DRT and GO Transit Share GO Transit's Radio Communications System

WHITBY, ON, March 22, 2010 –  Durham Region Transit (DRT) and GO Transit signed an agreement and 5 year service contract to share GO Transit’s radio communications system in Durham Region.  The $3.9 million cost of the system  was funded by the Province of Ontario’s 2008 Special One Time Grant for Municipal Transit Systems for capital expenditures.
“DRT inherited five fleets and four separate radio systems when municipal transit services were transferred to the Region in 2006.  As DRT expands its fleet, service area and implements cross-boundary routes, communication between vehicles and dispatch centres becomes increasingly important.  The agreement DRT and GO Transit developed for shared radio communication benefits both partners,” says Roger Anderson, Regional Chair.
“As Metrolinx works toward the goal of supporting a fully integrated regional transportation system across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, it is increasingly important to reinforce our partnerships with local transit providers. By working together, we make huge strides in our shared effort to provide better service to our customers,” says Gary McNeil, Executive Vice President, Metrolinx, Managing Director, GO Transit.
DRT contracted a consultant to review options for a unified radio system including a stand alone DRT system, current user partnerships and wireless cellular systems. Based on initial capital investment and ongoing operating costs, sharing GO Transit’s recently improved system was determined to be the most practical.  The implementation of the state-of-the-art P-25 radio system provides GO Transit and DRT with expanded coverage in Durham Region.  A single radio system adheres to Durham Region’s strategic plan to have a single inter-operable radio system for an all agency response network in the event of an emergency in Durham Region.
“This is not the first agreement DRT and GO Transit have negotiated to benefit transit service and our customers in Durham Region, “ says Ted Galinis, General Manager DRT. “DRT integrates GO Bus service with a “one fare anywhere” agreement.  Passengers can transfer from DRT Bus to GO Bus and travel throughout Durham Region for one fare.”  Commuters can also take advantage of the GO Transit and DRT Co-Fare.  DRT passengers connecting to or from GO Train and/or GO Bus service at GO Train stations are eligible for the reduced $0.65 co-fare.
DRT operates 62 conventional routes and high school service for over 8.5 million passengers annually. As of December 2009, DRT has re-vitalized its fleet with 57 new accessible buses, introduced four cross-boundary routes and increased ridership by 24% since inception in 2006.
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Media Inquiries:
Phil Meagher, Deputy General Manager, Operations, 905-668-7711 ext. 3700
Vanessa Thomas, Media Relations and Issues Specialist, GO Transit 416-869-3600 ext. 5264
Robin Alam, Media Relations and Issues Specialist, GO Transit 416-869-3600 ext. 5640