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Durham Region Transit rolls out enhanced service

Simcoe Street route to see earlier starts and later end times

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Some of the busiest transit routes in the city and region have been upgraded.

As of Monday (June 25), Durham Region Transit (DRT) implemented enhanced service levels on numerous routes, including the 401 Simcoe, and high-frequency network lines 915 Taunton and 916 Rossland.

Vincent Patterson, DRT general manager, says these enhancements include thousands of hours of new service, including earlier starts and later end times for many routes.

Specifically, the 401 Simcoe route will see an extended schedule on Sundays as well as the addition of increased capacity during weekday peaks.

Patterson says some areas that were left unserviced by the 401 Simcoe after changes in 2016 may be re-added.

However, he stated the route wouldn’t necessarily have the same alignment as before.

“We are really trying to increase our coverage in the area,” he says.

The 915 Taunton route has been extended east to the Harmony Road terminal, which Patterson called a major “transit hub” for many users in the city’s north end.

In March, the region announced it would receive $175 million in federal and provincial funding for a number of transit projects.

One of those is a planned bus-rapid transit (BRT) system on Simcoe Street.

Patterson says he is hopeful to see this come to fruition in the near future.

He noted that while the route serving Simcoe Street has a very high frequency of service, it is one of the busiest in Durham, and as the development of the city’s north end continues it will be an even more crowded line.

“We are the victims of our success,” he says.

Also, the unconventional alignment of the road will create challenges in expanding service but he is confident it is attainable.

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