Who is BFAST?
Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit
A citizen group formed in March, 2012 to advocate for better transit service in Burlington.
Goals: To make Burlington Transit more convenient, reliable, accessible and affordable, thereby enhancing Burlington’s economy and quality of life. BFAST supports the City’s goal to increase transit ridership and the transit modal split in ac-cordance with Burlington’s Official and Strategic Plans.
What’s the problem?
In plain words, the problem is that in 2012 Burlington City Council withdrew essential funding for Burlington Transit AND introduced service cuts in north-east Burlington. Strangely, this happened at a time when every other municipality in the GTHA is increasing funding for public transit!
The first blow was struck by City Council on March 19, 2012 when it formally passed the City’s budget for 2012, withdrawing $500,000 from the capital budget for Burlington Transit and transferring it to paving roads in residential areas. This was done when there was a clear need for new buses to replace ones that had been in service for 20 years or more.
The second blow was struck five months later, in July 2012, when Council approved a plan to reduce service on routes in north-east Burlington, going from service every half-hour to every hour in the middle of the day. Unbelievably, the plan also approved eliminating bus service on all routes on five statutory holidays throughout the year! Evidently Council thinks that everyone should stay at home on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Victoria Day, Canada Day and Thanksgiving Day.
There’s one ray of hope, however. At the same meeting of Council that approved the service cuts, Mayor Goldring proposed that in the City’s budget for 2013, $500,000 be added to the operating budget for Burlington Transit. The motion, which also included restoring service on the five statutory holidays, was passed with only one dissenting vote. This $500,000 would enable the service cuts mentioned above to be cancelled, restoring service on all routes to the level it had been earlier. There would then be a net gain because of improved service on routes 1, 2, 3 and 10.