Proposed 2022 City of Windsor budget includes $16.3-million for transit

Mayor Drew Dilkens was joined by Transit Windsor Executive Director Tyson Cragg in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Windsor's mayor is touting planned investments in Transit Windsor that are being proposed in the City's 2022 budget.

The City's proposed 2022 budget includes $16.3 million to subsidize Transit Windsor operations next year, with at least $63 million in new capital projects over the next decade to continue improving public transit infrastructure and services.

The budget also proposes to make Route 518X permanent as part of transit route enhancements in 2022. The new limited-stop express route to St. Clair College via Devonshire Mall was established as a pilot project to reduce travel times between East Windsor and the college by over an hour each way. 

Since launching on Sept. 7, 2021, the route is averaging 1,500 to 1,800 unique trips, or annualized ridership of over 90,000.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says they need to match investments to ridership as we continue to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Residents expect that we're going to factor in lower ridership, 50 per cent below pre-pandemic levels in fact, when making long-term transit funding commitments," he says.

Dilkens also calls the spending plan responsible and prudent.

 "Our plan will continue delivering results at less than half the rate of inflation over the next year while respecting tax payer dollars. Those results will include expanding and modernizing our public transit infrastructure and our services," adds Dilkens.

Additional Transit Windsor highlights of 2021:

  •  Route re-alignment on Route 1C on Tecumseh Road East to improve service and eliminate duplication
  •  Continued installation of over 180 new transit shelters across the city
  •  Ridership decline to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
  •  Return temporarily to full service on all city and county routes from September 5, 2021, to November 21, 2021
  •  Inability to re-start the Tunnel Bus service due to pandemic travel restrictions at the international border crossing, as well as equipment shortages due to supply chain/microchip issues
  •  Instituted the City of Windsor’s COVID-19 vaccination policy requiring all staff to be fully vaccinated by November 15, 2021.
  •  Adjusted service levels as of November 22, 2021, due to a significant number of operations and maintenance staff deemed to be non-compliant with the City of Windsor’s vaccination policy
  •  The City’s proposed 2022 budget includes $16.3 million to subsidize Transit Windsor operations next year, while investing at least $63 million in new capital projects over the next decade to continue improving public transit infrastructure and services. These investments are Delivering Results while respecting taxpayers.

Public Transit projects planned for 2022 include the following:

  •  24 new buses on order, scheduled for delivery in mid-2022
  •  $3.9 million to continue implementing the 12-year life cycle of Transit Windsor’s fleet, including the annual acquisition of replacement buses as needed;
  •  $500,000 for fleet refurbishment, repair costs, and additional enhancements that extend the useful life of buses;
  •  $760,000 for the ongoing implementation of the More Than Transit Master Plan, which includes funding for projects such as fare collection technology, customer amenities and terminals, and Transit On Demand;
  •  $200,000 for major repair costs to the fleet, specifically the hybrid buses;
  •  Over $800,000 to support implementation of service improvements and changes needed to fixed assets in conjunction with the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program;
  •  $51,000 to properly maintain and replace bus shelters, signage and other customer amenities;
  •  $90,000 for Automated Passenger Counters (APC) to gather detailed ridership data to better assist transit planners and schedulers to analyze performance and to make changes at the route, trip or stop levels so that service levels matches the demand; and
  •  $120,000 for Handi-Transit bus acquisitions to expand transit assets.