Creemore bus up for consideration

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Clearview councillors have decided to pursue the idea of adding bus service to Creemore but a lot of questions are yet to be answered.

Council has directed staff to report back with the financial implications of extending the service to Creemore and using the allocated gas tax funds to fund it.

Councillor Deborah Bronée said the gas tax funds would be a drop in the bucket compared to the full cost of running the bus and that she would rather see the money used to enhance the existing system.

She said she thinks this decision is being approached from the wrong angle in that, instead of seeing a need for service and then finding the funds to implement it, this decision is being driven by the surprise funding allocation.

Councillor Thom Paterson said the high operating costs have to be considered.

The existing Stayner bus costs $190,000 per year to operate and brings in only $15,000 in revenue.

“Everyone will want transit for their communities but we have to look at what’s best for Clearview,” said Paterson.

CAO Steve Sage said more information will be included in the upcoming staff report. He alluded to the fact that most transit systems run at a loss, saying Clearview ridership is increasing but if it doesn’t see 15 per cent in returns, council may wish to address that.

“Maybe the Stayner solution long term isn’t the right solution either,” said Sage.

Paterson said, “We’re not going to get the ridership out of Creemore that you do in Stayner.”

Councillor Kevin Elwood asked that the need be assessed to help council make a decision.

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