Last February we organized the Transit Week Challenge, through which we pressured our local city councillors to take transit exclusively for a week. The Challenge was hugely successful: Most of the city’s councillors accepted the Challenge and reported honestly about the state of the transit system in Ottawa. Unsurprisingly, they were disappointed with the service. The Challenge also helped to create a city-wide conversation about the state of transit in Ottawa. We used this opportunity to point out the deficiencies in the system, all the while building awareness for our campaign for free and accessible transit. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage that the Challenge received in the media. We’re planning to organize another Transit Week Challenge in 2020 because the fight isn’t over!
This year we’re upping the ante and coordinating a Canada-wide Transit Week Challenge. While struggles for better transit are waged at the city-level, we believe that there are systemic issues in Canada that have led to underfunded, underutilized, and unjust public transit. The right to better transit connects with broader struggles at the national level, like climate change, inequality, and discrimination.
Join the fight and bring the Transit Week Challenge to your local decision makers. If you’re interested in getting involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the Transit Week Challenge toolkit here to aid your group in designing the Challenge, contacting councillors, keeping the pressure on them, and creating a media strategy.