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News release

MiWay Ridership Recovery Strategy Focuses on Delivering Service Across the Transit Network

City services | September 22, 2021

Today, General Committee received a report on MiWay’s COVID-19 Ridership Recovery Strategy, which outlines the City’s plans to continue investing in and delivering safe transit service across Mississauga as it recovers from the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

“I want to thank our transit drivers who have consistently worked throughout the pandemic to provide service to customers, getting people where they need to be safely,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Last year, we implemented several safety measures to our buses, including plexiglass barriers that enabled us to resume fare collection and front door boarding to ensure the safety of riders. We continue to take a thoughtful approach to recovery that prioritizes health and safety, which includes making adjustments to our transit system and continuing to mandate masks while riding MiWay in accordance with the City’s by-law.”

According to the corporate report, MiWay has faced ridership decline since March 2020 due to the various COVID-19 waves, stages of recovery and stay-at-home orders. At the onset of the pandemic, MiWay implemented rear door boarding, loading restrictions and free transit. Over this past year, ridership has been recovering, but varied depending on the type of route, time of day and day of the week. By the end of August, MiWay had carried 49 per cent of pre-COVID-19 ridership in 2021.

“We know these past 16 months have been challenging for many. MiWay is committed to monitoring all routes in the transit system network so that service levels are responsive to customers’ needs and can change with shifts in demand as travel patterns continue to evolve,” said Geoff Marinoff, Director, Transit. “MiWay will continue to deliver quality, customer-first service while building future transit capacity through strategic projects and initiatives. Fluctuation in ridership demand is expected to continue into the fall as we continue to navigate recovery from the pandemic. We must continue to invest in the transit service to remain a viable transportation option for those who live, work and visit Mississauga.”

MiWay’s COVID-19 Ridership Recovery Strategy will focus on the following five key areas:

  1. Responsive service planning and delivery
  • Responsive service planning to balance on-street service and manage operational efficiencies
  • Active route management to ensure service reliability and on-time performance
  • Agile workforce management to minimize impacts on daily service delivery
  1. Investing in transit infrastructure
  • Capitalize on existing funding opportunities offered through the provincial and federal governments
  • Plan for and implement change through strategic plans
  • Leverage multimodal transit hubs
  • Build technology capabilities through the Smart City Master Plan
  1. Customer-first service
  • Understand the customer experience through continued market research of both current riders, non-riders and lapsed riders
  • Keep MiWay relevant through audience specific campaigns and programs to engage employees and inspire and attract riders back to transit
  • Support customer needs through enhanced customer feedback and information line support
  • Adopt new technology to provide timely and relevant service information through key online and social channels, and third-party trip planning applications
  • Invest in staff through new, enhanced training and development opportunities
  • Launch the MiWay Customer Charter to share its commitments
  1. Planning and adapting to the future
  • Prepare to implement MiWay Five 2.0 – The Next Five Service Plan as ridership returns to pre-COVID-19 levels and when service growth warrants
  • Investigate the benefits and costs of on-demand service options to meet service needs in specific areas
  • Build and service a higher order transit integrated transit network; Hurontario LRT, Lakeshore and Dundas BRT and neighbouring city’s higher order transit expansion
  • Focus on sustainability to meet the City’s Climate Change Action Plan goals by adopting new hybrid bus and fleet technology, and participating in green facility study and hydrogen pilot projects
  • Manage future fleet requirements with the Bus Replacement Management Plan, while alleviating existing operating expense on buses not required to fulfill daily service
  1. Revenue and fares management
    • Apply for and leverage available Transit Relief Funding available through the provincial and federal governments
    • Review MiWay’s transit fees and fare strategy
    • Participate in both fares and local service integration discussions with 416 and 905 transit service providers
    • Review future fare payment options through PRESTO open payment and third party e-ticketing solutions

To learn more about MiWay and the Ridership Recovery Strategy, visit miway.ca/recovery.

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Media Contact
Amy Camara
Communications Co-ordinator
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200, ext. 4839
amy.camara@mississauga.ca
TTY: 905-896-5151