Thank you to everyone that came out to the “Let’s Talk Transit” Town hall last night.
I felt it went very well with up to 100 people in attendance and many people interacting online through social media. If you missed the town hall and would like to see it, the link to the video is here: VIDEO
I am committed to:
- Taking all the suggestions from last night (and earlier ones complied) and putting them into a chart to send to transit management for review.
- I will sit down and ask “What on this chart is already being addressed and/or will be implemented in 2018?
- Any suggestions not being addressed in 2018, I will ask management to provide answers as to why they cannot be accommodated/implemented.
I am viewing issues that arose last night into two categories:
- Enhanced Customer Service/Experience – Communications: An overall theme from you last night had to do with shelters, signage, lack of maps, technology and pro-active communications regarding dropped runs or stops not being used during construction season….and much more.
- Routes: I heard clearly that there’s routes that may not be working for some (and more data will be needed to examine these assumptions), and routes that should be expanded or that need to start earlier or end later.
As I write this post today, I strongly believe that “tweaking” more routes, (whether the need for them to be changed or expanded), should wait until the current transit service review is done. However, I will explore options for more enhanced customer service /experience and communication upgrades that can occur as soon as possible.
The elephant in the room is one of funding. Council already set the budget for 2018. With council support, I would be willing to explore using funds either from reserves or the upcoming 2017 year end surplus to fund potential enhancements as I described above.
Again, thank you to everyone that came out. As info is provided to me, I will post the answers here for you all to see!
March 19, 2018, Guelph, Ont.—The City of Guelph’s Solid Waste division is laying off 18 employees from its Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Affected employees will be accommodated with jobs elsewhere in the organization wherever possible.
“The City appreciates the hard work that all the folks at Solid Waste Resources do to make our operations run smoothly and better our residents’ quality of life,” says Scott Stewart, deputy chief administrative officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “Through our business service review we’ve discovered that we’re processing almost double the amount of recyclables at our materials recovery facility as other comparable facilities. In order to be efficient and improve our process for recapturing items that we can sell back to the market, we need to make changes. Our goal, however, is to make them with as little impact on our people as possible, and we’re very disheartened to have to make these layoffs.”
Management consulted with the executive of CUPE 241 about the changes before informing staff earlier today. Both City management and the union representing Solid Waste employees are committed to minimizing the impact of the layoffs on affected employees.
The staffing changes being announced today are, in part, the result of a number of expected changes to waste operations over the next couple of years including changes to the Province’s Blue Box Program which may change how recycling is collected and processed, and a move to focusing on Guelph-only recyclables processing with Guelph multi-residential waste collection starting sometime in 2019.
In recent years, the Solid Waste operation has been operating at a financial loss. The Solid Waste Resources business service review currently underway has brought many positives to light, along with some challenges. The staffing changes being announced today will help address some of those challenges by improving operational efficiencies and allowing the City to maintain fiscal accountability and financial viability.
Actually, it’s $106 million.
Wow! Are you sitting down yet?
Thank you to the Federal and Provincial government! To our local representatives Lloyd Longfield and Liz Sandals! This partnership between all levels of government is what cities have been looking for!
This could also not come at a better time for us. This term, City Council unanimously approved a complete service review of Guelph transit. This review has already started and is occurring over the rest of 2018. An update on this review is coming to Council in April. We’re also just about to have a transit town hall next week (March 20th at city hall, 6:30pm)!
The press release from the Federal government is HERE!
Provincial government release is HERE!
MP Lloyd Longfield release is HERE!
The City of Guelph press release is HERE!
Our staff work plan already anticipates a report coming to City Council in May that identifies the phase two infrastructure funding. Or another way to put it, our “wish list!” This list would already include requests for transit but also touch on the other funding available for “social” and “green” infrastructure.
With today’s funding announcement, I will be requesting that City Council seek city staff to formally prepare a detailed plan that speaks to this funding allocation over the next 10 years. The funding is based on cost-sharing.
“Of the $106 million commitment, up to $58 million will be provided as the federal share (40%) and up to $48 million as the provincial share (33%). The municipal/partner investment required to maximize the federal/provincial commitment is $39 million, which represents a 27% cost-share.”
We must commit to this funding.
We need a plan.
We must stick to it.
Let’s celebrate together as a community this wonderful opportunity!
P.S Today is “Thank your bus driver” day! So if you’re reading this on the bus, don’t forgot to say “thanks!”
I”m pleased to update you on the “Let’s Talk Transit” town hall happening on March 20th!
Ward 3 Councillors June Hofland and Phil Allt have also been hearing from their residents on transit issues and so they’ll be joining me to hear from you!
Please feel free to share this updated blog post with the included poster above!
I want to make Transit the best it can be for our community! We’re doing well, but we should always strive to do more! Please join me along with local transit advocate Steven Petric at city hall on March 20th between 6:30-8:30pm for an informal dialogue on what YOU think could make this service better!
City Council unanimously approved a full service review of Guelph transit and it is currently underway. City Council will be updated by staff in April on the progress to date, the expectations around what we should expect from the review and the public engagement process throughout the rest of this year.
I will also share with you what I believe needs to occur throughout the service review process.
My transit townhall on March 20th is separate from the service review process, yet your input will help inform me as to what’s really important to you, our riders!
Questions to consider:
What do you like about Transit now?
What worked in the past but isn’t working now?
Is increased frequency needed?
Is more coverage of the entire city needed?
What customer service enhancements would you like to see?
Is there a route that needs to be addressed?
These are just some of the issues we’ll explore together!
I look forward to seeing you there! Please pass this invitation onto others! It’d be nice to see current riders, past riders, those that want to take transit but haven’t, drivers and more!
Your input is critical during this time!