Letter: Buses are running 20 minutes behind this morning

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FYI: Buses are running 20 minutes behind this morning
That was the latest topic about Stratford transit on Stratford Connect, a Facebook Group with almost 4,000 members. If Stratford transit was not owned by the city, it would not be in business. It makes money for those working for Stratford transit; it does not provide good service.

There have been many promises of improvements, the latest being new routes. The change of the bus stop from the entrance to Sport Chek at the Festival Marketplace to the other end by C. H. Meier Blvd. makes no sense for anyone who uses the bus to save time. From personal observation, this change has hurt business in the mall.
I tried the bus service three times since my move to Stratford in 2015. Each time, I was disappointed. It was late two out of three times. Once, the bus driver had a smoke break, another time the driver was on his phone for five minutes outside the stop. I am fortunate in that I am in good health, enabling me to bike and walk. I also live close to many stores, which makes up for not having a car.

Most of the major intersections barely provide enough time for an able person to cross the street, once you take into account all the traffic rushing to beat the lights. Stratford is a car-first, tourist-first, residents-last city. Every summer and fall, some half-a-million seats are filled by the Stratford Festival, which fills the pockets of B&Bs, shops, and anyone connected to theatre or tourism. A tech-smart city with 89 employees on the 2017 Ontario Sunshine List, making so much money from tourism with some of the highest property taxes in Ontario (I’m paying 85 per cent more after my move from Stouffville, working in the increased MPAC value of my home) should provide better public transportation.

Once you peek behind the curtain at City Hall, you will see a lot of potholes in the Stratford economic plan. The only way they will ever be filled is with new vision and new leadership.

Michael Goldbarth