Martin: Transit opportunity too good to pass up

Western should rise to the challenge and welcome the proposed London Rapid Transit initiative to the car-congested campus. The light-rail transit (LRT) proposal would not only alleviate transportation challenges for students, faculty and staff commuters to the campus, but also would also improve access to the university for distance commuters from outside of the city.

As part of the Province of Ontario’s Moving Ontario Forward plan, a $1-billion LRT project was approved in May 2015 for Hamilton, which will offer speedy service for local and out-of-town transit users from McMaster University, through downtown Hamilton, to the new Western Hamilton GO Station. Although later at the post, and slightly geographically disadvantaged, London should have a strong voice and share of financial incentives in the province’s transportation plan. Through municipal, provincial and federal initiatives, London should be quickly moving itself forward to encourage local transit projects including bus rapid transit, light-rail transit, improved VIA rail service and, of course, GO Train service – a ‘missing link’ here for out-of-town transit users.

London risks – and unfortunately has already lost – potential students to Western and Fanshawe along with potential faculty, and staff due to lack of viable public transportation options both within and to the City of London.

On a personal note, my three nieces and one nephew from outside the city had offers from Western but chose to attend other universities primarily because of the lack of viable transit services both to and within the City of London.

Craig Martin
Daily London Transit Commission commuter