Election Blog – Jamie Gilcig – Mayor – Cornwall Ontario – Talking Cornwall Transit & Mobility

Election Blog – Jamie Gilcig – Mayor – Cornwall Ontario – Talking Cornwall Transit & Mobility

JG Election 300x250-02  TESTOne of the things I’ve always bragged about Cornwall is that you can drive anywhere in about ten minutes.

Really, I kid you not and we’re not a small village, but a city of nearly 50,000 people.   I know that’s changing and there are some issues now because of some poor city planning, but movement is critical to growth.

Cornwall transit does not offer Sunday service, and frankly it’s price point; while a consultant would brag that it’s competitive, isn’t something that induces ridership.

Our cost is pretty much the same whether we have a full or empty bus.

To me the purpose of having public transit is to help the wheels turn in our city.  It’s for those that don’t want or have to drive get around.  It’s for people to get to work and for people to get to where they want to go.

Right now it’s underused.   There are many reasons for that, some being that there is no Sunday service and a limited schedule.

I have championed now for several years the concept of having a pilot project of having free public transit.   Right now fares only bring in around 20% of the budget.

If we as a city could negotiate a pilot project of three years with the province and feds to offset the costs I think we’d see a dramatic rise in ridership and productivity.  I think the cost eventually from the extra subsidy would be more than offset from growth, and I think it would help retain young people and attract many to move to our city.

Cornwall has another issue in that we are essentially cut off from the rest of Canada and the world when it comes to inter-city transportation.  Via Rail has cut staff in Cornwall and the connections are few and pretty useless for commuters.

Since the city gave assistance to Delaney Buses the big bus companies abandoned Cornwall with very limited service and no bus hub in the city.

The problem with Delaney is that their service is very limited and you have to pre-book.

It may be time for Cornwall Transit or City Hall to explore options for external transit even though it’s not in their mandate.   People in Cornwall who go to school or work in outside areas need options.

And it’s not only for people to move from Cornwall to other communities, but for vice versa.   We can only grown if we attract people.  How will some come here if we don’t have realistic travel options?

For some reason the Kilger council have not made this a priority and have allowed service to dwindle in the last eight years.  Heck when the new shopping centre opened on Brookdale it was like parting the Dead Sea to get a stop moved up for employees and shoppers.

We compete with Brockville, Kingston, Ottawa, Alexandria, and the counties for new residents and business.   We need a smooth flow of people to help make that happen?

What do you think Cornwall voters.   You can email me at jamie@cornwallfreenews.com with your thoughts and please remember to vote on October 27, 2014.

And if you truly want change in Cornwall there is only one real option!

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