Guelph Transit

Guelph Transit

Infobox Bus transit
name = Guelph Transit

logo_size = 120

image_size =
image_caption =
company_slogan =
parent =
founded = 1895 (Street Railway)
headquarters = 170 Watson Rd S.
locale =
service_area = Guelph, Ontario
service_type = Public Transit
alliance =
routes = 18
destinations =
stops =
hubs =
stations =
lounge =
fleet =
ridership =
fuel_type =
operator = City of Guelph
ceo =
website = [ Official Site]

Guelph Transit is a smaller sized public transit system in the city of Guelph, located in southern Ontario, Canada.

The main terminus is located downtown at St. George's Square and at University of Guelph, with a smaller facility at Stone Road Mall. GO Transit buses on the Georgetown corridor terminate a couple of blocks away from St. George's Square (corner of Quebec and Wyndham Streets) at the Guelph Bus Terminal, as does Via Rail at the Guelph railway station at Carden and Wyndham.

History of Transit in Guelph

The 'City of Guelph' is located approximately 55 miles west of Toronto. Nicknamed the Royal City (reflecting the House of Hanover, known in its native Germany as the House of Welf), Guelph's street railway operated from 1895 until 1939 along five routes. It was also the western terminus of the Guelph line of the Toronto Suburban Railway.

By the late 1800s, Guelph had become such a size that public transportation had pretty much become a necessity. Serious discussion concerning a street railway began in 1875, with a company under the name of The Guelph Street Railway Company being formed in 1877. The company failed to get a charter for its proposed horsecar line, and the idea was abandoned.

It wasn't until 1894, that local businessman George Sleeman approached Guelph City Council for a street railway charter. This was duly granted, for a term of twenty years, and thus was born the Guelph Railway Company. Construction began in April 1895 using 56 pound rail. The initial route of the GRC was south along Woolwich Street, through the downtown and along Dundas Road, with a second line running from the Sleeman owned Silvercreek Brewery on Waterloo Avenue, to the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk (later Canadian National) Railway stations. Total distance of these two lines was approximately 4-1/2 miles. Electrical equipment for 600 volt operation, three closed and two open cars were supplied by the Canadian General Electric Company. A stone carbarn and powerhouse were also built. The carbarn later served as the garage for the Guelph Transportation Commission buses until the 1970s, and still stands today at 371 Waterloo Avenue.

Sleeman operated a brewery on Waterloo Avenue and expected that his employees would travel back and forth to work on his system. He also built a skating rink and park behind his brewery.

Operation began on September 17, 1895 with 20 minute service being provided between 5 am and 11 pm, Monday to Saturday. New lines were soon built including Suffolk, added in 1896, O.A.C (Ontario Agricultural College) in 1902 and York Road in 1911. Sunday service did not begin until July 25, 1921.

George Sleeman continued to own the line until late 1902 when control passed to the Bank of Montreal and the Traders Bank of Canada. The name of the company was also changed to the Guelph Radial Railway, as the new owners proposed extending the car lines to municipalites outside Guelph, but none were ever built.

Ridership doubled between 1902 and 1906 resulting in more rolling stock being purchased in 1906 and again in 1911. In 1903, the city of Guelph purchased the street railway for $78,000, which included eight miles of track, eight closed and three open cars.

Freight service had been introduced in 1900 using a small four-wheel locomotive, with traffic being interchanged with the Grand Trunk Railway. This business increased to a point where in 1911 a new 27-ton locomotive, #26, was purchased from Preston Car & Coach, along with two 2-truck 'Prairie' type streetcars, #60 and #70. In 1913, another 'Prairie' car, #80, was added with two more, #90 and #100, being acquired in 1914. The Prairie cars were 45 feet 10 inches in length and were double ended. All five 'Prairie' cars were transferred to the Toronto and York Radial Railway in 1925 and renumbered 151 to 155. A second freight interchange was added on Suffolk Street in 1915 and a connection was made with the new Toronto Suburban Railway line in 1917.

Both the Canadian Pacific Railway and Ontario Hydro made offers to buy the Guelph system. Ontario Hydro won out and took title to the Railway, under the name Ontario Hydro Electric Railways - Guelph District, on May 21, 1921. Some lines were rebuilt and some extended. Seven single-truck Birney cars numbered 219 to 225 were acquired in 1922. These were built by Canadian Brill at the former Preston Car & Coach plant in nearby Preston, Ontario.

The first bus, a 29-seat Gotfredson, was placed in service in 1926 on Eramosa Road. This service was discontinued on October 31, 1927 due to significant losses, however, the service was reinstated the following year with a smaller bus. A second bus was used when streetcar tracks were under repair.

Operating losses began to climb beginning in 1927. The Suffolk line was removed in 1929 due to its poor condition and the cost of rebuilding, being replaced by bus service.

In 1926, Ontario Hydro tried to sell the system back to the City of Guelph, but were refused. Finally, in June 1937, City Council recommended the discontinuance of the streetcars, September 30, 1937 being the final day of operation, buses replacing them the next day. In 1939, the Ontario Legislature passed a bill transferring the system to the newly created Guelph Transportation Commission (now called Guelph Transit). Electric freight service continued to operate until May 26, 1939 [ [ Guelph Radial Railway ] ] .

Guelph Transit Today

Guelph Transit today has grown to many bus routes that cover the entire city. Sunday service was added in 2001 as well as additional routes over the last 5 years. Guelph Transit's Garage, moved from Waterloo Avenue to 12 Municipal Street, along with other City Works in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, a new transit facility was constructed on Watson Road.

On June 20, 2007 Guelph Transit launched a web-based system known as "Next Bus" [ [ City of Guelph ] ] . Global positioning satellites (GPS) technology and advanced computer modeling provide riders via the Internet, handheld devices (including Palms, Blackberries, and Web-capable cellular phones), or their telephones to receive accurate, real-time arrival and departure information. This system has proven frustrating to some Guelphites, as Guelph Transit has removed posted information on bus arrival times and a user standing at a bus stop without a cell phone has no way of determining when the next bus will arrive. Additionally, the system's predictions have been known to be wildly inaccurate [ [ ] ] .

The new system features web-based map displays with local streets and routes, and real-time information available on the web. It will also incorporate dynamic transit display signs at key locations around the city. One such sign is already in place at Stone Road Mall. However, the service is limited in that the time displayed is linked to the scheduled arrival on the applicable timetable, not the anticipated arrival based upon the current location of the bus.

Guelph Transit added holiday service in 2007 as well as additional routes serving the south end of the city. Services on these routes (56 57 and 58) were suspended in April 2008, and the 54 Arkell route was extended to St Georges Square in July 2008.

Future Plans

Plans are currently underway to convert the Train Station and current Greyhound Bus Terminal into a Regional Transit Facility by 2009 [ [ Guelph Wellington Transportation Study - Chapter 5 ] ] .


*1 Woodlawn, access icon|15px,
*3 Waterloo/Fife access icon|15px,
*4 York Road access icon|15px,
*6 Auden/Eastview, access icon|15px,
*7 St. Joseph Hospital access icon|15px,
*8 General Hospital access icon|15px,
*9 Stone Road Mall, access icon|15px,
*10 College/Niska access icon|15px,
*22 Conestoga access icon|15px,
*23 Paisley/Imperial access icon|15px, (Regular Services only)
*24 Industrial, access icon|15px,
*51 Gordon Street access icon|15px,
*51A University,
*52 University/Kortright, access icon|15px,
*53 University Express,
*54 Arkell,
*55 University/College,
*" 56 Rickson Express" (inactive),
*" 57 Harvard Express" (inactive),
*" 58 Scottsdale Express" (inactive),
*59 University/Gordon,
*61 Victor Davis access icon|15px,
*70A Perimeter Counter-Clockwise,
*70B Perimeter Clockwise.

access icon|15px denotes wheelchair accessible routes


Fares effective July 6, 2008: [ [ Guelph Transit Fares] ]

* $ 2.25 per ride


* Adult - 10 tickets for $ 19.00
* Student - 10 tickets for $ 16.00
* Senior - 10 tickets for $ 16.00 "Passes"

* Adult - $ 63.00 per month
* Student - $ 57.00 per month
* Senior - $ 52.00 per month

* Day Passes - $6.25
* Children under 5--free.


Most of Guelph's fleet are accessible buses;

* General Motors T6H-5307N "New Look" (All retired)
* Nova Bus LFS access icon|15px
* Orion Bus Industries Orion VI access icon|15px
* Orion Bus Industries Orion V
* Motor Coach Industries TC40-102A "Classic" access icon|15px
* Motor Coach Industries TC40-102N "Classic"
* General Motors TC40-102N "Classic" (Most are retired)
* Ford Overland ELF access icon|15px

access icon|15px denotes wheelchair accessible vehicles

ee also

* Guelph Magic Bus
* GO Transit
* Greyhound Canada
* VIA Rail
* Grand River Transit


External links

* [ Guelph Radial Railway]
* [ Guelph Transit Website]
* [ Drawings and photos of Guelph Transit buses]

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