WINDSOR — MPPs Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) and Percy Hatfield (Windsor Tecumseh) are calling on the City of Windsor to revisit its decision to cancel all Transit Windsor service, in consultation with Public Health experts.
“Health care workers use Transit Windsor to get to work, and elderly residents use transit to get to the grocery store and to the pharmacy,” said Gretzky. “The health and safety of transit workers and riders during the COVID-19 pandemic is absolutely paramount — the buses need to be cleaned to the highest, safest standard. Like every other city, we need to take every necessary precaution so that we can continue to offer transit to people, particularly those with low incomes, that rely on the bus as an essential service.”
The MPPs have spoken to the Medical Officer of Health of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, the President of the Amalgamated Transit Union, the President of ATU Local 616, and concerned constituents — who all agree that the closure decision announced Thursday does not take into account the needs of Windsor residents during a pandemic.
“We strongly believe everyone should closely follow the recommendations of public health officials in Windsor-Essex and across Canada during this pandemic,” said Hatfield. “That means asking people in Windsor to stay home as much as possible. But it also means we need to ensure essential staff can get to work — including hospital staff, long-term care home staff, those who stock grocery shelves, 911 dispatchers, and people who work in pharmacies.”
Hatfield and Gretzky said they fully support any changes necessary to ensure busses are safe for riders, including possible reductions in service or changes to policies.
The NDP has requested the government provide funding to municipalities for COVID-19 response, including additional costs associated with making transit safe.