Transit Windsor Expanding Service with Return to School
To support student’s returning to school, and to provide an increased level of service for all transit users, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has ordered expanded service, effective Tuesday September 8th, 2020.
Transit Windsor will begin operating on an enhanced Saturday schedule, as well as offering secondary school extras, while adhering to public health guidelines to support the health and safety of drivers and riders alike.
Mandatory masks and rear-boarding policies remain in effect, and once a bus reaches the maximum seated load (the area to the rear of the blocked off section) the sign will indicate “sorry, this bus is full” and will need to by-pass any additional riders, including on the secondary school extra routes. The enhanced services offered by Transit Windsor provide for additional vehicles to be deployed when a bus reaches capacity when available.
As part of the move to Saturday service, Transit Windsor will increase the hours of service on all routes. Start times for service will range, beginning at 5:30 a.m. and continue up to 12:30 a.m., to support residents as our region continues to return to service, consistent with Stage 3 of the Province of Ontario’s Reopening framework.
Secondary School Extra Routes:
- Holy Names
Transit Windsor’s leadership has been participating in province-wide working groups and forums designed to implement industry-wide standards to support a return to front door boarding, which would allow for a further increase in passenger access while protecting drivers.
Until front door boarding can be reinstated, fares will continue to be waived, and all passengers are asked to enter and exit the bus through the rear doors. Riders with accessibility needs may continue to use the front doors; one wheelchair passenger at a time may occupy this area. Over the course of the past several months, ridership numbers have remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels. Current ridership has been reduced by about 65%, as compared to 2019.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit continues to advise that transit remain for essential trips only and that residents consider alternatives such as walking or cycling, to the greatest extent possible.
Transit Windsor Operating Funds:
On August 12, the Province of Ontario committed over $6.3-million in Phase 1 funding for Transit Windsor, in support of continued operating costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Province of Ontario is also offering limited opportunities to apply for additional Phase 2 funding to support the safe restart of municipal transit systems. On August 24, Windsor City Council authorized City Administration and Transit Windsor staff to prepare applications to access additional funds. It is anticipated that Phase 2 funding decisions will be made in the late fall / early winter 2020.