THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – Over the past several years Thunder Bay City Administration has been trying to make City Hall more of a people place. The transit terminal was moved to City Hall offering riders a place to catch the bus.
In the past two summers, City Hall Sounds have brought food, music and people to City Hall.
There are several positives to having the transit terminal at City Hall.
First there is security working at City Hall so patrons are safer. Second, it opens up City Hall to people and brings a positive mix of people together.
Transit at City Hall is close to the District Social Services offices, and the Brodie Street Library.
There could be some areas where improvement could further enhance the ridership. At City Hall there is no where a rider could purchase a ticket, or get exact change. This could likely be accomplished with a machine that could dispense tickets.
While there are some local businesses which have found the transit terminal at City Hall less to their liking, having transit service in the heart of the downtown is a real plus for lots of people.
One of the pluses for people is that the snow clearing at City Hall is fantastic. It means during the winter it is far easier to get onto, and off of the buses.
Cost wise, Thunder Bay likely saves money with the transit terminal at City Hall as opposed to building a new terminal at another location.
The downtown Fort William business area is likely one of the areas in the city with the greatest potential. There are lots of spaces open for development. Rents are reasonable for most spaces.
Contrasted to the Entertainment District, the Fort William Business area is, at night quite quiet. In terms of restaurants, in the downtown there are two Chinese restaurants, Golden Wok and The Mandarin. There are two Italian restaurants open in the evening.
Inside Victoriaville in recent months, several of the restaurants in the food court have closed their doors.
The bright spot is likely at Centennial Square with Renco Foods, and the Dollarama stores. Those two businesses are open into the evening hours, and bring people into the downtown.
Having downtown Fort William busier is good for both the City Administration and for the downtown. That perhaps more than any other reason is why the transit terminal should stay right where it currently is located.