Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk. It has been edited for length.
I am only 19 years old, but I have great concerns over the future, and sustainability, for Sudbury as a whole.
I attended hairdressing school last year in Toronto and lived in the City of Richmond Hill. After living down south, I took the plunge and decided to move back home.
With my experiences in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and Sudbury I have made some observations. Most of these observations relate to public transit. The quality of public transportation in Sudbury is mediocre, at best.
During my time spent down south I did not have access to any vehicle, despite having a driver’s license.
The transit system in Richmond Hill is part of the York Region Transit system. In York Region, there are two types of transit: regular transit and rapid transit.
The buses on the regular transit system run every 15 minutes, which proves to be quite efficient, especially compared to routes in Sudbury that run only once per hour.
The buses in the Rapid Transit System (in York Region) run every five to 10 minutes and are centralized on main routes, but have fewer stops than the buses that are not rapid transit.
Upon my return to Sudbury, I could not help but notice myself switching back to old habits I had before I moved down south. This included driving everywhere I could and avoiding public transit like it was the plague.
So why has Sudbury’s public transit made me whine whenever I have been forced to use it?
Well, the answer is quite simple. Sudbury’s public transit is not efficient, frequent or convenient enough.
So when I heard that Sudbury was having a problem with congested roads and was interested in forming an extension from Barrydowne to the Valley worth approximately $100–$300 million, a brilliant idea struck my mind.
If Sudbury were to invest $100-$300 million into its public transit system, it would probably be so efficient that it would blow York Region Transit out of the water.
Firstly there would be an increase in use of public transit. The use of public transit would also ease up congestion on the roads, and there would be smaller carbon outputs in the city.
An improved economic situation would come from providing working people with easier ways to get to work on time and on a more varied schedule.
Furthermore, these improvements could attract new residents, who may start new businesses, thus increasing the tax base.
I hope that, if anything, my letter makes you seriously consider actions being taken in this city and alternatives to them that could have a greater positive impact. Why hit one bird with one stone when you can hit seven birds with one stone?