I see several areas of concern regarding the growth of London. Past councils have had moments of greatness and foresight, but all to often have fallen to kicking the can down the road. Indecisive, or half measures to address issues. Halfhearted endorsement and enactment on action plans.
I think the first thing that has to be overcome is the 4 year plan mentality. We have to be willing to create the groundwork to make London Great, without worrying about how we can play it into our re-election platform. We have to be willing to start projects for the betterment of London, trusting the future councils to carry on that en-devour, and accept that we may not be the councilor sitting in the chair when it’s time to accept the congratulations on a job well done.
The main opportunities that I currently wish to address as your Ward 1 councilor are:
Mass Transit and LRT
Attracting new Business
Honest assessment of Taxation
Mass Transit and LRT:
London is a large and growing city, and must begin to address mass transit along those lines. Many members of our community work odd hours, late at night, early mornings, yet our bus system does not address the diversity of our community. Cities don’t operate 9 to 5. Not even 6am to Midnight. City’s have a pulse and flow 24 hours a day and those members of the community who work those long hours need a reliable way home to their families that does not dig deeply into their wallets to do so.
I have worked a great deal in lower paying jobs and thankfully can walk or bike miles to get home. Not an option for most of the workers I know. Often I have seen employees asked to work till 1 or 2 AM and be forced to take a cab home, often negating whatever income they made during those 1 or 2 hours. You often see young women walking home late at night from work, or an evening out, because there is no safe way for them to get home after midnight. You see people who know they are too intoxicated to drive getting into their cars after the bar because they don’t want to fight over a cab, or can’t walk that far.
There is no reason a city of London’s size should not have limited 24 hour service. There are only two arguments against increasing service that I am aware of.
1) It’s a risk to the drivers safety: Which could be addressed by a simple moving partition installed on some buses for night work.
2) It’s not profitable: Mass Transit is not suppose to be profitable. Mass transit is a necessary service provided to the community to enhance that communities existence, accessibility, viability and transportation need, and as such should be no more profitable to the City then a road, performing the same function.
As a member of Council I would propose an extension of service hours and routes throughout the city. Not only does it make sense, it’s just good business.
We need extended bus service to the Industrial park areas and later hours so that working Londoners can get to and from work, and so that those looking for employment, are not hampered in that search due to inaccessibility of the workplace.