Editor: In your January 23 editorial “Stratford shows its support,” you leave the reader with the impression that Cornwall is unconcerned about public transit riders because it voted to pull out of the T3 partnership. However, the vote by Town Council wasn’t unanimous, as both Coun. Marlene Hunt and I voted against abandoning Cornwall transit.
Public transit is an important service and one that gives existing residents transportation alternatives, while making a municipality attractive to prospective newcomers. Like many public services, it requires both a financial commitment and a commitment of time and patience to allow participation to grow.
In fairness, Cornwall and Trius both canvassed for opinions and ideas on how to improve service, through a public meeting, advocacy by Trius staff, and similar strategies. In addition, two new trial runs to Cornwall had recently been initiated when the resolution to abandon T3 was introduced at Council, much to the disappointment of those of us who are transit supporters.
Ridership numbers have been the major source of contention in the transit debate in Cornwall since 2009, but the optimum daily ridership number has never been defined. Your editorial states that Stratford Council “believes much more growth potential” in ridership numbers exists, but there are those of us in Cornwall who feel the same way about our service, if it had been allowed to continue.
A modified transit service that emphasized the more successful daily runs might have been the salvation of Cornwall transit, and you note that Trius may yet come forward with a Cornwall shuttle service of some sort. But it’s a shame to see Cornwall’s participation in the original T3 partnership terminated without further discussion and consensus-seeking. For many of us in our town, this concern still lingers.
Councillor, Town of Cornwall.