The question is a real head twister for us.
One would think that it is in the vested interest of public transport companies – all of them – to have a larger portion of the population aware of their services and how they fit together as a network.
On UrbanToronto, where there is an active discussion about this map, a contributor suggested that people should be provided information that would allow them between Pembroke and Welland. Whether or not you have ever had any interest in either of these communities matters not – they are perfectly representative of the realities of nearly all Ontarians who will some day want to go to a community of that size. Although often forgotten by Torontonians and Ottawans, many Ontarians already live in communities that are those sizes.
Yes, we realize that some companies make maps of their services. In the case of companies that are large enough to constitute their own network, we give these companies some credit. Other companies only offer a route or two, such that their own maps are inherently one-dimensional (like this, or if we are really generous, this).
As it stands now, there is no single source of information that confirms the fact that one can travel from Pembroke to Welland. Since we made this map, we can confirm that one can, and here is an example itinerary. The only reason why we know this is that we took the time to look at all services as a network, and then use the company-specific tools to check the schedules. It should not be this hard.
We get it that under the current regime, no single company carries passengers between Pembroke and Welland. On the other hand, if people at least knew that the entire trip was feasible, then they would know to take the individual companies for specific legs of the journey. Not only would this have immediate impacts on travel options for people, it would also increase ridership, and be in the companies’ own interests.
Or, are they not actually interested in our business?
We could really use an explanation of the business plans of Ontario’s privately-operated bus companies. As people who actually want to use their services, we’re not following.