Transit advocacy group to issue report cards on the quality of bus service - will anything get a B? A's are not likely to be handed out.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 28, 2016


The difference this year is that the transit people will be at the Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST) second annual Transit Users’ Forum, which gets underway this Saturday, April 2, from 9:30AM to 12:00 noon at the Central Library.

Last year they were missing in action.

Transit - seniors with Gould

Seniors discussing what the transit system does for them – has anything changed since this event last year?

Eight community organizations have combined efforts to sponsor the Forum that has announced it will be issuing a report card on Burlington Transit’s performance based on areas identified as priorities by last year’s gathering. Nearly 100 people attended in 2015.
Mayor Rick Goldring and Councilor’s Marianne Meed Ward and Paul Sharman have accepted invitations to attend this year’s event. Burlington Transit will also have a representative.

A free continental breakfast will be provided between 9:30 and 10:00 AM.

“The objective of this forum is to provide an opportunity for Burlington Transit users to describe their riding experience and to provide their views on how the system should be improved,” says Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit. .”It will be an opportunity for transit users and transit advocates to meet and discuss potential strategies for improving transit and special transit.”

Transit wkshp = Edwardth = Mayor with cell

Mayor Goldring, checking the bus schedule on his Smart phone while Joey Edwardh looks on – not certain the Mayor knows what he is doing.

Due to construction on New Street, Burlington Transit is providing special shuttle buses between the Central Library and the Downtown Bus Terminal both before and after the meeting. Consult or the Burlington Transit website at for more details.

The co-sponsoring organizations are as follows:

Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit (BFAST)
Burlington Age-Friendly Seniors Council (BAFSC)
Burlington Green
Canadian Federation of University Women – Burlington
Community Development Halton
Halton Environmental Network (HEN)
Poverty Free Halton
Voices for Change – Burlington (VFCH)

Why is transit always seen as something for poor people?  Those with income limitations don’t own a vehicle and they depend on public transit – but ta the same event last year there were a number of people with good jobs in Toronto who depended on transit to get them to the GO station and they talked candidly and appreciatively about the quality of the transit service and how it had been able to make those small changes at work for them.

Goldring selfy

A “selfie” the Mayor published on an occasion when he created a photo op by taking the bus to work. Where was his communications adviser when this was released?

Modern buses with schedules that meet the needs of as many people as possible and don’t undergo changes all the time will draw a clientele that becomes loyal.  We could stop framing transit as something people with limited means need – and position it as something that meets the transportation needs of a bigger cohort.

And if the politicians can stop using the occasions when they do take a bus as more than a photo op and become regular users – we will have come some distance.  You weren’t holding your breath were you?


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