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Fourth annual Burlington Transit Users Forum, April 21

Supporters of better public transit for Burlington may want to attend the Fourth Annual Transit Users’ Forum, this Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New Street. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and a continental breakfast will be available.

Burlington Transit’s new director, Sue Connor, will outline her plan of action for repairing and improving the system. After she reports, she’ll be part of a panel that will answer questions from the audience and discuss issues that transit users raise.

The City of Burlington appointed Connor to the job less than a year ago, but she has already taken decisive action to make the system safer and more reliable. She helped to secure more than $1 million in new funding from City Council to hire more drivers, supervisors and mechanics to make Burlington Transit legally compliant and more reliable.

While the extra stopgap funding is welcome, Burlington Transit needs a greater commitment from City Council and a strong, sustained funding base, said Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST), one of more than a dozen community organizations that support and sponsor the annual transit forum.

“We’ve made progress over the past year and Sue Connor’s appointment is a sign of that,” Brown said. “But we need to do more in order to bring Burlington’s transit funding in line with the rest of the GTHA.”

Connor, Chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, is well known for her success in transforming Brampton Transit, which has posted ridership gains in the double digits over the past few years. Burlington’s ridership showed double-digit declines over the same period, because Council decided to underfund transit services.

“We’re pleased and honoured that Sue Connor will speak to the riders of Burlington Transit,” Brown said. “Bus riders will find that she’s open, honest, frank and demonstrates a real concern with solving riders’ problems.”

This year’s Transit Users’ Forum will also feature the third transit users’ report card. Last year, more than 100 users rated the system and this year’s Forum participants will also determine Burlington Transit’s marks.

Community organizations participating in the forum include:

For the first time, Burlington Transit has also signed on as a sponsor of the forum.

Getting there by public transit:

  • Eastbound Burlington Transit buses along the 4 Central route to Teen Tour Way beside the Central Library. Cross Teen Tour Way to the seniors centre.
  • Westbound buses along the 4 Central route to Teen Tour Way across from the Central Library and beside the seniors centre.
  • Eastbound buses along the 10 New - Maple route to New Street at Seneca Avenue. Cross New at the signal, then walk northward along Teen Tour Way to the seniors centre.
  • Westbound buses along the 10 New - Maple route to New Street west of Teen Tour Way. Walk northward along the pathway to the seniors centre.
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