Today, we recognized the early days of transit in Mississauga with the Official Renaming of the Transit Operations Building to the E.J. (Ed) Dowling Transit Facility.
“Under the leadership and vision of Ed Dowling, Mississauga Transit – now called MiWay, grew from 4.1 million rides in 1974 to 23.3 million rides in 1997,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie during the official renaming held today. “I commend you Ed for building a strong foundation and leading Mississauga Transit through its transformation into becoming a world-class transit system.”
The ceremony took place this morning at 975 Central Parkway West. The transit operations’ building is now officially called the E.J. (Ed) Dowling Transit Facility. Ed Dowling was the City’s first General Manager of Transit and was responsible for such contributions as:
• Installing one of Canada’s first two-way radios on all buses
• Introducing Canada’s first articulated buses for improved efficiency
• Equipping buses with electronic fare boxes to improve security
• Being the first across Canada to provide comfort on hot days with air conditioned buses
“Even in the early years of transit, Mississauga was known for having one of the best transit systems around,” said Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr, who was Emcee for the event and recalls travelling to Kansas City with Ed Dowling to accept a safety award for the safest transit system in North America. “I learned back then that Ed was making his mark in the transit industry. In fact, many people refer to him as the Father of Mississauga Transit.”
Transit experienced high growth in the early 1970s when Mississauga Transit had only two routes serviced by school buses, explained Martin Powell, commissioner of Transportation and Works. Since then, the service has grown to have a fleet of more than 460 buses and 80 bus routes, Powell added.
Ed retired from the City of Mississauga in 1998. His impact in the transit industry was recognized in 2012 with the prestigious W.G. Ross Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Urban Transit Association.