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Friday, August 11, 2017

Simcoe County Council Approves Regional Transit System

Midhurst | by Ian MacLennan  
The goal is to connect population centres within the County.

Simcoe County Council has approved a regional transit system, starting with a Midland to Barrie route,  with a roll out between June and early fall of 2018.

Four other routes will be added over a four to five year time frame including Collingwood-Wasaga Beach-Barrie, Barrie-Orillia, Alliston-Bradford and Midland-Orillia.

The year one cost is estimated at $1.5 million dollars,  and that is expected to climb to about four million dollars over 10 years as the system ramps up.

There will be also be funding from the gas tax and government funding to buy buses.

Debbie Korolnek,  GM of Engineering, Planning and Environment,  says buses could be acquired through a deal with Metrolinx.

The cash fare will be $7.00 and integrated with other local transit systems.

While the County will pay for the lion's share of the system, Korolnek says talks continue with Barrie and Orillia to cover 33 per cent of the cost of the route between both cities.

The County will also pick-up three routes that are already operational:  Barrie-Angus,  Midland-Penetanguishene and Collingwood-Wasaga Beach.

Korolnek says the goal of the transit system is to connect population centres within Simcoe County.

She says some municipalities have community bus systems, but there is no really good way to get around the County, unless you own a car, from urban centre to urban centre.

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