Transit

Voices for Change actively engages the community and its leaders in ongoing conversations regarding accessible and affordable transit options in Halton.

Six Ways to Improve Your Public Transit System

Public transportation (transit)

Any form of transportation that charges set fares, runs fixed routes, and is available to the public. E.g. buses, subway, streetcars, ferries, trains, etc.

Public

Of or concerning the people as a whole. 

"What can I do that could possibly make any difference…"

You

are the reason that a public transit system exists. It is there to meet your transportation needs. Its job is to change as your needs change (and those of your community).

It works best when you:

  1. Use it often. The transit system is always evolving. Full buses, trains, etc. means more service gets added, giving more flexibility on travel times and alternative routes.

  2. Understand your public transit system by studying the overall route map and determining how it fits your personal transportation pattern.

  3. Attend meetings where public transit is discussed. Visit their website often for the latest news on changes, issues, and future plans.

  4. Ask questions of everyone involved (bus drivers, transit managers, planners, your mayor and councillors, etc.) Ask your questions as an "owner" concerned about your transit system.

  5. Tell them what works for you, and what doesn’t work (and how it needs to change to make it perfect for you).

  6. Share your travel stories with other riders and "future transit users" - anyone you meet might become a public transit user when you tell them how it can fit their life and add value to it.

The City heard from Me

I experienced A Harrowing walk from my apartment across the road one winter day.  There was a torrential downpour of rain causing a river of water over snow on the driveway which I did not realize had turned to ice.  Slipping and sliding to try and keep my balance, the movements caused wrenching of my back and legs trying to remain upright.

Proceeding precariously until getting to the still icy road, there was a mound of snow piled onto the curb by the snow plough and nowhere was there an pathway through it.

With only a minute or so to get over the mound of snow due to oncoming traffic and standing on one foot while reaching over with the other foot, leaning on my cane, I hoped the ice on either side would not send me flying.  I chose the furthest place from the stop light so I had more time.

The City heard from me in protest of their minimum 1 inch sidewalk shovelling policy and the apparent negligence of the street ploughs to remove pileups at the street/sidewalk intersections.

Does the City and Transit consider that Senior or disabled persons cannot navigate such treachery?   Yet they cancel our taxi script program so we cannot leave home spontaneously, if necessary under such circumstances.

Mine is not the first such incident I am aware of.  Senior persons in wheelchairs and with walkers have also been stuck or obstructed in some way.  It is degrading and insulting that this should happen to our City’s most vulnerable citizens.  Degrading, because we had to be subjected to it and insulting, because we were not given enough consideration to have prevented it.  I was truly concerned for my life, not to mention injuries from a possible fall and to be soaking wet with ice cold water, the rest of the day.

Council wants “feet on the street” in the downtown area and more people to use City Transit. If not practitioners or users of the service; they have NOT “walked the walk” – so I question how they can effectively “talk the talk”.

Having been a passenger on buses for years and standing for entire trips, I now have difficulty standing for any length of time.  This is why the Handi-Van service and the overflow taxi/taxi script program are so essential.

In order for persons to put “feet on the street” or use more City Transit it must be convenient for them to do so. In order for this to happen Council must reconsider transit services offered and those eliminated in order to make it possible for Seniors and disabled persons to leave home without having to give “notice” ahead of time.

It is also known that Seniors will soon outnumber all other demographic groups combined – add the number of disabled persons who are not yet Seniors and you can see the magnitude of the situation.  As well, goods and services required by many are not available downtown.

Getting around town can be a profound experience.  Burlington Transit is changing and we would like to hear about how city transit works and does not work for you.

 Joan Turbitt

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