Deadline Approaching to Comment On CN Proposal

Just a quick reminder for residents that you have until April 27th to submit your comments on the CN Intermodal proposal.

For all the information you will need, please go to www.halton.ca/cn and read the FAQ’s.  There are links to where you need to go to submit comments and have any questions answered.

As always you can email me mike.cluett@milton.ca

Let your voice be heard!

Traffic Lights Coming – James Snow Parkway and Trudeau

 

Lights are beginning to be installed at James Snow Parkway and Trudeau today.

This has been a high collision area recently & Councillors Colin Best, Rob Duvall and I have been working at getting this done as quickly as possible.  There have been delays due to the frost still in the ground but they have begun the work today.  The lights should be energized by mid-May 2015.

There is also another area of concern for residents at JSP and Clark Blvd and I’ve been told that should be installed and active by September 2015 at the latest.

As always please drive safely.

 

 

Milton Transit to review Saturday Service

Milton Council approved my notice of motion last night to have staff review Saturday transit service.

Milton TransitThe town has been operating this service for 18 months and so far have fallen short of expectations. Ridership on a number of the routes has been decreasing on a quarterly basis since last year.

For example Route #4 Thompson Clark

Saturday Revenue Passenger Trips per Revenue Service Hour – Monthly (unaudited numbers)

Q1 – 10.7

Q2 – 9.0

Q3 – 4.2

Q4 – 4.1

NOW, lets compare this to Weekly numbers for the same route.

Weekly Revenue Passenger Trips per Reveune Service Hour – Monthly (unaudited numbers)

Q1 – 22.6

Q2 – 20.4

Q3 – 14.8

Q4 – 20.9

Saturday Route # 6 Scott

Q1 – 4.9

Q2 – 7.0

Q3 – 5.3

Q4 – 5.2

Weekly Route # 6 Scott

Q1 – 10.8

Q2 – 12.0

Q3 – 12.2

Q4 – 12.1

There have been 3 routes that have slightly increased in numbers but only marginally over the last 12 months. Highest revenue passenger ride for a route in the last 3 quarters has been 9.0 while the lowest is 4.0

What these numbers show me is that this service is far under utilized by Milton residents and one of two actions need to be taken. Either cancel the service for the time being or review the routes, see if we can make them more conducive to what Milton transit riders need and make it more efficient.

Milton Transit regularly polls their customers but to be quite honest the more telling comments come from non users. And not just the ones who will never use Milton Transit, but those who could, but don’t. The ones who have to pick their kids up from child care after work and need their vehicle once they step off the GO train in the evening. The ones who could use it to get to their part-time job but the service isn’t available after a particular hour for them to come home.

This is where we need to build the service around. Do we need routes during the day running at 1/2 hr service times or would 1hr suffice for the time being?

These are the questions we need to have answers to. Last council approved a Transit Master Plan, which in my opinion, and the opinion of others, painted a rather rosy picture of transit growth and set benchmarks that even in ideal circumstances wouldn’t be met. I didn’t approve of the master plan, but it passed regardless.

This review of Saturday transit is what I personally feel is something we should be doing every year, but the results will be telling. In my opinion, if Saturday ridership numbers do not increase, council will once again be forced to look at options. We cannot simply be paying to provide a service that very few use.

Imagine if the Town of Milton provided recreational programs, staffing, time and resources that very few people utilized? It would be looked at and if it couldn’t be improved, more than likely that program would be cancelled.

It’s the same with transit. With roughly $350,000 per year (my approximation) being spent on Saturday transit and participation in that service not increasing or in some cases declining, something has to be done.

Lets look at different routes that get people to where they need to go on Saturday. Downtown Milton, shopping centres, Milton Sports Centre, the hospital, the libraries….feel free to add some more if I’ve missed any.

Will that mean a possible increase in travel time? Maybe an increase in the time between buses in some areas?

Right now our transit system is built around the GO Station. That might make sense for Monday to Friday, but Saturday it doesn’t. So let’s make some Saturday only routes, educate the public on these routes, encourage them to use the service, give it a try…

There were some suggestions made that we look at increasing the time for transfers so that they can be used within a 3 hour period instead of immediately after. Another idea is allowing 12 and under children ride for free.

Will that help a dad or mom make a choice “My kids will ride for free, so let’s try the bus.” ? We don’t know the answer to that question. We need to start asking them in order to get the answers.

Feel free to pass along this information to your friends and neighbours. I want to provide staff with enough information so that we can improve the system, make it more efficient and in turn save some taxpayers dollars.

If we continue on this path of hoping ridership goes up without making an effort, we are effectively tossing money out the window while patting ourselves on the back that we have a transit system. Lets make it the best it can be and as economical as possible. Lets build a system on successes rather than on “we hope it works out”

If you build something on a poor foundation, the whole structure will fall as you continue to build on it. Lets build a solid, efficient and cost-effective transit structure to build on as we continue to grow.

Doing What I Said Id Do

lisa round tableContinuing with my meetings with senior staff at the Region of Halton and other levels of government. Earlier this month I was able to take part in Halton (Milton MP) Lisa Raitt’s pre-budget round table.  In that meeting I brought up a number of concerns for the Town of Milton.  Many of them included infrastructure issues and looking at getting some financial support from all levels of government, including the feds.

As a fast growing municipality, we are faced with many issues and restrictions that other “slower growing” regions do not.  Minister Raitt seemed very enthusiastic about some of the ideas brought forward that will help in the moving of not only regular traffic, but to help reducing gridlock on the highways, where most of our good and services are transported through.  

There were also a number of other Milton area stakeholders in attendance from both the business community and important social services as well.  I look forward to hearing back from Minister Raitt on future proposals from the federal level of government.

Today’s meeting was with Public Works to discuss issues that have been brought up to me over the last 4 plus years on council as well as during the campaign.

The number one issue I brought up was Fairness for Milton and the breakdown of Halton Region and the number of councillors per municipality. All have agreed so far that this is something that needs to be addressed in this term and we’re working on ways to bring this to the forefront.

I also talked about improved synchronization of the traffic lights along regional roads like Derry and Britannia, blue box improvements, waste collection-bag limits, park dumping and of course working on regional road projects to ensure they are on time and limited displacement of Milton residents.

After every meeting I hand them a copy of my platform piece so they know where I and the voters of wards 1,6,7 & 8 are coming from.  So far they have all been in agreement with the priorities you raised during the last election campaign.

I’ll be providing some more updates as these meetings continue and if anyone has feedback or concerns, dont hesitate to email me mike.cluett@milton.ca or call me on my cell 647-888-9032.

This coming Wednesday is the public roundtable for the Halton Region Strategic Plan at Halton Region HQ.  The meeting begins at 630pm so if you haven’t already RSVP’d please do so here.

The strategic plan sets the course for Halton Region council to help build a Complete Community.  As you will remember during the election campaign, a Complete Community is something that we all need to work towards.  We need as much input from the public as possible and its meetings like this that are very important.  If you can’t make it, have a look on the site about the questions that will be asked and send me your input.

mike.cluett@milton.ca

I’ll see you at the doors.

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newsletter-iconIf you havent already done so, please sign up for my newsletter.  I’ve had to update my list of those who had signed up previously and in case you wanted some great information about Milton, future plans for growth, happenings around town….this is the one you need.

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