City of Windsor COVID-19 Update
Mayor Dilkens Updates Orders to Begin Local Resumption of Service
Transit Windsor Service Level Update:
Pursuant to authority granted under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens has ordered Transit Windsor to resume city service seven days a week on an enhanced “Sunday” schedule only, effective Monday, May 4, 2020. Transit will be employing enhanced safety measures at this time.
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, 2020 until May 4, 2020 to allow for updated health protocols and time for operational needs to be fully enacted.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has provided a series of recommendations and advice for Transit Windsor as well as local transit users: www.wechu.org/guidance-using-public-transit. The City of Windsor and Transit Windsor leadership sought this advice from local public health officials to inform decision making regarding local transit service conditions.
Discussions with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 616 representatives began last week upon receipt of WECHU recommendations, and while discussions are ongoing, it is anticipated that a Memorandum of Agreement can be reached to enable full compliance with WECHU recommendations by May 4, 2020.
Based on best advice from national and international public health officials, the resumption of Transit Windsor service will be modest and measured to limit the future risk of local community spread of COVID-19. The order directing the resumption of service also limits Transit Windsor operations to daily service on an enhanced “Sunday” schedule only until May 31, 2020. Tunnel Bus service will not resume at this time.
“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,” said Mayor Drew 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.”
Transit Payments Processed
To support regular transit users, Windsor City Council approved a one-time payment for individuals who purchased a pass between February 19, 2020 and March 19, 2020 or held a monthly pass valid for the period between February 19, 2020 and March 19, 2020. 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. All individuals who believe themselves to be eligible are encouraged to apply.
Full details on how to apply and more can be found at www.transitwindsor.ca.
Order Closing Devonshire and Tecumseh Malls to Expire
Mayor Dilkens’ order temporarily closing Devonshire and Tecumseh malls will expire on April 30, 2020 and will not be extended.
The Province of Ontario has enacted strict regulations governing the type of businesses (regardless of location) which are permitted to be open at this time. The order shutting both Devonshire and Tecumseh malls went further and prohibited operations within these two sites. After the order expires, provincial regulations will continue to limit the type of businesses that are permitted to operate to those defined as essential under the regulation.
“We acknowledge that the local order was enacted at a time prior to the current Provincial Regulation,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “We are going to monitor this situation closely.”
This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to update residents as new information becomes available.
More Info on COVID-19 and the City of Windsor:
Visit www.citywindsor.ca/covid-19 for the latest information on adjusted City services, including a growing list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Our community partners at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit also have a web page with information on the latest health advice, community restrictions and guidelines, and other information on COVID-19. For general information on municipal services or to request a service, please call 311, download the 311 app or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Open 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.