Durham Region Transit (DRT) is the regional public transit operator in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada, east of Toronto. Its headquarters are at 110 Westney Road South in Ajax, Ontario, and there are regional centres in Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa. DRT was formed by the merger of Ajax/Pickering Transit, Whitby Transit, Oshawa Transit, and Clarington Transit on January 1, 2006.

Durham Region Transit
Bus 8172 waiting at the Ajax GO Station.
FoundedJanuary 1, 2006
Headquarters110 Westney Road South
Ajax, Ontario
L1S 2C8
LocaleDurham Region
Service areaWhitby, Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Scugog, Brock, Toronto
Service typePublic transit
Routes33
Stops1500+
Fleet121 (Conventional)
57 (BRT)
Daily ridership67,000 (weekdays, Q4 2023)[1]
Annual ridership10,589,799 (2023)[2]
Fuel typeDiesel, Hybrid
OperatorDurham Region
Websitewww.durhamregiontransit.com

Overview

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DRT's operation is overseen by the Durham Region Transit Commission, consisting of the members of Durham Region Council. In April 2007, the Durham Region Transit Executive Committee was created to take over day-to-day oversight responsibilities, with the full Commission meeting on a limited basis as needed. The executive committee consists of the Regional Chair and one councillor or mayor from each of the eight Durham Region municipalities as appointed by each municipality.

DRT is organized into three operating divisions:

  • Raleigh serving the City of Oshawa, Municipality of Clarington, and the Town of Whitby
  • Westney serving the Town of Ajax, City of Pickering and the Town of Whitby
  • DRT On-Demand & Specialized Services provide service to rural and urban areas without bus service as well as for the disabled

Most of DRT's operational and maintenance services are provided by regional staff who are members of Unifor Local 222.

DRT service in the Town of Whitby was initially operated under the terms of an existing Whitby Transit contract with Trentway-Wagar. A new contract that combined Brock, Scugog & Uxbridge operations with Whitby operations was awarded to Trentway-Wagar in 2011. The drivers and maintenance staff were therefore employees of Trentway-Wagar. This contract ended on June 30, 2016.[3] A new contract with Pacific Western Transit (PWT) was signed in 2017. As of December 31, 2023, this contract has ended and all transit service in Whitby has been transitioned to Durham Region Transit operators and staff.[4]

Routes

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On July 28, 2008, DRT introduced a unified route number system using a three digit format, with the first digit indicating the municipality:

  • 100s: Pickering
  • 200s: Ajax
  • 300s: Whitby/Brooklin
  • 400s: Oshawa/Courtice
  • 500s: Clarington/Bowmanville
  • 600s: Uxbridge
  • 900s: Regional/DRT PULSE

All Durham Region Transit routes are wheelchair-accessible ( ). As of June 24, 2024, the following routes are in operation at DRT:[5]

  Regular service
  PULSE service
  Blue Night Network
Route Destinations Division Notes
100 NB To Finch Ave / Liverpool Road via Pickering Parkway Terminal SB To Pickering Waterfront via Pickering Parkway Terminal Westney
  • Seasonal summer & weekend service
101 Loop To Bay Ridges Loop To Pickering GO Station Westney
  • Rush-hour service
101A
112C NB To Burkholder Drive (Seaton) via Brock Road & Taunton Road SB To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Brock Road & Taunton Road Westney
121 EB To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Glenanna Road, Finch Ave, Strouds Lane & Whites Road WB To Pickering GO Station via Glenanna Road, Finch Ave, Strouds Lane & Whites Road Westney
121A To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Sunbird Trail To Pickering GO Station via Sunbird Trail
  • Operates during rush-hour only
121B To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Glenanna Road, Finch Ave, Strouds Lane & Whites Road To West Shore Boulevard / Oklahoma Drive

via Glenanna Road, Finch Ave, Strouds Lane & Whites Road

  • Weekend service only
216 NB To Taunton Road via Harwood Ave SB To Ajax GO Station Westney
216C To Audley Recreation Centre via Harwood Ave & Williamson Drive To Ajax GO Station via Harwood Ave & Williamson Drive
224 NB To Taunton Road via Salem Road SB To Ajax GO Station Westney
224C To Taunton Road via Salem Road To Ajax GO Station via Ajax Waterfront (Lake Driveway)
  • Summer service
227 Loop To Ajax GO Station via Bayly Street, Audley Road, Dreyer Drive, and Westney Road Loop To Ajax GO Station via Bayly Street, Audley Road, Dreyer Drive, and Westney Road Westney
  • Weekday rush hour service[6]
227A
  • Weekday rush hour service, operates counterclockwise in the PM[6]
301 NB To Taunton Road via Annes Street, McQuay Boulevard & Country Lane SB To Whitby GO Station Westney/Raleigh
  • Service does not operate between 08:30 and 14:30
302 NB To North Campus Terminal via Brock Street/Baldwin Road & Carnwith Drive SB To Whitby GO Station Westney/Raleigh
302B To Anderson St & Duggan Ave via Brock Street/Baldwin Road & Carnwith Drive
  • Weekday rush hour service
319 NB To Taunton Road via Garden Street & Anderson Road SB To Whitby GO Station Westney/Raleigh
  • Service does not operate between 08:30 and 14:30
392 NB To Whitby GO Station SB To Ontario Shores Westney/Raleigh
403 NB To Oshawa Centre Terminal via Oxford Street, Phillip Murray Avenue & Wentworth Street WB To Oshawa GO Station via Oxford Street, Phillip Murray Avenue & Wentworth Street Raleigh
403B NB To Oshawa Centre Terminal SB To Philip Murray Avenue
  • Weekday only rush hour service
405 NB To Delpark Homes Centre via Wilson Road & Adelaide Avenue WB To Oshawa Centre Terminal via Wilson Road & Adelaide Avenue Raleigh
407 NB To Delpark Homes via Ritson Road & Harmony Road SB To Farewell/Raleigh Raleigh
407A To Farewell/Raleigh via Colonel Sam Drive
  • Southbound-only, every hour
407C To Delpark Homes via Ritson Road, Nonquon Road & Harmony Road To Farewell/Raleigh
  • Northbound-only, every hour
409 NB To Windfields Farm Drive via Garrard Road, Conlin Road & Simcoe Street SB To Oshawa Centre Terminal Raleigh
409A To Oshawa Centre Terminal via Rossland Road & Stevenson Road
  • Afternoon school tripper
409C To Windfields Farm Drive via Nichol Avenue & Dundas Street To Oshawa Centre Terminal
  • Hourly service
410 NB To Harmony Terminal via Olive Ave, Harmony Road & Grandview Street WB To Oshawa Centre Terminal Raleigh
411 EB To Trulls Road (Courtice) WB To Oshawa Centre Terminal Raleigh
  • Weekend service only
411B To Farewell/Raleigh
  • Late night, weekend service only
419 EB To Harmony Terminal via Britannia Ave, Conlin Road & Grandview Street WB To Windfields Farm Drive/Simcoe Street Raleigh
421 EB To Trulls Road WB To Oshawa GO Station Raleigh
421A To Trulls Road via Colonel Sam Drive & Oshawa Centre Terminal To Oshawa GO Station via Oshawa Centre Terminal
421C To Trulls Road via Colonel Sam Drive & Avondale Road
  • Afternoon school trippers
423 NB To Harmony Terminal via Olive Ave, Harmony Road & Townline Road WB To Oshawa Centre Terminal Raleigh
502 EB To Simpson Avenue (Lakeridge Health Bowmanville) WB To Prince William Boulevard Raleigh
  • Eastbound service does not operate between 9:00 and 13:30
507 NB To Orono via Newcastle SB To Simpson Avenue (Lakeridge Health Bowmanville) Raleigh
  • Replaces On-Demand service during peak hours
605 EB To Reach Street/Coral Creek Crescent via Railway & Albert Street SB To Toronto Street/Welwood Drive via Railway & Albert Street Raleigh/Westney
900 EB To Downtown Oshawa via Highway 2 WB To Scarborough (U of T Scarborough) via Highway 2 & Ellesmere Road Raleigh
900B To Downtown Oshawa via Highway 2 To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Highway 2
901A NB To North Campus Terminal via Simcoe Street SB To Lakeview Park Raleigh
  • Operates northbound as 901B to North Campus Terminal
  • Late-night service extended north to Windfields Farm after 23:00
901C To Oshawa Centre Terminal
902 EB To Bowmanville (Lakeridge Health Bowmanville) WB To Oshawa GO Station via Oshawa Centre Terminal Raleigh
902B To Trulls Road (Courtice)
905A NB To Windfields Farm Drive/Simcoe Street
via Thickson Road, Dryden Boulevard, Taunton Road & Simcoe Street
SB To Whitby GO Station Raleigh/Westney
905C To Uxbridge via Port Perry
  • Operates every 1–2 hours
915 EB To Harmony Road/Conlin Road via Westney Road, Taunton Road & Townline Road WB To Ajax GO Station Raleigh/Westney
916 EB To Harmony Road/Conlin Road via Brock Road, Rossland Road & Harmony Road WB To Pickering Parkway Terminal
917 EB To Oshawa Centre Terminal WB To Pickering Parkway Terminal via Bayly Street, Whitby GO Station & Ajax GO Station Raleigh/Westney
  • Late-night trips operate as 917B between Pickering Parkway & Ajax GO
917Z To Toronto Zoo
  • Seasonal summer & weekend service
920 EB To Harmony Terminal WB To Scarborough Centre Station Raleigh
  • Weekday service only
  • Drop-off located at Town Centre Court, pick-up inside Scarborough Centre Station
921 To Harmony Terminal via Brock Road & Taunton Road To Scarborough Centre Station via Brock Road & Taunton Road
  • Limited express service, during early morning and afternoon peak only
  • Runs express between Brock Road and Conlin Road
  • Service suspended for the summer
N1 EB To Harmony Road/Conlin Road via Highway 2 & Harmony Road WB To Scarborough (U of T Scarborough) via Highway 2 & Ellesmere Road Raleigh
  • Night bus routes, from 12-5AM
  • Replaces PULSE 900, 901
N2 NB To Windfield Farms via Simcoe Street & North Campus Terminal SB To Bloor Street via Park Road & Wentworth Street

Service changes

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In its first year of operation in 2006, DRT implemented a number of service changes:

  • A common fare across Durham Region including transfer privileges
  • Access to GO Transit bus services operating within Durham Region for a standard DRT fare or transfer
  • Service for the northern communities of Port Perry, Brock, and Uxbridge in the form of community buses operating on specific days of the week
  • Implementation of Fixed-route evening/Sunday service in Ajax and Pickering replacing the former "dial-a-bus" service.
  • Service level improvements on several routes
  • The introduction of several new or extended routes, including:
    • Rush-hour Service along Brock Street/Baldwin Street (Highway 12) to Brooklin
    • Rush-hour Service along Bloor Street and Victoria Street (Durham Regional Road 22) from Durham College Oshawa GO to Whitby GO Train Stations
    • Service on Audley Road in Ajax, both south of Bayly Street and north of Kingston Road
    • Service along Townline Road in eastern Oshawa and Courtice
    • Weekend service to Whitby and Durham College Oshawa GO Transit stations

In 2007, the following new services were introduced:

  • 915 Taunton: grid service from Pickering GO Station via Bayly, Westney, Taunton and Simcoe to Durham College/Ontario Tech University
  • 916 Rossland : grid service from Ajax GO Station via Westney, Bayly, Harwood, Rossland, Grandview, Taunton, Ritson, Conlin and Simcoe
  • 302 Brock/Brooklin: increased service to Brooklin
  • 20 Westney and 40 Applecroft, and elimination of 23 Nottingham as a separate route
  • 504 Orono/Newcastle: revised to include Newcastle
  • 950 Uxbridge/Port Perry/Ontario Tech University: a grid weekday route from Uxbridge and Port Perry to Durham College/Ontario Tech University
  • replacement of Whitby dial a ride and shuttle bus service from the GO station with fixed routes

As a consequence of an operational budget shortfall, DRT implemented service cutbacks in December 2007 and March 2008, including cancellation of midday services, reduction in service hours and frequencies, and elimination of its 10 Ajax route.[7]

Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric shuttle

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The Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE) shuttle was an experimental bus service using autonomous vehicles; as of January 2022, WAVE is no longer in operation.[8] WAVE began service on November 8, 2021, using small, automated, driverless, electric vehicles. WAVE operated over a 6 km (3.7 mi) circuit beginning and ending at Whitby GO Station and travelling through the Port Whitby neighbourhood in south Whitby. For safety reasons, an attendant was on board the vehicle during the pilot phase of the project. The vehicle had a maximum speed of 20 km/h (12 mph). The service operated as Durham Region Transit route 300 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm on weekdays and between 7 am and 7 pm on weekends. The project partners included Metrolinx, Durham Region Transit and the City of Whitby.[9][10][11]

The service was suspended after an accident on December 16, 2021, that injured the attendant riding on the autonomous vehicle. At the time of the accident, the attendant was operating the vehicle in manual mode which suppressed the safety features of autonomous mode. The Ontario Ministry of Transport suspended the operating licence for the service after the accident. The service was cancelled after Local Motors, the vehicle supplier, went out of business on January 14, 2022.[8]

DRT Pulse

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DRT Pulse
 
 
ParentDurham Region Transit
FoundedJune 29, 2013
LocaleDurham Region
Service areaOshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Toronto (Scarborough)
Service typebus rapid transit
Routes4 (900, 901, 915, 916)
Destinations
Fleet57 (New Flyer Xcelsior, Nova Bus LFS)
Fuel typeDiesel

DRT Pulse is the brand name for bus rapid transit service operating in Durham Region and Scarborough. There are four DRT Pulse routes:[12]

  • 900 runs east–west along Highway 2 in Durham Region and along Ellesmere Avenue in Scarborough between Downtown Oshawa and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. Connections to Toronto Transit Commission services are available at U of T Scarborough and connections to GO Transit are available at various points along the line. The route partially operates in dedicated bus lanes.
  • 901 runs north–south along Simcoe Street between Lakeview Park to Windfield Farms via the OTU/Durham College North Campus. The route operates in mixed traffic.
  • 915 runs east–west along Taunton Road & Westney Road between Ajax GO Station and Harmony Road/Conlin Road. The route operates in mixed traffic. Connections to GO Transit are available at Ajax GO.
  • 916 runs east–west along Rossland Road & Harmony Road between Pickering Parkway Terminal and Harmony Road/Conlin Road. Connections to GO Transit are available at Pickering Parkway.

Route 900, the first phase of DRT Pulse, began service June 29, 2013, operating along the Highway 2 corridor between Downtown Oshawa and the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. The new service used 26 Xcelsior buses built by New Flyer Industries; the buses were painted in the orange and green DRT Pulse colours. Operating seven days per week, route 900 partly replaced GO Transit buses in the area. The buses made limited stops, but initially operated entirely in mixed traffic.[13] DRT Pulse was complemented by improved DRT and GO Transit service along Taunton Road, Rossland Road, and Bayly/Bloor/Victoria Streets.[14]

By 2015, Durham Region had installed reserved lanes on Kingston Road (Highway 2) in Ajax for DRT Pulse and GO Transit buses. These cube-side lanes were delimited by painted markings on the road surface and diamond signs over the lanes.[15]

In September 2020, articulated buses, branded for DRT Pulse, were introduced on route 900.[16] On September 28, 2020, DRT Pulse service started along Simcoe Street as route 901.[17] In January 2022, DRT Pulse service started along Taunton and Rossland Roads using DRT Pulse-branded vehicles.

Metrolinx plans to build the Durham–Scarborough BRT that would place most of route 900 in dedicated lanes, with the majority of the route being in the centre median strip of the roadway. Additional lanes will be added in certain sections to accommodate traffic levels, while some areas will see reduced traffic lanes or a complete closure to traffic.[18][19]

Fares

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DRT fares can be paid by cash, contactless payment (credit/debit), Presto cards or Presto E-Tickets. For customers paying a single ride fare by cash or PRESTO, the transfer is valid for unlimited travel on any DRT bus route in any direction for up to 2 hours from the time of issue. A monthly DRT bus pass provides unlimited travel across the entire DRT bus network for the entire month selected. Children ages 0 to 12 can travel fare free on DRT (similar to the program already in place on neighboring GO Transit and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) services).[20]

DRT provides two pass systems, both only available with the use of a PRESTO card. The Y-10 Youth Monthly Pass is available for monthly purchase for youth customers (13–19). It must be purchased every month during the school year (September–June) to receive the $18.10 discount. Otherwise, the Y-10 Pass costs $96.50 for one month.

DRT also has a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) which provides full-time post-secondary students at participating colleges and universities unlimited travel on the DRT network.

The following institutions participate in DRT's U-Pass program:

  • Durham College
  • Trent University - Durham GTA
  • Ontario Tech University

As of July 1, 2023, the standard DRT fare structure is as follows:

Fare type Adult Youth (13–19) Senior (65+) Child (12 and under)
Cash/Debit/Credit $4.60 $4.60 $3.38 Free
PRESTO $3.35 $3.00 $2.20 Free
GO Transit Co-Fare (transferring to and from DRT & GO)[21] Free Free Free Free
Y10 Monthly Pass N/A $78.40 N/A N/A
DRT U-Pass $150, covered in tuition fees for students at participating post-secondary institutions

Facilities

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DRT uses the following maintenance and operational facilities:[22]

Raleigh Division:

Address: 710 Raleigh Avenue, Oshawa
Coordinates: 43°52′57″N 78°49′43″W / 43.88250°N 78.82861°W / 43.88250; -78.82861
Opened: 1965 (original) 1980 (GO Transit expansion)
Facilities: bus storage, maintenance and servicing for DRT (GO Transit no longer operates out of this location as of 2012-13)

Westney Division:

Address: 110 Westney Road South, Ajax
Coordinates: 43°50′43″N 79°02′28″W / 43.84528°N 79.04111°W / 43.84528; -79.04111
Opened: 1988
Facilities: bus storage, maintenance and repairs

Thornton Division:

Address: 2400 Thornton Road North, Oshawa
Coordinates: 43°57′13″N 78°55′24″W / 43.95361°N 78.92333°W / 43.95361; -78.92333
Opened: Scheduled for 2026
Facilities: bus storage, maintenance and repairs

History

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DRT was formed in January 2006 through an amalgamation of existing municipal transit systems in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, and Clarington (Bowmanville). The systems were transferred to the regional government along with the legal authority to operate public transit in the local municipalities. This required approval by both Durham Region Council as well as four out of eight local municipal councils consisting of at least 50% of the population of the Region. The approval process took several years, with final approval for the amalgamation given by Durham Region Council on February 9, 2005. The remainder of 2005 was spent preparing for the merger. DRT assumed its responsibilities and inherited the equipment and facilities of its predecessor systems effective January 1, 2006.

On October 5, 2006, members of Local 222 began a legal strike action against DRT. All services were suspended other than those operated by Trentway-Wagar in Whitby. Limited specialized service continued via the use of contracted taxis. On October 29, a tentative settlement was announced, and full service resumed on November 3.

Previous systems

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Public transit service in Durham Region has a long history prior to the creation of DRT, dating back to the 19th century. The list below shows predecessor transit systems in each municipality:

Pickering

Ajax

Whitby

Oshawa

Clarington

  • Clarington Transit (2002–2005)
  • Specialized Service provided by Handi-Transit from 1974 to 2005

See also

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References

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  1. ^ https://pub-durhamregion.escribemeetings.com/FileStream.ashx?DocumentId=2673
  2. ^ https://pub-durhamregion.escribemeetings.com/FileStream.ashx?DocumentId=3194
  3. ^ "Durham Region Transit March 2011 meeting". Durham Region Transit. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  4. ^ "General Manager's Report". Durham Region Council and Committee Meetings - Transit Executive Committee. November 8, 2023.
  5. ^ "January 2024 service updates". www.durhamregiontransit.com. Retrieved 2023-12-27.
  6. ^ a b "January 2024 Service Updates". www.durhamregiontransit.com. 2023-12-05. Retrieved 2023-12-27.
  7. ^ "Durham Region Transit Identifies Low Performing Routes for Service Adjustments". Durham Region Transit. 2007-12-03. Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  8. ^ a b "Toronto's self-driving transit project cancelled after supplier shuts down". Toronto Star. January 28, 2022.
  9. ^ "Self-driving electric shuttle heading to Whitby GO as part of AV pilot project". Metrolinx. August 25, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  10. ^ "Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric Shuttle Project". Connect Whitby. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  11. ^ "First for Canada as transit riders can use self-driving electric shuttle to get to Whitby GO". Metrolinx. November 8, 2021. Archived from the original on November 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "System Map" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-06-13.
  13. ^ "Introducing... DRT Pulse, Starting June 29". Transit Toronto. May 26, 2013.
  14. ^ "With the Arrival of PULSE Service, DRT and GO Transit Focus Their 'One Fare' Agreement". Region of Durham. Durham Region Transit. June 27, 2013. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "New pavement markings on bus-only and cycling lanes in Durham Region". DurhamRadioNews.com. October 22, 2015. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021.
  16. ^ "DRT gets green light to operate articulated buses". Durham Post. September 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "DRT unveils new network from September 28". Durham Post. September 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "DSBRT Map". Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  19. ^ "Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit". Metrolinx. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "Fares - Durham Region Transit". Durham Region Transit. 10 August 2022. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  21. ^ "Fares". www.durhamregiontransit.com. 2023-05-30. Retrieved 2023-06-19.
  22. ^ "Durham Region Transit Service Strategy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2006-01-07.
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