Last Monday, January 8, marked the official launch of the new North Grenville local transit system – NGTransit. The Municipality now has its own on-demand bus service that connects Kemptville to Oxford Mills, Burritt’s Rapids, Heckston, South Gower, Bishops Mills, Oxford Station, and beyond. The transit bus has a capacity of six seats and places for two wheelchairs, and is planned to be just the first of a gradually expanding system over time. As Mayor Peckford said in her remarks at the ribbon-cutting event: “Tomorrow, NGTransit will evolve to meet the growing needs of our residents. We intentionally started small to emphasize the importance of taking this crucial first step. We anticipate that our community will outgrow this initial service in a matter of months, and we will view that as a positive sign of success”.
NGTransit will officially commence operations next Monday, on January 15, 2024, significantly enhancing the existing limited service offered exclusively to seniors and persons with disabilities since 2019. This current system will be maintained until the new service is providing a complete service to all the community.
The reason why the new transit system was introduced was stated by Mayor Peckford: “Given the absence of any private taxi or rideshare options in North Grenville, and the size of our municipality, expanding our current service makes sense. After extensive consultation with rural transit experts, we are thrilled to be launching NGtransit so that we can better respond to the needs of more residents and businesses.”.
The basic start-up costs for NGTransit will come out of North Grenville’s share of the provincial Gas Tax revenue, which will be supplemented by fares paid by users of the system, which will in turn free up more funds from the Province.
NGTransit will be available seven days a week, and is open to anyone in North Grenville who needs to travel within municipal boundaries, including travel for students aged 12 and above. The cost of using the service is $5 per ride for adults and $3 for young people aged 12-19, while children aged 11 and under ride for free. To encourage everyone to experience NGTransit, the Municipality is offering free passes for the first ride, available at various locations across North Grenville.
Booking a journey with NGTransit can be made in any one of three ways: by phone, online, and a soon to be introduced Blaise app. Pre-registration is required to use the system, and riders can book trips up to a month in advance, with a minimum 30-minute advance notice. Given the limited number of seats available in these first months, booking well in advance of planned trips is advised.
Passes are available at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, North Grenville Public Library, Kemptville Youth Centre, Seniors Community Services and Community Living. Details about the transit system are available at www.northgrenville.ca/transit.