Amherstburg residents will soon be able to take a bus from Amherstburg into west Windsor and points beyond for work, school or other appointments now that Council has approved a two-year pilot project with Transit Windsor.
The pilot launches in September, just in time for classes at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College. The route travels along Sandwich Street for the most part, but goes along Texas Road and through the Kingsbridge subdivision and includes a one-way loop out of Town down Simcoe, Fryer and Alma Streets, passing by North Star High School and the Community Hub.
Those two diversions from Sandwich were arrived at through public consultation and bring the travel time to Windsor to 60 minutes, up from the 45 minutes it would have been had the route only included stops on Sandwich.
The bus will operate three times per day, seven days per week, year-round allowing residents to “utilize the service for schooling, medical appointments and employment opportunities” and providing “the opportunity for those in other local municipalities to experience the Town’s many tourism events and activities throughout the spring and summer months.”
The cost will be $4.75 per trip, compared to $3.15 in LaSalle and $10 in Leamington. Any fares collected in Amherstburg will flow to the Town and fares collected outside of Amherstburg will flow to the City of Windsor. In addition to the fare revenue, the Town will be able to apply for transit grants and will also be eligible for gas tax dollars, which can be used to offset the costs.
Council earmarked $80,000 for this project in its 2022 Budget and pre-committed operational expenditures of $225,000 for the 2023 Budget and $175,000 for the 2024 Budget.
I’m excited to launch this pilot project and link our residents up to a regional transit system and all the opportunities it provides. I don’t take the bus much anymore but it was a lifeline in my younger years, allowing me to pursue advanced schooling and work opportunities, and it will likewise open doors for Amherstburg residents, especially our youth.
“The need for a public transit service in the Town has long been a request from the residents and has garnered support from many local community groups,” said a Council report.
“Public transportation contributes to both the economical and physical health of individuals. Such a system brings financial benefits to communities, and is a key component of a healthy business ecosystem by increasing mobility options for both residents who are job commuters, students who are pursuing educational opportunities and customers who wish to visit Amherstburg for a day trip opportunity.”