Reservation System a Concern for Cobourg Wheels Services User

ELENA HOGAN / NORTHUMBERLAND NEWS

COBOURG — Cobourg resident, Gerald Ford, presented a delegation to Council regarding the Wheels Reservation System in a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Aug. 8. Mr. Ford expressed his concerns reagarding the rate of booking errors experienced in the resrvation system and suggested the need of a single consistent system.


Presentation heard at town council

COBOURG — Cobourg resident Gerald Ford has asked council to go back to the drawing board to develop an improved reservation system for Cobourg Wheels Services.

Cobourg Wheels Services is a para-transit program that provides door-to-door transportation to frail seniors and people with disabilities.

In a delegation to Town council on Monday, Aug. 8, Mr. Ford voiced his concerns regarding the service’s current reservation system and its rate of scheduling errors.

Council received Mr. Ford’s presentation for information and said it would be reviewed by staff along with information received from the upcoming public
transit open house. Council will receive the staff report on the Open House before considering any final decision on the terms of agreement with the service provider.

Among the issues discussed were the high rate of scheduling errors in weekday booking services, the fact that Wheels users must call either Port Hope or Peterborough to book reservations for a Cobourg service, as well as the lack of consistency in service and communication between the reservation service providers in Port Hope and Peterborough.

Currently, Coach Canada Port Hope provides weekday reservation services while on the weekends the bookings must be made through Coach Canada Peterborough.

This has resulted in users having to call two different numbers to make a reservation depending on the day of the week.

“We need to discard this double system,” said Mr. Ford. “And develop a (single) reservation system that’s based here in Cobourg and staffed here by people in Cobourg (with) one local telephone number for all reservations so that the service provided is uniform and seamless through the week and weekend.”

Councillor Miriam Mutton asked director of public works Bill Watson about scheduling errors and whether there had been any improvements in the numbers. Mr. Watson said, while there were issues initially, improvements have been seen in the numbers, as well as noted by users of the system when surveyed.

Mr. Ford agreed that, overall, the Wheels service is excellent, but noted the survey, which he himself was asked to take, was about general services and
not the more specific reservation system.

“In total, the Wheels service is excellent,” said Mr. Ford. “But there are pieces of it that are quite bad, and (the reservation system) is a particular
problem.”

Mayor Gil Brocanier agreed the Wheels service must be “pretty good” as the Town of Cobourg received federal recognition for it in the form of an award two years ago in June.

The public transit open house is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 16 from noon to 6 p.m. at the downtown transit shelter on Albert Street.

Reproduced from http://www.northumberlandnews.com/news/cobourg/article/183194