by David Shanahan
As part of the province’s Gas Tax program, the Municipality of North Grenville is receiving $60,071 “to support the expansion and improvement of public transit services”. This is an increase over last year’s funding, and Mayor Peckford said that she is thrilled to get it, especially given the municipality’s recent changes to local transit operations.
Since the beginning of this year, accessible, on-demand service is available seven days a week (except holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The service can be pre-booked 24 hours or more in advance.
Anyone who meets the definition of having a disability per the Accessibility for Ontarian with Disabilities Act (AODA), and/or is 65 years of age or older may use the service. Council has opted to reduce the fare by nearly 50% – from $11 to $5 each way. A monthly pass is also available for $70. The funding from Ontario helps to subsidise the service, which is why the announcement of increased funding for this year has been so warmly welcomed by mayor and council.
“Our government knows that supporting public transit systems is more important than ever as communities struggle to maintain service levels during COVID-19,” said Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. “Stability matters for the transit systems in our region and I’m pleased that we have been able to top up this year’s Gas Tax funding to make up for reduced sales at the pump.”
Mayor Peckford emphasised the fact that the transit system is open to everyone over 65, whether disabled in any way, or not. When more and more seniors are facing life without their own vehicle, it is vital that they have a transit system available to get them to stores, medical appointments, social events, and church services. This funding makes that service ever more accessible and affordable for residents of our community, and is to be welcomed as such.