What I learned from the webinar on “how to advocate for better transit in your community.”
One of the speakers was a representative of PITTSBURGHERS FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT, a grassroots organization of transit riders, workers, and residents who defend and expand public transit.
She had a number of stories where the city and/or transit authorities made some spectacularly bad decisions, mostly because they didn’t consider the needs of local transit users:
- Armed guards to enforce payment
- Destruction of affordable housing near transit stations, replaced with under-utilized luxury apartments
- Shifting users to a bus-only highway (like Ottawa's old transitway) that forced users to pay more, transfer more often, and spend more time travelling compared to the previous basic bus system
The theme of her presentation was largely that to make transit successful, you need to consult with riders and consider the needs of transit-dependent communities – especially low income people and persons with disabilities.
This is one of my priorities and I intend for it to be a key demand of the Ottawa Transit Riders.
OC Transpo should be mandated to conduct meaningful consultations with riders and communities to improve local transit.
The recording is now available for How to Advocate for Local Transit in Your Community. Feel free to share this recording with whomever you feel would benefit from the presentation.