The Region plans to operate the new DRT Pulse rapid transit service from the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus on Military Trail to the Durham Consolidated Courthouse in downtown Oshawa. It expects to start service in July 2013 with:
- bus rapid transit (or “BRT”, for short) buses operating in mixed traffic;
- 7½-minute service during rush hours;
- 26 new buses dedicated to the BRT service.
The full system, which the Region intends to complete by 2016, will have passenger amenities, intelligent transportation systems, improvements to six major intersections along the Highway 2 corridor, two maintenance and storage facilities and a new transit control centre.
DRT will apply the new DRT Pulse brand and graphic elements to the new dedicated BRT fleet, associated infrastructure and promotional material to identify the enhanced service.
Two members of the Transit Advisory Committee and DRT staff evaluated a list of 47 potential BRT names that members of the public had submitted.
They used a point system in the following categories to evaluate the names:
- The name made the unique, higher-level public transit service features apparent, particularly the frequency of the service;
- The name was DRT “family”-apparent, meaning the bus rapid transit name and graphics incorporate elements of the DRT parent brand to unify the system image and identity;
- The name had potential to convert to use on a future light rail transit line.
The Region invited the public to vote on the name through a survey on the DRT web site. The names that scored the highest points were:
- DRT Pulse;
- DRT Max;
- DRT Plus;
- DRT Rapid.
DRT received a total of 1,180 votes between April 4 and November 14, 2011. DRT staff also distributed vote cards at all public information sessions during the same period, to allow more members of the public the opportunity to selecting the brand.
DRT Pulse gathered the most votes with 400, followed by DRT Rapid with 394, DRT Plus with 203 and DRT MAX with 183. The Transit Executive Committee approved the results and formally named the BRT service during its meeting of November 30, 2011.
The Province of Ontario committed $82.3 million program in the 2008 provincial budget for the Durham Highway 2 bus rapid transit project, including a $17 million grant to buy the buses. The Region will buy 26 dedicated BRT buses through the Metrolinx’ Transit Procurement Initiative.
You can learn more about Durham’s bus rapid transit project here.