So, Windsor has been asked by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to submit a list of “Shovel-Ready” infrastructure projects they want to receive funding for.
Seeing as we are suffering from the highest unemployment rate in the nation, I wonder if they are going to actually look at the job-creation capabilities of the projects they are requesting funding for as well as the long-term sustainability of them.
I feel it is my duty then to let them know of this article before they decide which projects to submit for funding, because as author Carli Paine (transportation program director for TransForm) states; “Public transportation is far more than a social service for people without cars. The truth is that buses, trains, and ferries are an integral component of local and regional economies“.
“In fact, public transportation creates 19 percent more jobs than the same investment in building roads or highways, according to an analysis of a 2004 United States Department of Transportation jobs creation model. And, according to the California Transit Association, for every $1 billion invested in new public transit projects, some 31,400 jobs are created and $3 billion is pumped into the local economy.
The figures make a lot of sense when you consider the difference in these endeavors: building new roads and expanding highways mostly involves paving over dirt, with some amount of construction of raised flyovers and interchanges. Extending a rail line means manufacturing the rail and the rail cars, then laying them, and after they are laid, on-going operation of the train. Similarly, new bus lines involve vehicle and parts manufacturing and long-term operations. Because most transit agencies also have Buy America policies, public transportation investment creates industry jobs in the United States, as well as construction jobs—on-going operating jobs are an added plus.”
So councillors, please think not only of the environmental, social and financial benefits of investing in a better transit system, think about those of us who have lost their jobs in this city and want to find work here in Windsor . This is a win/win/win/win program which needs your support.