Transit Windsor Getting More Financial Help from the Province

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More pandemic help coming for the City of Windsor — this time funding for transit.

The Ontario government has announced $150-million in additional funding to help municipalities address the impacts of COVID-19 with $6-million slated for Transit Windsor.

Councillor Rino Bortolin sits on the city's transit board and says upper levels of government seem to be taking public transit seriously.

"The federal government has poured billions across the country into transit and we're getting more over the next four or five years. So this is a welcome announcement from the province because we're going to need to buy more infrastructure, more buses, upgrade our garage and it's just cost prohibitive if we're just going to do it from our tax base."

He says any help is welcome as we work toward getting back to normal.

"Obviously COVID was a huge hit and then it's going to take time to recover. This is for as we rebuild coming out of COVID. This is much needed dollars that will help us implement our master plan as we move forward."

Bortolin says ridership in Windsor has dropped 85% compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

"We're lucky though, we're in a position where our ridership depends heavily on students. So we have the opportunity to actually bounce back stronger and quicker than most areas. So, because of that, it would be really great if we could bounce back hard with a huge investment in transit."

The new funding comes in addition to $2-billion previously committed by the provincial and federal government through the Safe Restart Agreement.