GUELPH POLITICAST #117 – Regional Transit

If you don’t have a car in Guelph, how do you get to Cambridge? Well, you can get the Greyhound to Kitchener at one of the few times a day it departs and then transfer to Grand River Transit at Sportsworld Drive. You can also take the GO Bus to the Aberfoyle “Park and Ride”, wait an hour and get the bus to Kitchener from there. Either way, you could probably walk to Cambridge faster…

This week, Mayor Cam Guthrie held a town hall on Guelph Transit, but looking further afield we also need to have a discussion about regional transit. When we limit mobility, we limit opportunity, and here in Guelph, we’re actually very limited in our mobility when it comes to getting to areas beyond the GTA to our immediate east. Even at that, we’re struggling to get more access to rail and more express bus service to Toronto proper.

Still, compared to some, Guelph doesn’t have it that bad. For this week’s edition of the podcast, we address the problem of regional transit, but first we use a case study.

We hear from Chris Hughes, Manager of Contract Services for the City of Owen Sound, who helped but together an application to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario for funds to set-up a two-way daily bus route between his city and Guelph through the Community Transportation Grant Program. Presently, Owen Sound has one out of town bus route to Toronto through Barrie, so Hughes talks about what he and the City of Owen Sound hopes the new route will accomplish.

After Hughes we hear from Michelle German, the Senior Manager of Policy and Partnerships at Evergreen Canada, a non-profit organization that helps work towards greener, more sustainable cities. Obviously the expansion and accessibility of public transit are a big piece in the puzzle of creating more sustainable cities, and Evergreen helped write a report on regional transit and where the gaps are just two years ago. With German, we discuss the bigger issue of regional transit, why we’re struggling to establish more of it, and how we can promote it in this year’s two elections.

So let’s get on the bus, or train, and talk about how we get more buses and trains on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

If you’re interested in learning more about Owen Sound’s experiment, and their bid for money from the MTO’s Community Transportation Grant Program, you can click here, and here. If you would like to read the “Are We There Yet?” report that was put together with Evergreen Canada, you can click here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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