Roger Klein, CTV Barrie
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:19PM EDT
Public transit is always available in big cities, but in smaller communities without bus service getting to work or school can be very difficult or very costly.
Now – after years of debate – Collingwood is expanding its transit system to include the Town of Blue Mountains.
Every hour on the hour, the bus leaves Collingwood for Wasaga Beach. The transit link between the two communities started two years ago as a trial. Now Robert Leggatt, along with many of his neighbours, depends on it.
“There are a lot of people who live along Highway 26 who don’t have cars and they rely on the bus, the link service to bring them into Collingwood,” he says.
Collingwood’s transit service is about to expand again with another bus that will run out to the resort area in the Blue Mountains.
Mayor Sandra Cooper says Collingwood and the Town of Blue Mountains have each contributed $18,000. The resort is also kicking in to get the new service up-and-running on a trial basis.
“The Blue Mountain Village Association and the resort have come up with $40,000 and with those partnerships it’s an exciting new venture,” she says.
The new service will use one of Collingwood’s existing buses and will travel back and forth between Collingwood and Blue Mountain for three hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. It’s anticipated that people will want to take along their ski and snowboard equipment.
High school students say a bus to the mountain is needed.
“I ski and my sister has a part time job up there too,” says Rachel Neike.
Mackenzie Kilbride says it’ll help with student employment “because a lot of parents don’t want to drive all the way out there.”
Anneliese Spear says the bus could mean new employment opportunities too because she will be able to travel all the way from Wasaga Beach to Blue Mountain using public transit.
“I think it will work,” she says. “I think it will work for everybody, even that extra opportunity to look is great.”
The new service should be up and running by early November, but is only a six-month trial to see how popular the service really is.