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Better Transit for Brantford: Some Follow Up

Improving transportation in the city of Brantford has been a largely stagnant process, with no progress to address the real barriers both students and the larger community face. Over the past two years, students on the Brantford Campus of Wilfrid Laurier University have been very vocal in their need for better access to transportation. Students suffered both the loss of the Mohawk Shuttle leaving Brantford and further cuts to Greyhound's daily schedule to and from Hamilton, leaving them with few options to access campus.

As you may remember, the Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union took a new approach this year to amplify the student voice through an open letter. The open letter spoke on the nature of the transit problem, describing the need for change, and detailed help required from the city. After it was circulated, the open letter gained a lot of traction and prompted several responses, two of which can be read below.  The Mayor of Brantford Chris Friel responded to our open letter by explaining his awareness of the severity of the issue, and he reassured us that the city would continue to facilitate avenues of communication with representatives of the provincial government until a successful resolution is reached. Dave Levac, Brant’s Member of Provincial Parliament, has been instrumental in voicing the need for a GO Transit line to Brantford; further, he forwarded on our open letter onto the Minister of Transportation (Hon. Steven Del Duca) asking him to read over the concerns presented by the students attending Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford.

To further the talk on transportation, each year the University Affairs department for our Students' Union holds a weeklong event referred to as “Local Advocacy Week”, where we meet with different stakeholders from various departments. This year's main focus has been around improving access to transportation. In our meeting with Brant County's MPP Dave Levac, he reassured us that the need for GO Transit has not been forgotten in the City of Brantford, and the push for pilot of GO is in the works. With these kinds of conversations, we believe Brantford will receive GO Transit; in the meantime, the Students’ Union will continue to push for better access to transportation for students.

We will keep you posted on new developments!

Raelle Ricci
Associate Vice-President: University Affairs (Brantford)
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union