Wake up Cantley councillors! You have a $20 million municipal budget and should absolutely be investing in transit services. Don’t use low 2022 ridership numbers as the reason to end service. This year has been far from “normal” and shouldn’t be used to justify a short-sighted budget cut. Instead, you should be planning for sustainable growth as a community that can offer residents multiple options for easy and affordable access to the capital. (“Cantley may axe bus service due to cost and low usage,” Oct. 19 edition).
If Cantley and other municipalities want to increase ridership on Transcollines, I propose they test out one small change: extend the routes, so they go all the way to Ottawa as a final destination. Forcing Ottawa-bound riders to transfer to STO on both city-bound and home-bound trips adds unnecessary time and inconvenience. Other commuter bus services from eastern Ontario run directly to downtown Ottawa, and Transcollines should do the same.
With a bit of planning and coordination, this could be an opportunity to improve services for residents rather than rolling backwards. Also, think about the economic development potential that could come with giving the many urban residents who don’t own cars an easy option to escape the city for day trips to Hills.
So come on Cantley. Get on board and renew the transit contract.
Chris Valiquet Wakefield, QC