The question: Will you support funding the measures, outlined in Burlington Transit’s 5-year Business Plan, to keep improving service and increasing ridership?
The answers, by position:
James Kerr: I am supportive of a plan that is looking for ways to make transit in Burlington more efficient, convenient and affordable for everyone.The [Burlington Transit Business Plan] looks like it shows the 5-year Implementation cost at just over $43 million so I would like to see how this integrates into the larger Budget Plan for Burlington.
Anne Marsden: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Marianne Meed Ward: Yes. Pre-covid we made great strides in improving transit ridership. Council made our free transit for seniors pilot program permanent, offering free transit in off peak hours. That measure alone increased transit by 40% among seniors. We offered free transit for youth 12 and under, to align with free transit on GO trains/buses. We covered the balance of SPLIT pass fees, so transit is free for low income residents. I’m committed to re-starting conversations around free transit for high school students in the next term. Our staff also changed routes to a grid system, to provide more efficient, rapid transit, and increased buses on key routes to 15 minute service. All of these measures increased ridership by 16%. Though our ridership is not yet back to what it was before the pandemic, it is coming back at a faster rate than transit services in area municipalities, and we do expect a full recovery over time.
Steve Rieck: For the time being, sure. But we will need to review each measure for ROI, ROE etc. We need to find out why people are NOT taking transit when it would clearly benefit them and what we can do to improve it. The low-hanging-fruit opportunities should be our focus.
William Tuck: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 1:
Kelvin Galbraith: Yes I will support the funding measures in the 5-year Transit Plan. I am of the opinion that as we intensify, the transit system will be more important for our citizens that live in taller buildings. They will likely only have one vehicle per unit and will need to look for other options of transportation.
Robert Radway: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 2:
Keith Demoe: Yes, I am a big supporter of transit. With the new existing buildings that have been already approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), transit will play a very big role in residents commuting.
Lisa Kearns: Yes. The Transit Plan is a robust strategy and plan that will make incredible improvements to increasing ridership – making transit a priority option.
Tim O’Brien: Absolutely. With the movement towards intensification we need a transit system that people are not only willing to take but wanting to take. Burlington’s Transit 5-year Business plan is definitely the step in the right direction. Taking this a step further, I would like to see a handivan service that would bring seniors on a regular basis to shopping centers at all times during the day. This would look like the shuttle buses that we see at hotels.
Council, Ward 3:
Jennifer Hounslow: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Luke McEachern: Yes.
Rory Nisan: Yes.
Council, Ward 4:
Tony Brecknock: Editor’s note: Although we did not receive a written response from Tony Brecknock (possibly due to technical problems) the candidate did request a meeting and verbally expressed support for Burlington Transit and BFAST’s positions.
Olivia Duke: Yes – improving service needs to be on the forefront. With improved, more efficient service, transit becomes much more appealing and ridership can increase.
Shawna Stolte: My historic voting record and comments show that I enthusiastically supported Burlington Transit’s 5-year Business Plan when it came before Council, and I continue to be very committed to improving Burlington Transit services and finding new and innovative ways to incentivize ridership. Continuing to commit to building a public transit system that offers a reliable, efficient and affordable alternative to car travel is one important way to get more cars off the road and make a positive impact on traffic congestion.
Eden Wood: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 5
Andrew Hall: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Denny Pirzas: Yes, I will. I believe it is crucial to the well being of the environment and the city of Burlington.
Guy D’Alesio: It is my position that improving public transit is critical for Burlington. As the city continues to grow and add residential spaces we are seeing increased traffic congestion and gridlock during certain times. I will be very supportive of Burlington Transit’s 5 -year plan to improve service and increase ridership.
Paul Sharman: Response not received in time for our deadline.
Council, Ward 6
Angelo Bentivegna: Yes, I supported the report at council.
Rick Greenspoon: I am unable to complete your survey in the time you have allotted. Although as a statement, I do support Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit, I do not have enough information and background data to answer all of your questions.
Renato Velocci: Response not received in time for our deadline.