Column: Richmond Transit Survey

In Rideau-Goulbourn, we are blessed with strong communities, exciting community events, and well over a dozen community associations.  Rideau Township and Goulbourn Township are two of the most historic townships in Eastern Ontario full of tradition, heritage and community spirit.  Today, I’d like to tell you about a little known community organization that continues that tradition and plays a big role in a core service that runs daily through Richmond and Munster; the Richmond/Munster Transit Committee.

In the 1980’s and 90’s, a transit committee was formed in the former Goulbourn Township.  Dormant for years thereafter, the transit committee was re-established by current riders of the Rural 283 and former Councillor Glenn Brooks.  The committee is chaired by Richmond resident John Sleeth, an individual who cares deeply about his community and the efficiency and future of transit in that same community.  Mr. Sleeth wraps up every email with this statement: “Remember, this committee will only work with meaningful participation from several passengers.  Thanks for volunteering.” This really sums up the mini-community that exists on the 283.

The 283 runs four routes in the morning and in the evening, three of them starting and ending in Munster.  This route runs at 78% capacity.  The goal of this committee is to provide a collective voice when dealing with OC Transpo and they’ve been effective.  Most importantly, the group has been able to ensure for a faster ride by eliminating request stops through a major portion of the transitway.  Since December, the committee has discussed the route path and the potential for adjusting it in order to increase ridership.  We had already been discussing this potential change prior to the announcement of the Route Optimization Program but through working with OC Transpo, we averted any reduction in the service or any alteration.  If the riders want change in the route path, it is actually in their hands.  OC Transpo will listen and I will continuously work with this committee to achieve their goals.

The next step for the committee is to encourage participation and increase ridership.  Essentially, we need to know what your thoughts are as a rider and if you aren’t a rider, why not?  I have posted a survey on my Web site composed by the Richmond/Munster Transit Committee.  This survey is aimed at gaining valuable information from riders and non-riders alike.  This is your community and your bus route.  I encourage all of you to go online and respond.  The more information we have from the community, the better service we can provide.

Please have your responses completed by May 29 at midnight.  I look forward to your participation.  Again, please click here to complete the Richmond/Munster Transit Survey.  If you have any questions regarding the committee, please contact John Sleeth at sleeth@storm.ca or myself at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or by phone at 613-580-2491.