Lack Of Transit Affecting Business Growth In Windsor-Essex

A report from Workforce Windsor-Essex indicates business growth is being stalled due to lack of public transportation.

According to the report, Lakeshore, Leamington, and Oldcastle all have a large pool of jobs, but employers say are not being filled because potential workers simply can't get there, and it's preventing preventing economic growth.

There were 190 job postings in 2016 in Oldcastle, which does have bus service that reaches its border with Windsor. The Patillo Rd. area in Lakeshore also posted 135 jobs but has no public transit to speak of, according to the report.

Leamington posted 226 jobs in 2016. The town does have public transit, but with an agriculture based economy the report says much of the available work is outside the serviced area.

Transit Windsor's Pat Delmore says the problem has been brought up before. He says there needs to be a willingness to work together to connect industry and communities.

"Each municipality is responsible to provide any type of service that may be needed. The directive that Transit Windsor has had, is we're more than willing to work with adjacent municipalities, but the additional funding and cost would be the responsibility of the neighbouring municipalities."

"The report shows the issue isn't going away and at the end of the day, people have to come forward and push for improvements," says Delmore. "We know there's opportunities there, these opportunities have been discussed over and over, it's time now for the residents in these municipalities to stand up and say, we deserve public transit."

The report recommends the collaboration of municipalities to establish small transit systems, in areas lacking service, to be built up over time. It also calls for the amendment of existing routes to reflect the needs of workers during peak hours.