News of changes being made by Guelph Transit

Monday, July 14, 2008


Written by Arden Hagedorn

As of July 7th 2008 Guelph Transit is moving to a 20-minute bus schedule that will run from 5:40am to 7:00pm. Buses will now leave the downtown core on the hour and every 20 and 40 minutes after the hour from Monday to Friday. After 7:00pm, buses will switch to a 30-minute schedule. On Saturdays, Sundays and during Holidays buses will run on a 30-minute schedule. Guelph Transit is also revamping their communication of bus schedules. Now at every 683 bus stop there will be new 969 Information Posts that list the scheduled arrival times for that bus stop. Along with this Guelph Transit will be continuing to use the Next Bus system for bus "real time" arrivals. For a list of the buses running on the new 20-minute schedule and for fare changes please visit this link.

You can also check out the announcement on the Mayor's Blog

Swipe System Delay

At the end of the Winter Semester the CSA sent out an e-mail indicating that as of May 2008 students would be asked to swipe their student card instead of showing their bus pass sticker. This change is meant to track student use of public transit as well as decrease fraudulent bus pass use. As per an agreement made between the University, the CSA and Guelph Transit, a parallel system which would allow students the option to swipe was to run all summer to identify potential problems. However, due to some delays between the University and Guelph Transit this parallel system has not been implemented as of yet. It is expected that the system will begin in September. Details will be forthcoming.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above information please do not hesitate to contact me at or at extension 54407.
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  1. Posted by: James M. on Aug 19, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    I've been around the university for a couple years and started using the bus a lot last year. Can you answer me this, what does the CSA do in regards to bus services besides letting us know what the city is doing and coordinating the distribution of the bus passes.

    Does the CSA have any real leverage with City of Guelph Transit? Why aren't you advocating for cheaper bus fees, or advocating for an opt-out system, or anything else.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the updates, but sometimes I get the feeling the CSA is taking credit for City of Guelph Transit initiatives. Arden, do you have any real experience with a multi-million dollar transit system??

  2. Posted by: Danie on Aug 19, 2008 @ 8:08pm

    All I can say is James took the thoughts right out of my head!

  3. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Aug 21, 2008 @ 9:29am

    Thank you James and Danie for taking the time to comment.

    The Universal Bus Pass and the Late Night Bus Service began and continue as CSA initiatives. The Universal Bus Pass agreement was implemented after a decade of negotiations with Guelph Transit in 1997. Maintaining those services on the side of the CSA is a large part of what I do with the help of CSA staff and the CSA/GSA Transit Committee.

    The CSA and the student body do have leverage with Guelph Transit as evidenced by the Universal Bus Pass and the Late Night Bus Service. Because the nature of the pass is like a "bulk purchase" students get a pass that is 1/4 the price non-students in Guelph pay. There is not another agreement like this is Canada.

    In terms of cheaper bus passes, as I said above, the pass is already 1/4 of the price, but that is only because of its universality. This past year, the CSA/GSA Transit Committee approved a $5 increase to the fee in order to help pay for the new 20-minute system, Transit's new buses and the rising price of gas. The entire city saw bus fees increase as well. Advocating for lower prices considering the fact we pay 1/4 of the price is not something Transit will agree too.

  4. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Aug 21, 2008 @ 9:30am

    Which brings me to the question of an opt-out system. We do have a system for those who cannot physically ride the bus. For those who choose to drive, that is a personal choice and letting them opt out would harm the universality of the agreement.

    In the past three years the Local Affairs Commissioners have advocated for various things, such as more buses during the winter when they fill up quickly, as well as service on St. Patrick's day. Last year's CSA Board approved the construction of a Late Night Heated Bus Shelter to be built in the loop, for students during the winter months. Last year the CSA, like most people in Guelph, let Transit know during CSA/GSA Transit Meetings that the 40-minute schedule and new Transit stop signs were not working. The CSA was just one of many concerned groups in Guelph that let Transit know the system had to change.

  5. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Aug 21, 2008 @ 9:32am

    At the beginning of this summer I strongly advocated to raise the number of opt-ins for students not taking courses in the summer. Right now it is only 30, which is unacceptable. Though Transit would not budge on that matter for this past summer, they did say that this demonstrated a new addendum to the Universal Bus Pass Agreement addressing this need could be worked on through out the year. But, before Transit does this they want to see some numbers, meaning the CSA has to consult with students on how the bus pass is working for them. This is something I will be working on this year through surveying and through a CSA Transit blog, so Guelph Transit can see student concerns in a more centralized manner.

    I also advocated for a longer "Grace Period" for students at the beginning of the September semester because of the change to class schedules. Instead of the grace period running from Sept. 4th-10th, it will be from Aug. 30th until Sept 12th.

  6. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Aug 21, 2008 @ 9:33am

    As I'm sure you know, the CSA, Transit and the University have been in conversation about a new swipe system and this has been taking up some of our time. The CSA/GSA Transit Committee has been actively in conversation with Transit about our concerns with the transition and how it would affect students. We are continuing to do that.

    I hope that answers some of you questions. I'd like to add that it is great to see students keeping an eye on what the CSA does. Keep it up and let me know what you think of the Transit blog that will be up on the CSA website at the beginning of September. If you have an suggestions on how to best consult with students, let me know that as well. my e-mail is [email protected] and my ext. is 54407.

  7. Posted by: James M on Aug 22, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Thanks for the update ;)

  8. Posted by: Jammin' on Sep 2, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    LOL James M.

    well played!

    you just sound like a politican arden, don't become the mouthpiece of guelph transit.

    whatever! just usual csa stuff, lots of talk, little going on.

  9. Posted by: on Sep 3, 2008 @ 5:51pm

    I was wondering what the type of long-term goals the swipe-system hopes to achieve. Are there plans to completely change scheduling in order to suit needs for the students better? That is the gist that I am getting, however it seems to me like many changes have been made to this effect already. It leaves out crucial information: the trends of non-student commuters and their needs.
    Is this information accessible to outside parties other than the University of Guelph? How could one find out about this in more detail?

    Thanks for your time in reading this.

  10. Posted by: Arden Hagedorn on Sep 19, 2008 @ 11:33am

    Jammin', whatever your opinion of the CSA, you should check out the cover story of the Ontarion this week.

    Siannon, the long terms goals of the swipe system would be to better understand student use of the buses. I'm sure part of this is also to stop "student sticker fraud" though it seems like an overly expensive way to go about it in my opinion. Transit has made no promises of changing the schedule with the data collected, though hopefully that would be part of it. I'm a little confused about your question about non-student commuters. Are you asking if non-students would have to swipe as well?

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