GUELPH POLITICAST #295 – Link the Watershed?

A group of transit workers and advocates have done the impossible, they’ve put on the table a regional transit plan that doesn’t involve Metrolinx, the Ministry of Transportation, or new private carriers. The need for regional connections is more pressing than ever since Greyhound stopped all Canadian service earlier this year, but is that finally about to change?

After Greyhound ceased operations this past summer, several Guelph leaders, including the mayor, wrote a letter to the Minister of Transportation to demand action. Caroline Mulroney wrote back, and her two-page letter could essentially be boiled down to four words: “We’re working on it.” It’s clear that provincial partners will not prioritize the missing transit links in this region, so it’s up to us to find the solutions.

That’s where the Link the Watershed plan comes in.  The idea is to combine the efforts of Guelph Transit, Grand River Transit, and Brantford Transit to improve connectivity between the three municipalities. It will create direct links to other transit services, it’s easy to set up, and even without provincial funding, it would cost the three municipalities just $7.5 million per year. So can it be sold to politicians, and, more importantly, the people?

Warren Schnurr, chair of the union and politics committee of Unifor Local 4304, which represents the workers of Grand River Transit, will answer those and other questions. He will talk about the origins of the plan, the hurdles to making it a reality, why it’s been so hard to develop a plan like this, and how big it could get once launched. Plus, he will also discuss the opportunity for provincial funding, the challenges trying to sell this plan to local governments, and what the people can do to help promote it.

Let’s talk about acting on regional transit on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can see coverage of the Link the Watershed launch on Guelph Politico. You can also visit the website here, and you can show your support for the plan by spreading the word on social media at Link the Watershed’s Twitter page.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at Apple, Stitcher, Google, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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