KAWARTHA LAKES-A three-point plan for an expanded Rural Transportation System was unveiled today in Omemee.
The Rural Transportation Working Group along with the Poverty Reduction Roundtable presented the plan after a number of meetings, including public consultation and a transportation summit held in Fenelon Falls in the summer.
“What I’m really excited about the plan we’ve put together is that it was generated by local residents” said Mike Perry, Rural Transportation Working Group.
Perry says they began the process by looking at the needs. “Often when considering transportation we tend to start with an infrastructure idea first, lets get some buses, we should get this we should have that,” Perry stated. “Instead we began with a needs approach, what is the need, employment, getting to work is a need, shopping is a need getting to medical appointments is as expressed need and then looked at what infrastructure would be best, the most affordable and doable for the plan.”
The first point in the plan calls for using the existing student shuttle at Fleming College in Lindsay. Use of the shuttle would be expanded to include transportation for local workers, job seekers,those taking training courses and patients with medical appointments. The shuttle will run from Peterborough to Lindsay and back during work hours and link to Greyhound Bus Lines, VIA Rail and Go Transit in Peterborough. The service would be provided by Auto Campeau and would cost about $130,000 a year.
Point two would be a weekday shopping bus with one or two school buses running an Omemee-Norland-Pontypool circuit including stops in Dunsford, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Burnt River, Coboconk, Woodville, Little Britain and Lindsay. It would run one or two days a week. Student Transportation services would be the service provider at a cost of $43,780 to $84,560 a year depending on the number of buses and the schedule.
A “Ride Kawartha Lakes” shuttle bus completes the plan. It would be a return to the daily rural routes shuttle bus that previously ran in the city. This would cost about $256,000 a year. “The goal would be to blow this up and three years from now have multiple shuttles running” Perry said. This transit system would be partially covered by fares and could receive some “gas tax” funds and local sponsors.
“This is an expanded plan to build on what’s already existing and to avoid duplication.”
All three points in the plan could be funded through various grants.All three points in the plan could be funded through various grants, rider fares, advertising and possibly community-building donors. Local Chambers of Commerce have started to examine the plan.
The group is just starting to put the grant proposals together and they put out a call to action asking local residents to volunteer their time or expertise in helping make the plan a reality. Contact Jessica Knot at [email protected] if you can help.