Windsor·ASK CBC WINDSOR

There's no light rail service in Windsor. Why is that?

Transit Windsor does not run a light rail service in the city. One newcomer to Windsor wants to know why — considering Grand River Transit in Waterloo region launched one this past summer.

Grand River Transit in Waterloo region launched one this past summer.

Transit Windsor does not run a light rail service in the city. One newcomer to Windsor wants to know why — considering Grand River Transit in Waterloo region launched one this past summer. (Dale Molnar/CBC, Carmen Ponciano/CBC)

Ask CBC Windsor: It's a new series, brought to you by Windsor Morning and it's looking at all the things there are to know about the city.

We're taking questions from Windsorites — whether you've been here for a few weeks, a few years or for decades.

Prem Paul is from Chennai, India and arrived in Windsor just about two months ago. He had a question about the City of Windsor's public transit service.

We asked Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore for an explanation.

Prem Paul, a newcomer to Windsor, wanted to know why there is no light rail service in the city — so CBC Windsor asked Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore to learn why. 1:27

PREM: How come there is no Metro rail in the city? I think it's big enough to have one.

There's a very significant cost increase that is needed in order to run a light rail system. For example, Grand River Transit just west of Toronto [recently] introduced a new light rail system. The costs are exorbitant.

In the U.S., one mile of rail line can cost as much as 15 million dollars. So when you're talking about the impacts and the cost associated with providing public transit, it can be quite high.

A public transit bus, for example, runs about $650,000, whereas a light rail train may cost about $1.5 million. The costs really have to outweigh the number of riders. For example, with Grand River Transit, they currently have about 22 million riders a year. Windsor has eight million riders a year.

We have to be able to weigh out the costs of how you will provide public transit in your community, recognizing that about 50 per cent of costs to run a transit system should be coming from the fare box.

Recently, a study was done in the City of Windsor along University Avenue ... and it looked at if there's a potential of a bus rapid transit system with dedicated transit lanes.

What they found was that there would not be enough displacement of vehicles to move them to transit in order to accommodate the need for a bus rapid transit system.

Do you have questions about Windsor? Are you looking for answers about YQG? Drop us a line via email and we might put your question to a Windsor expert. 

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