Students and staff speak at Council
Redeemer pushes for increased bus service to campus
2 min. read
February 25, 2014

Students and staff were part of a delegation that spoke to Hamilton City Council yesterday in support of an HSR proposal to expand bus service on the Hamilton mountain. Included in that plan (summarized here by hamiltontransit.ca) is expanding bus service on the 44-Rymal line to include full-time and weekend service. The meeting was an opportunity for Council to hear appeals from the public. Steve Dykstra, Community Development Coordinator, Elsje Zwart, Vice President, Advancement, and Justin Eisinga, a 3rd-year sociology/social work student, all spoke at the meeting. They outlined how extended service would benefit not only Redeemer students, but also Redeemer’s neighbours along the route, and the City as a whole. “The 44 Rymal line runs from Eastgate Square to the Ancaster Business Park, which impacts 48 per cent of Hamilton’s population,” noted Eisinga. Demonstrating how valuable the service would be across the city, Matt Thompson, from the Beasley Neighbourhood Association where many students volunteer, also made a presentation supporting Redeemer’s request to extend bus service. See this story for more background on the proposal. A number of councillors complimented Redeemer of their presentation. Councillor Brian McHattie tweeted afterwards it was the best transit enhancement presentation he had heard in 10 years. Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, in whose riding Redeemer sits, as well as Councillor Brad Clark said Redeemer was a “jewel” and “has come a long way.” Interestingly, Arend Kersten, who worked at Redeemer in its very early days, made a presentation on behalf of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce after Redeemer spoke. He took the opportunity to talk briefly about Redeemer’s beginnings and the very positive reputation Redeemer now has in the city. Justin Eisinga echoed those comments: “I think my favourite part of tonight was showing city councillors that Redeemer students are not just residents of Redeemer, but residents of this city who care about the flourishing of fellow citizens and the sustainability of our neighbourhoods,” he said. “Their response was positive, and I think that goes to show how much this city values engaged citizens, as well as Redeemer as an institution.” CBC Hamilton, in an article entitled “How Hamilton transit leaves Redeemer students in the cold,” described the presentation, and it was also noted in the Hamilton Spectator. City Council will begin debate on the 2014 budget on Thursday, March 27. The final budget will not likely be approved until April. The presentation is part of a very organized effort to demonstrate support for the motion. “The campaign in support is called ‘Garnering Support’,” says Eisinga, “and there are number of ways that people can get behind this.”

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