations, costs and availability;
- carpooling and car-sharing opportunities;
- air quality conditions and smog alerts;
- a personal carbon footprint calculator that allows
people to compare the environmental impacts of their
transportation options; and
- opportunities for contributing to local carbon
5.8 Undertake individualized social marketing campaigns
directed at the household level to reach every household
near rapid transit approximately every three years with
information about transportation alternatives, including local
transit routes and schedules.
5.9 Develop a consistent set of procedures, visual and
audio cues, and wayfinding measures, that make the
transit system easier to use and navigate, including
consistent numbering and naming of transit stations
and stops, consistent schedules, and common transit
5.10 Expand the availability of overhead display boards on roads
and highways that show the estimated time to key destinations
and notify travellers of delays and alternative routes.
EXAMPLE: SOCIAL MARKETING IN PORTLAND
Portland, Oregon was the site of the first large-scale individualized
social marketing project in North America. The project, called
TravelSmart, reached more than 14,000 people in 2004
after a new MAX light rail line was opened. Thousands of households
in the TravelSmart area received information on transit, walking
and cycling. Subsequent surveys showed that after the light rail line
opened, the growth in transit trips was 24 per cent in the area
where there was no individualized marketing project,
but 44 per cent — almost twice as much — in the TravelSmart area.
5.11 All relevant decision-making, such as planning, designing,
financing and operating the transportation system, locating
major trip generators, and designing communities and
individual buildings, should promote a shift in travel
behaviours to the maximum extent that is feasible, based on the following passenger
- Trip reduction, shortening or avoidance
- Active transportation
- Ride-sharing and taxis
- Single-occupant vehicles
5.12 The needs of all travellers, including transit users, cyclists and pedestrians, shall be
considered as part of all planning decisions by:
- obtaining the input of transit agencies and public health departments on all major
planning and transportation matters; and
- requiring, as part of planning applications, a comprehensive transportation impact study
that is integrated with the applicable municipal Transportation Master Plan and that
considers the impacts of the new development on all forms of transportation as well as
the impacts of induced traffic.