Bus sizes not matched to needs and demands

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

As I was passing a 50-plus seat accordion bus with two riders at University Plaza in Dundas, I was reminded of the 40-plus seat bus with one rider I passed the previous night on Wilson Street in Ancaster.

And it occurred to me, as it has so many times in the past, why does every bus that HSR operates have to be so ridiculously gigantic and unmatched to its needs and demands?

When I go to other countries I see buses sized to fit – large ones for peak times and peak routes, smaller ones, mini-buses and even vans for low volume off-peak times and routes.

It seems to me, with accordion buses costing $850,000 apiece, not to mention fuel costs and maintenance, that the HSR could save millions with a more sensible fleet. In this age of “green focus,” can’t we get some bright person on HSR staff – or maybe we need an outside consultant to enact this improvement – to re-design our public bus system with smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles tailored to our needs?

Maybe with smaller vehicles, they could develop a “feeder” system that would go into subdivisions and pick up people and funnel them into the main routes. For instance, the closest bus stop to me is about a 10 to 15-minute walk down a steep hill. The return trip up the hill after a long day is daunting. For seniors and moms with small children, this is out of the question.

If there was a feeder bus that ran by my door, we might consider using public transit instead of our cars.

Lee Fairbanks, Dundas

Bus sizes not matched to needs and demands

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

As I was passing a 50-plus seat accordion bus with two riders at University Plaza in Dundas, I was reminded of the 40-plus seat bus with one rider I passed the previous night on Wilson Street in Ancaster.

And it occurred to me, as it has so many times in the past, why does every bus that HSR operates have to be so ridiculously gigantic and unmatched to its needs and demands?

When I go to other countries I see buses sized to fit – large ones for peak times and peak routes, smaller ones, mini-buses and even vans for low volume off-peak times and routes.

It seems to me, with accordion buses costing $850,000 apiece, not to mention fuel costs and maintenance, that the HSR could save millions with a more sensible fleet. In this age of “green focus,” can’t we get some bright person on HSR staff – or maybe we need an outside consultant to enact this improvement – to re-design our public bus system with smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles tailored to our needs?

Maybe with smaller vehicles, they could develop a “feeder” system that would go into subdivisions and pick up people and funnel them into the main routes. For instance, the closest bus stop to me is about a 10 to 15-minute walk down a steep hill. The return trip up the hill after a long day is daunting. For seniors and moms with small children, this is out of the question.

If there was a feeder bus that ran by my door, we might consider using public transit instead of our cars.

Lee Fairbanks, Dundas

Bus sizes not matched to needs and demands

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

As I was passing a 50-plus seat accordion bus with two riders at University Plaza in Dundas, I was reminded of the 40-plus seat bus with one rider I passed the previous night on Wilson Street in Ancaster.

And it occurred to me, as it has so many times in the past, why does every bus that HSR operates have to be so ridiculously gigantic and unmatched to its needs and demands?

When I go to other countries I see buses sized to fit – large ones for peak times and peak routes, smaller ones, mini-buses and even vans for low volume off-peak times and routes.

It seems to me, with accordion buses costing $850,000 apiece, not to mention fuel costs and maintenance, that the HSR could save millions with a more sensible fleet. In this age of “green focus,” can’t we get some bright person on HSR staff – or maybe we need an outside consultant to enact this improvement – to re-design our public bus system with smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles tailored to our needs?

Maybe with smaller vehicles, they could develop a “feeder” system that would go into subdivisions and pick up people and funnel them into the main routes. For instance, the closest bus stop to me is about a 10 to 15-minute walk down a steep hill. The return trip up the hill after a long day is daunting. For seniors and moms with small children, this is out of the question.

If there was a feeder bus that ran by my door, we might consider using public transit instead of our cars.

Lee Fairbanks, Dundas