Creemore bus approved
The Clearview Transit system is expanding to Creemore.
On July 30, council approved a one-year trial of public transit serving Creemore with a connection into Stayner four days a week at seven hours per day, starting as early as possible in 2019, with an estimated cost of $92,647.36.
Council also directed staff to issue a public engagement survey within Creemore to gather information related to the potential schedule, stops and route considerations and, pending a successful trial period, directed staff to bring back a report with details related to the purchase of a transit bus with gas tax funds.
The plan was drafted by Communications and Marketing Coordinator Tim Hendry by direction of council. In January, council was informed it would be receiving $128,174 in gas tax funds specifically for transportation and Deputy Mayor Barry Burton hoped the money would be used to extend the transit system to Creemore.
Staff however recommended that the gas tax money be kept in reserve for the purchase of a bus sometime in the future and that during the trial period a bus be rented from Sinton Landmark at a cost of $60 per day and that the trial be funded by taxpayers.
“It’s a great step forward,” Burton said Monday.
Hendry reported that the Stayner bus has become well used with more than 1,000 riders counted in May and June. Staff has also been working with the County of Simcoe as it develops a plan for a regional transit service, including a leg between Barrie and Collingwood, with a stop in Stayner, as early as 2020. The new route would negate the need for the Stayner bus to link to Wasaga Beach, and could free up some time to make a run to another community in Clearview.
CAO Steve Sage said there is a possibility of getting gas tax funds for operation costs but staff advises building ridership before applying.
Councillor Thom Paterson said the cost of the service is reasonable. He said in Stayner people use the bus service to get around town, not only to leave the community.
“If we do get people going from corner to corner so be it, we’ve improved the quality of life (which is a goal of the strategic plan,” said Paterson.
Hendry noted the hours of operation used to calculate the cost of operation are a baseline only and could change based on community input.