Bus riders deserve better


Sir: I am a Chatham Transit rider and would be a more frequent rider if it were more rider friendly.

As I can recall, the year before last were several consultations and meetings held to ask the public for their input on better bus services. Whatever became of those findings? Just another act of lip service that benefited no one. Well, maybe we did manage to acquire new, safer buses only because the company no longer could.

As I can recall, the main items discussed were bus routes, wait times, reliability, shelters – to date, none of the above have been adjusted.
Buses are still late and time waiting remains the same. What is especially difficult has been the lack of bus shelters anywhere; especially at stops where you are out in the elements – rain, snow, cold and even on hot days waiting. Nowhere to shelter or sit for the disabled or a senior or just the respect that you pay for the rides.

Most places are near open fields with nowhere to shelter if it’s raining. You can prepare to get drenched, but if it’s snowing, you freeze. Wind tosses about – this is our type of weather – but it is the 21st century; we can do better to provide a proper service for those who can’t afford cars or have rides even to get groceries.

I feel it’s time for less talking and disconnect from the reality that the service needs to be better for those riders who need to go out and about the town or who live isolated. We can do this – it’s time.
The Superstore and Wal-Mart need to collaborate on how to serve their customers. It is not right just to say, “It’s private property.” Why aren’t those who shop at these stores valuable enough that their wellbeing isn’t worth shelter out of the elements?

At present, the other buses go right to the doors. Even a space like their cart enclosures would show respect, especially at the St. Clair Plaza.

Another contentious item is the main hub/terminal where all the buses meet. It is accessible but not acceptable as there you are, still standing around in whatever weather under an open shelter. It’s more semi enclosed.  It’s a stopover, but still uncomfortable standing around. It sure could use a facelift – a paint job and mostly bigger signs with the number of each bus on route wherever!  Or even a larger sign mapping the routes times of departure and return time. A proper shelter.

A visitor would not know these places so a bit of art work, or logo maybe; even a clock or digital time clock. Transportation should be one of the accessible means of the city for the environment and climate change as we now, more than ever, must abide by the rules to stop polluting, for the population, for job growth and the senior population. Shelter signs a bit larger and stand out to be more visible please.

All can be contracted out and maintained. I am sure you are aware what we need is urgent expediting of these matters.

Barbara Stewart-Fischer



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