Transit Windsor Executive Director Pat Delmore speaks at the downtown bus terminal, May 27, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Transit Windsor Has Tough Uphill Climb

Only 3.4% of people commuting to work in the Windsor area use public transit.

These latest Statistics Canada numbers come from the census in 2016.  The Canadian average is 12.4%, with the federal numbers agency saying more Canadians commuted to work in 2016 and a greater proportion took public transit than ever before.

Transit Windsor Executive Director Pat Delmore says the Windsor numbers are in the same ballpark as other similar municipalities.

“Look at other communities like Barrie at 4.3%, St. Catherines at 2.7% and Thunder Bay at 3.9%. We’re in and around that level for a municipality our size,” says Delmore.

Public transit usage in London is 7.2%, Oshawa is at 9.5%, and Toronto is at 24.3%.

According to Statistics Canada, the average commuting time in the Windsor area in 2016 was 18.5 minutes for car commuters and 36.4 minutes for public transit commuters. The Canadian averages are 24.1 and 44.8 minutes respectively.

Delmore understands Windsorites like to drive but says the area needs a transit system to improve its quality of life.

“Not everyone can afford a car and not everyone can afford to use a taxi to get to where they need to go,” Delmore says.

Delmore says the key to improving the system and building ridership is to make it more convenient and efficient by doing things like changing outdated routes.

“Many of these routes have been in place since the late 1970’s and the makeup of the City of Windsor has changed. We’ve grown,” says Delmore.