LONDON, ONT. — The Southwest Task Force, a locally based transportation task force in Southwestern Ont., will focus on improving connections between transportation modes such as rail, bus and local transit services across the region and ensure that transportation planning is informed by local needs and considerations.
Establishing a task force was one of more than 40 recommendations set out in Connecting the Southwest: A Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario, indicates a release. Through consultation and discussion, the group will look at ways to improve transportation in the region and present recommendations to the Ontario government.
The task force includes representation from southwestern mayors and Indigenous communities and will meet regularly over the next 12 months.
Task Force members are Ed Holder (chair), mayor of London; Drew Dilkens (vice-chair), mayor of Windsor; Joe Preston, mayor of St. Thomas; Hilda MacDonald, mayor of Leamington; Joanne Vanderheyden, mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc; Stephen Molnar, mayor of Tillsonburg; Jason Henry, chief of Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation; Councillor Sidney Nadjiwon, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation; Marta Leardi-Anderson, chair, Owen Sound Transportation Company Limited; and Tania Lee, vice-president, Blue Water Bridge Duty Free Shop.
“I’m pleased to get started on the exciting work to better connect the economically diverse communities in southwestern Ontario,” said Dilkens in a statement. “As our region has grown over the past few years, our transit and transportation networks have just not kept up.
“Through this Task Force, the government is allowing regional leaders to have a major role in shaping the road ahead.”