Council hopes to improve bus services

·2 min read

A local councillor hopes to make an essential service safer, more affordable, reliable, and accessible.

During the latest council meeting, councillor Clare Latimer presented a motion to help bring about some improvements to municipal transit for users.

Latimer entered the successful motion asking for a report to come forward early in the next term concerning recent actions taken to improve the reliability and accessibility of Ride CK services and existing deficiencies and recommendations.

The motion will cover urban conventional and specialized transit services, along with the need to prepare for new urban developments and ridership growth.

Latimer said some people, who rely on the bus service for work, appointments and more, are left waiting for more than two hours at times.

“The existing algorithm that we’re using is leading some of our more vulnerable or disabled residents sitting for up to two hours, waiting to be picked up. They can’t get to their appointments easily,” she said.

Latimer added it is important that the people who rely on RideCK services for their essential transportation know that the council is aware of current deficiencies.

“We are working to meet this essential demand. We’re taking into consideration the fact we are trying to encourage more people to use public transit, and with more people coming to CK, the need for that will increase,” she added.

Chatham councillor Karen Kirkwood-Whyte agreed the motion was needed for the essential bus service. She said she’s heard from constituents who live in the Prestancia subdivision and want to see service.

The councillor also added that some older individuals would often prefer to take transit instead of driving.

“The elderly perhaps want to sell their vehicles and take advantage of public transit,” she said. “I know with all of the building that’s going on in the community that this particular motion should cover that,” she said. “I’m hoping that the report that’s being requested will include some of these areas that are being built up right now.”

The motion passed unanimously 17-0.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News