WINDSOR, ONT. -- Transit Windsor will resume service seven days a week with a modified schedule.

Mayor Drew Dilkens, CAO Onorio Colucci and Transit Windsor executive director Pat Delmore made the announcement on a Facebook live video on Monday morning.

With authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Dilkens has ordered Transit Windsor to resume city service seven days a week on an enhanced “Sunday” schedule only, effective Monday, May 4, 2020.

He says transit will be employing enhanced safety measures at this time.

Dilkens made the service suspension order on March 26, with implementation beginning on March 29. The shutdown was then extended until April 30.

“We believe starting with this enhanced Sunday service is the best first step,” says Dilkens.

The current suspension of service, which had been recommended by Transit Windsor leadership based on the significant public health risks to both riders and drivers will continue from April 30 until May 4 to allow for updated health protocols and time for operational needs to be fully enacted.

“Don’t take transit unless it is an essential trip,” Dilkens added.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has provided a series of recommendations and advice for Transit Windsor as well as local transit users.

Dilkens says they sought this advice from local public health officials to inform decision making regarding local transit service conditions.

“As governments around the world start to take steps to re-open it is vital that we take gradual and methodical steps to continue to combat the pandemic’s risk in our community,” says Dilkens. “The weeks and months ahead will require constant vigilance. Everyone needs to do their part and continue to maintain social distance and self-isolation for a while longer.”

City officials say discussions with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 616 representatives began last week and while discussions are ongoing, they anticipate that a Memorandum of Agreement can be reached to enable full compliance with WECHU recommendations by May 4.

There were 130 layoffs when the shutdown was extended.

Transit payments processed

Windsor city council approved a one-time payment for individuals who purchased a pass between Feb. 19 and March 19 or held a monthly pass valid for the period between Feb. 19 and March 19.

Subject to verification, the one-time payments are being processed across three broad categories:

  • · University of Windsor students to receive $25 per eligible student pass;
  • · Regular pass holders (Adult, Student and Senior) need to apply for a payment on-line to be eligible for a $50 amount.
  • · The City of Windsor provides over 2,500 passes to low-income and vulnerable individuals who receive a bus pass as part of their social assistance program. These individuals will not need to apply and will receive a $75 payment.

The City of Windsor has now processed the Ontario Works, Affordable Pass Program, and Ontario Disability Support Program user rebates and is in the process of completing other rebates.

The online application process has only resulted in about 1,400 applications to date.