Sprawling Sudbury challenges city bus service
Greater Sudbury Transit relies on taxi cabs to reach people in outlying areas
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 12:01 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012 11:53 AM ET
Greater Sudbury’s transit system has expanded in recent years, but city buses still don't reach every corner of the sprawling region — a fact that continues to frustrate riders and the people who run the public transportation.
Sudbury Transit director Roger Sauve said geography is never going to be on the side of Sudbury transit.
"It's always going to be a challenge because of the distance and where people are going,” he said.
“But what we have to do is ensure that the people who want to travel, can travel."
'There's just no consistency...'—Mike O'Byrne, Levack resident
Mike O'Byrne said he feels like he is the public transit system for his three daughters.
The family lives in Levack where, instead of buses, the city runs a transcab — a taxi that picks riders up at home and takes them to the nearest bus stop.
But O'Byrne said it doesn't help his kids get to their part-time jobs in Chelmsford and Sudbury.
"There's just no consistency in that bus run to get them to and from work,” he said.
“I'm going in the poorhouse putting gas in the car — driving them to and from — just so they can make a couple of bucks."
Communities like Dowling, Levack, Wahnapitae and Whitefish are covered by the transcab service.Some bus riders in the outlying areas of Sudbury like the city's arrangement with taxis to bring them to the bus stop. But others wish the city would simply increase its bus routes to better service those communities on the region's outskirts. (Erik White/CBC)
Some people are lobbying the city for a regular bus route, but others like the status quo.
Anne Talon uses the transcab to commute to downtown Sudbury from her home in Levack.
“I'm kinda 50/50 on that, because I do like the timely reliability of the bus,” she said.
“However, it's that nice convenience. We're spoiled by having that door to door service."
Sauve noted that door-to-door service is more efficient for smaller centres and that running a bus to Levack would cost too much.
He added the numbers are crunched every year — and if the transcabs to the outlying areas get too full, they will be replaced by a bus.
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