Mayor Cam Guthrie and Ward 3 Councillors June Hofland and Phil Allt hosted a Town Hall meeting on March 20 to elicit feedback from transit users on what is currently working, what needs improving and what needs to be given priority as the city moves forward.
In the audience along with the regular transit riders were other councillors, members of the City’s Transit Advisory Committee and some bus drivers.
The Mayor set the agenda and the tone of the meeting by stating there would be four areas for discussion and inviting feedback from attendees that would support the City in making informed decisions about improvements and changes to transit in the future. He indicated that he and the councillors were there to listen and people were encouraged to share their concerns.
The enthusiastic audience of approximately 100 people began by expressing kudos for the bus drivers and telling some of their personal experiences of drivers going above and beyond duty to provide excellent service.
While there were other areas where the audience provided positive feedback, one member of the audience suggested it was an opportunity to discuss those areas where there was concern so they could be considered in upcoming budget and transit talks.
Audience members came well prepared and offered not only input re specific issues but also added well thought out possibilities for solutions or suggestions for change as well.
Some of the areas raised included bus schedules that didn't work for shift workers, routes on 40 minute schedules that made meeting transfers difficult and lack of bus shelters in some areas. There was also concern that there had been several changes to routes and service in the recent past that caused confusion for riders.
Other issues raised by seniors and those with mobility issues specifically, included buses starting before passengers were seated, lack of shelters for those cold and wet days, changes to stop locations, changes to the community buses and difficulty accessing stop locations during the winter months.
Councillors Hofland and Allt have indicated that they will be introducing a motion to return Route 3 (serving St Jos) to 30 minute service from the current 40 minute service.
If you weren't able to attend this event and would like to share your ideas or issues or to provide positive feedback about Guelph’s transit system, consider talking with your councillor or calling the Guelph Transit Department at City Hall.
Looking forward to seeing you on the bus.
For more information about how you can support or get involved with Age-Friendly Guelph get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit guelph.ca/agefriendly.
by Bonnie Burgess, Age-Friendly Guelph Leadership Team, Guelph Transit Advisory Committee Member