Is Transit Windsor service in LaSalle start of regional transit?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

National Post/Brian Cross

Transit Windsor's bus service into LaSalle "is what I consider to be the bones of a regional transit system," says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

Transit Windsor’s entry into LaSalle, providing bus service in the town starting in September, is a “really big deal,” Mayor Drew Dilkens said Monday.

“This is what I consider to be the bones of a regional transit system.”

The last time there was any semblance of buses running between Windsor and towns in the county was 1978, Dilkens said, as council formally approved a new agreement with the Town of LaSalle.

Transit Windsor is providing the service on a cost-recovery basis. It’s charging a $51.27 hourly rate, plus LaSalle is paying for fuel, the cost of bus stops and other infrastructure, as well as the cost over 12 years to buy two new diesel buses.

LaSalle is expecting 53,000 to 60,000 riders annually. To spur ridership, the service will be free until Dec. 31. The 45-minute LaSalle route, which was designed to cover 70 per cent of households, will connect into the Windsor system.

Once LaSalle riders start paying, the $3 fare paid in LaSalle will go to LaSalle to help offset its costs. If they take the bus from Windsor into LaSalle, Transit Windsor keeps the $3.

“This is going to be very good for the (LaSalle) community and will also benefit the City of Windsor because it will provide 60,000 additional riders,” said Coun. Bill Marra, who chairs the Transit Windsor board. He said he’s hoping LaSalle’s experience will lead to other municipalities also asking for service from Transit Windsor.