On the Buses by Karen Pagratis

On the Buses

A heartfelt thank you to the federal–provincial Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and to MP Mark Gerretsen for helping to ensure that Kingston and the Islands are receiving 6.8 million to improve transit service. Along with the 2.3 million in provincial gas tax funding which MPP Sophie Kiwala announced earlier, this is truly great news for Kingston, all of Kingston.

Seven new buses! What a boon. However I do question why our local Transportation Services tells us that they “will all be dedicated to a new express service route along Montreal St.” (Whig-Standard, Feb 11/17) Don’t get me wrong, I offer kudos to Kingston Transit for the innovative steps they’ve taken in recent years, especially with express services and secondary school student subsidies and subsidies generally. However has a vital part of our community perhaps been overlooked in all these plans?

We have no transit service of any kind north of the 401 or east of the subdivisions along Hwy 15 in Pittsburgh. Does Countryside District not require any public transit? Countryside has approximately the same number of residents paying the same amount of property tax as any other district in the municipality of Kingston, yet with the happy announcement of seven new buses, not even one is earmarked for service in Countryside? How is this fair, how can this be justified and how can we, the residents of Countryside, be expected to go on accepting the fact that our need for services and infrastructure appear to be consistently ignored?

When a transit windfall such as this lands in the lap of our municipality the outlying regions of town should expect to share in the benefit to all.

Kingston residents don’t just live and work on express routes, we’re spaced throughout our fair city and we need access! We pay for it in our taxes. As MP Mike Bossio said, “Everybody thinks about the urban areas, but the rural areas also have a desperate need for transit.”

Karen Pagratis,

Resident and

Candidate for Countryside

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