Kent transport

Motion aims to improve public transit in Chatham-Kent

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A South Kent councilor hopes a recent motion will help bring about improvements to municipal transit for users.

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Com. Clare Latimer presented the accepted motion at Monday’s meeting requesting that a report be presented at the start of the next term regarding recent steps taken to improve the reliability and accessibility of Ride CK services, as well as existing gaps and recommendations .

This will cover conventional and specialized urban transit services, as well as the need to prepare for new urban developments and ridership growth.

Latimer said that due to the “existing algorithm” used by the system, some passengers, including the most vulnerable, sometimes experience wait times of up to two hours.

“(They) are waiting to be taken care of…they can’t easily get to their appointments or make changes based on their personal care needs and/or appointments,” he said. she stated.

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His motion called for recommendations to be considered for the 2023 budget, as well as for future years.

Latimer noted that as Chatham-Kent’s population grows, there will be an even greater need for service improvements for those who may not have their own transportation.

“(To) those who rely on Ride CK’s services for their essential transportation, please know that we are aware of the current shortfalls and are working to meet this demand,” she said. “We take into account that we are trying to encourage more people to use public transport.

Chatham County Karen Kirkwood-Whyte said she has heard of constituents who live in the Prestancia subdivision who want to see the service.

She added that some seniors would often prefer to take public transit instead of driving.

“(They are) elderly and may want to sell their vehicles and take advantage of public transport,” she said. “I know with all the building that’s going on in the community that this particular motion should cover (that).

“Hopefully the requested report will include some of these areas that are under construction right now.”