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HomeNewsLocal Residents Advocating For Regional Transit Service To Return To Kawartha Lakes

Local Residents Advocating For Regional Transit Service To Return To Kawartha Lakes

KAWARTHA LAKES-A group of local residents are pushing council to actively pursue plans for and development of regional transit to Kawartha Lakes. Lindsay and other parts of Kawartha Lakes once had train or bus service. 

Metrolinx is updating its 2041 Regional Transit plan and Randy Neals and other residents want to ensure Kawartha Lakes is part of the plan. 

Neals recently made a deputation to council outlining the need for Regional Transit.  He says other municipalities in the area seized the opportunity and he wants council and our MPP to do the same. 

“Our neighbors in Selwyn Township were aligned and ready. In partnership with Curve Lake First Nation, Community Care Peterborough, and the City of Peterborough, they received a $1.48-million grant under the Provincial Community Transportation Grant program and have established two bus routes between Bridgenorth, Ennismore, Lakefield and Curve Lake to interchange with Peterborough Transit and the Go Bus at Trent University.” said the deputation. 

Neals also pointed to Northumberland County who, in partnership with Metrolinx, launched Commuter Connect shuttle van service which starts each morning at 6:30 and cycles 4 times daily between Cobourg, Port Hope and the Oshawa Go Station in 2021. Northumberland council renewed Commuter Connect and in May they welcomed back the Via Rail morning train Cobourg to Toronto Union according to Neals.

Neals is part of a group called KLART-Kawartha Lakes Advocating For Regional Transit with 160 members so far.  

According to KLART, Regional Transit opens-up new job opportunities, helps social service recipients without a car, provides access to medical treatment and enables access to higher education opportunities which are not available locally. It also makes Lindsay Transit more valuable through interconnection. 

They asked for three things: 

  1. We need the same App-based Northumberland Commuter Connect shuttle service between Lindsay and Oshawa Go, with stops at Carpool Lots. The app reserves seats, matches demand with availability, enabling smaller efficient transit vehicles to serve the route. The App provides ridership data to inform and fine tune service.
  1. We need a Lindsay-Peterborough intermunicipal transit route connecting the Lindsay Transit network with the Peterborough Transit network, and with a stop in Omemee. We want Kawartha Lakes to immediately begin working with the City of Peterborough, Fleming College, our Hospitals, Kawartha Lakes Social Services and Housing, Community Care, Metrolinx and the Province to develop a Lindsay-Peterborough regional bus route with start-up and operational funding from the province.
    With the reduction of programs offered at the Frost Campus of Fleming, this route is important to ensure that young people in Kawartha Lakes can access higher education in a field of their choice, enabled by the lower cost of living with family.
  1. And finally, we want Metrolinx to commit that upon completion of the Bowmanville Go Train Extension, Metrolinx will launch regular Go Transit Bus service connecting Lindsay via Hwy 35/115 to Bowmanville Go Train.

The group would also like to see Lindsay Transit and Peterborough Transit request funding from the province for an intermunicipal link between Lindsay Transit Hub and Peterborough Bus Terminal with a stop in Omemee. 

We believe that regional transit connectivity is critical for our local economy. Without regional transit Kawartha Lakes will be less competitive in attracting investment, students, doctors, nurses, and professionals that want to retire in our community and have so much to contribute.” said Neals 

The City CAO, Ron Taylor confirmed that the municipality has been active not just in political advocacy but in the planning phase of the province’s transportation plan as a municipality located within the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

“We have staff on various provincial working groups, the Mayor has met directly with ministry staff and we’ve made submissions to their planning process.” said the City.

Kawartha Lakes is going to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference later this year to make a deputation for the Ministry of Transportation on regional transit connections, specifically with GO Transit. Taylor says he is optimistic that the City will have a positive regional transit announcement for the municipality sometime this year.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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