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About southwestern Ontario
Southwestern Ontario is home to more than 1.6 million people and thriving manufacturing, health care and agricultural sectors. The region has a transportation system made up of local roads, provincial highways, trains and buses, ferries, local airports, cycling trails and pedestrian walkways.
Ontario has a plan that will support a globally competitive economy, connect communities across the region and get people and goods moving.
A safe, efficient and connected transportation network is a foundation for a healthy and prosperous Ontario. Our draft plan for southwestern Ontario includes more than 40 improvements and strategies for public transit, rail, highways and more to:
- get people moving and connect communities
- support a competitive open for business environment
- improve safety
- provide more choice and convenience
- prepare for the future
Southwest transportation survey
From January 17, 2020 to March 17, 2020, over 1,400 people shared feedback to help build a connected transportation system for southwestern Ontario. The online survey is now closed.
What we heard
Key themes to improve regional transportation
We asked people about the transportation challenges in southwestern Ontario. The key themes that emerged include:
- more affordable, reliable and frequent local transit, intercommunity bus, passenger rail and ferry services
- less congestion and shorter travel times on provincial highways and local roads
- more transportation options in rural and remote communities to connect to other communities, services, education and employment
- improvement to road safety, including the safety of passenger and commercial vehicles and active travellers
- faster delivery of transportation projects with more public information on project status and completion deadlines
Regional travel behaviour
When asked how often respondents use different modes of transportation:
- 78% identified that they use a car every day
- 40% identified that they walk for all or part of their trip
When asked about typical travel behaviours:
- 75% indicated that their average commute is less than 40 minutes
- approximately 40% rated local transit, intercommunity bus and passenger rail as "difficult" or "very difficult" to use
Support for transportation improvements
We asked respondents open-ended questions to get feedback on transportation priorities, challenges and concerns that we could improve in southwestern Ontario. Improvements include:
- Highways: 37% of comments indicated an interest in improvements to travel and road conditions on provincial highways (including 400-series highways) that relieve congestion, such as improving or expanding infrastructure
- Transit: 30% of comments indicated an interest in improvements to local transit services, such as improving infrastructure, expanding route and service coverage and enhancing connections between routes, modes and services
- Passenger rail: 27% of comments indicated an interest in a faster, more frequent and reliable passenger rail system, connecting communities in southwestern Ontario and beyond
- Intercommunity bus: 24% of comments indicated an interest in improvements to intercommunity bus service in southwestern Ontario, within and between urban and rural communities
- Active transportation: 6% of comments indicated an interest in improvements to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other active modes and related infrastructure
We thank respondents who took time to share their valuable insights to help improve transportation in southwestern region of Ontario.
We will use the input from the survey and feedback from other engagement efforts to inform future work on the transportation plan for southwestern Ontario.
Southwest Task Force
We established the Southwest Task Force as part of the actions set out in Connecting the Southwest: A Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario.
The Southwest Task Force task force includes representation from southwestern mayors, Indigenous communities and organizations with an interest in local and regional transportation. The task force is focusing on improving connections between transportation modes, such as rail, bus and local transit services across the region. The task force will ensure that transportation planning in the southwest is informed by local needs and considerations.
The Southwest Test Force members are:
- Mayor Ed Holder (Chair): Mayor of London
- Mayor Drew Dilkens (Vice Chair): Mayor of Windsor
- Mayor Joe Preston: Mayor of St. Thomas
- Mayor Hilda MacDonald: Mayor of Leamington
- Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden: Mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc
- Mayor Stephen B. Molnar: Mayor of Tillsonburg
- Mayor Darrin Canniff: Mayor of Chatham-Kent
- Mayor Mike Bradley: Mayor of Sarnia
- Mayor Trevor Birtch: Mayor of Woodstock
- Mayor Dan Mathieson: Mayor of Stratford
- Chief Jason Henry: Chief of Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
- Chief Adrian Chrisjohn: Chief of Oneida Nation of the Thames
- Chief R. Stacey Laforme: Chief of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
- Councillor Sidney Nadjiwon: Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
- Councillor Steve Simpson: Caldwell First Nation
- Marta Leardi-Anderson: Chair, Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited
- Tania Lee: Vice President, Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop