New transit advocacy group in Windsor hopes to drive change

·2 min read
A Transit Windsor bus is seen in a file photo. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
A Transit Windsor bus is seen in a file photo. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

A new group that wants to see better public transit in Windsor wants to know what people think of the service right now.

Activate Transit Windsor Essex formally launched Wednesday with a survey.

Group members were out on buses and at the terminals encouraging transit users to fill out the questionnaire, though they also want to hear from those who don't use the service.

Jessica Bondy, the group's project lead, said improving transit is a topic people are passionate about, and the response has been good so far.

"The state of transit, I don't think it's a secret that it definitely needs to be improved, and we have a great master plan laid out to show us how to improve our services," Bondy said, referring to the city's plan released in 2019, which called for longer operating hours and the addition of nine routes.

Under that plan, adopted by council in January of 2020, an estimated $135 million is needed for capital requirements, and incremental operating costs will total about $25.6 million between 2020 and 2025.

The group says that transit ridership among commuters in Windsor is a fraction of what's seen across the province. According to 2016 census data, 3.4 per cent of workers in the Windsor Census Metropolitan Area use transit to get to their jobs.

Bondy said momentum around "green changes" is growing in Windsor, and the idea of Windsor being a car city is changing.

"I hear more and more from people coming from outside of Windsor that just cannot believe how poor the state of our transit is," Bondy said.

"As we start to hear more voices like that, as a group like ours is able to amplify those voices, we're hoping that we will start to see a shift in the decision making."

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