Before doing research for this month’s cover story, I never knew that Thunder Bay was a such a trailblazer when it came to public transportation. Port Arthur was the first municipality in Canada to own its own streetcar system, Thunder Bay was the first transit agency in Ontario to be 100% accessible, and the city was the first Canadian transit agency to use the NextBus system with passenger counters, fare box integrations, and passenger information systems.
For our October issue we look at the past, present, and future of Thunder Bay’s connection to public transportation, which goes beyond our city. Emma Christensen explores the impact of Thunder Bay’s Bombardier plant, which has 1100 employees and has manufactured approximately 2000 rail cars that are operated in cities around the world, and Bonnie Schiedel talks to Brad Loroff, manager of the Thunder Bay’s transit services division, about the city’s system and what is in the works for the future.
This month also brings Halloween, and to help you get your ghoul on we’ve highlighted some of the events taking place in the city. Speaking of things that go bump in the night, Justin Allec gets a sneak peek at the the inaugural Terror in the Bay Film Festival.
October is the first full month of autumn and rather than lament summer, we’ve chosen to embrace the season. Music columnist Gord Ellis shares his favourite falls songs, sommelier Jeannie Dubois offers some suggestions for Eastern European reds to warm you up on those brisk days, and chef Rachel Globensky serves up a cinnamon-maple roasted butternut squash perfect for Thanksgiving.
Charles Brown, president of the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society, brought up an interesting point when helping out with our cover story: things are coming full circle in the city’s transit industry. Because of the environment and the cost of fuel, many transit authorities around the world are now looking to electric systems or electric hybrids. Here’s hoping the city can be a trailblazer once again.