Durham Region Transit: Holiday season service, service enhancements and the 2020/2021 U-Pass agreement

Posted on Thursday December 03, 2020

Whitby, Ontario – Members of the Transit Executive Committee (TEC) met virtually at Regional Headquarters on Wednesday, December 2, to discuss various Durham Region Transit (DRT) initiatives and updates, which included holiday season service levels, upcoming service enhancements and the DRT U-Pass agreement for the 2020-2021 academic year. Details and other highlights include:

  • Holiday season service: In response to annual lower ridership during the holiday period, DRT will operate with reduced service from Friday, December 25, 2020 until Sunday, January 3, 2021. There will be no additional service scheduled for New Year’s Eve, however, customers can still ride DRT for free after 8 p.m. on December 31, 2020. Holiday schedule information will be available online.
  • Upcoming service enhancements: Based on feedback from customers and ongoing reviews of network performance, a few service enhancements will be introduced beginning Monday, December 7, 2020, with route 405 serving the Delpark Community Centre, hourly, seven days a week. Starting on Monday, January 4, 2021, other various routes will receive schedule adjustments to better meet Go Train schedules, as well as routing changes to improve connections to industrial areas and the Oshawa Centre via Gibb from downtown Oshawa.
  • DRT U-Pass agreement: In response to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an amendment to the existing U-Pass agreement with Durham College, Ontario Tech University and Trent University sees a pause for the winter and summer 2021 semesters, and a one-year extension of the U-Pass agreement, until August 2022.

Other highlights from the General Manager’s report include: 

  • The Specialized Services eligibility review continues to ensure customers are receiving the right type of service to best suit their abilities. Through November 20, 2020, approximately 300 eligibility review applications have been sent to customers.
  • The DRT network is regularly monitored to ensure service levels match demand. When ridership in low demand areas reaches the minimum threshold of 20 boardings per hour, scheduled routes are planned to replace On Demand service in specific zones. To date, ridership within low demand areas have not reached the minimum threshold of 20 boardings per hour.
  • The third Public Information Centre for the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit corridor is being held (virtually) through Friday, December 18, 2020, and can be accessed at https://metrolinxengage.com/DSBRT.



“As the holiday season approaches, residents can rest assured that DRT will continue to deliver the same safe and reliable service they’re used to. And, for those who must travel on New Year’s Eve, they can do so for free, after 8 p.m.”

-       John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer

“DRT’s innovative new On Demand service is off to a great start. It’s currently meeting demand in areas with lower ridership. It’s a great opportunity for us to be flexible and deliver the right amount of service to those who need it.”

-       Shaun Collier, Mayor of Ajax and Chair of the Transit Executive Committee

“We continually review customer and operator feedback, PRESTO and ridership data, as well as information from partner transit agencies to improve our services. The January 3 service enhancements will be a timely adjustment for customers taking the GO Train as well as workers traveling to industrial areas, and for our seniors in downtown Oshawa to access the Oshawa Centre on 901B trips, that will travel via Gibb Street.”

-       Bill Holmes, General Manager of Durham Region Transit

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.