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Community forum will look at the future of transit in Burlington

Sept. 23 session to be held at the Burlington Public Library's central branch and online
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A Burlington-based economist with a worldwide reputation will present a strong economic case for free transit at this year's Transit Users' Forum, to be held Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Burlington Public Library's central branch.

Atif Kubursi is a professor emeritus at McMaster University, president of Econometric Research Ltd. and former executive secretary at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission.

The discussion on free transit has begun in Burlington after the adoption by City Council of a motion to investigate its costs and benefits. Professor Kubursi has led studies on the economic impact of transit for a number of Ontario municipalities, including Hamilton.

"Free public transit holds the potential to transform urban living in positive ways, addressing traffic congestion, reducing carbon emissions, promoting social equity, and boosting local economies," says professor Kubursi, who will present examples of successful free transit initiatives in a number of cities internationally.

"Ultimately, free transit has the power to create more sustainable, equitable, and vibrant urban environments for residents and future generations."

Professor Kubursi's analysis will be followed by a panel discussion where Forum attendees can ask questions and join the discussion.

Councillor Rory Nisan, Deputy Mayor for the Environment, will deliver greetings from City Hall and participate in the panel discussion.

Burlington Transit director Catherine Baldelli will address the forum in a keynote address on the state of the system. She will also answer questions from the audience on service and scheduling.

This year's Transit Forum is jointly sponsored by Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit (BFAST), a volunteer citizens' lobby organization, and Burlington Transit, with the endorsement and support of a number of community organizations.

Forum proceedings will also be webcast via Zoom. Further information is available here.