Transportation Action Group Meeting_Minutes_14 July 2014

The Transportation Action Group meet in Walkerton on 14 July 2014.   Key updates and discussions were on the Grey County Transportation Study. Tony Yu and Michael Schlesinger of Lough Barnes Consulting Group, Toronto http://www.loughbarnes.ca have begun their work. They have received good quantitative data and are in the midst of completing interviews with service providers, public health staff and politicians.  Findings and recommendations with analysis and feasible models will be presented to the Study Steering Committee on August 7th for validation.    Members agreed to develop 5 case studies to examine hard-to-reach clients and examine barriers to overcome.

Members also debriefed on the recent Transportation Forum organized by Rural Ontario Institute. Several reports were generated around the Forum

OHCC – Rural Transportation Forum Case Study PPT Jun 2014

Cost Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit July 2014

Dillon_Consulting_Forum_Presentation_June_16-14

Gas Tax Introduction – ROI presentation 2014-06-16

Presentations were followed by a discussion on geographic specific groups.  Two groups of Grey-Bruce participants looked at required action in our area. The discussion is captured in the following report.

Rural_Transportation_Forum_-_Walkerton_June_16_2014_-_Discussion_Notes

Overall participants felt it was an excellent opportunity for Grey Bruce discussions with an emphasis on partnership and breaking down barriers in order to provide more service.  Next steps are to take a full review of our existing resources and determine how we can better service more of the population without increasing budgets.  Service providers are of the opinion that we have enough resources in the area but we need to more efficiently use them.  We need to multi-load vehicles rather than having 2-3 vehicles passing each other on the same roads.

See the full minutes: PTF Transportation Minutes 14 July 2014

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Rural Transportation Forum Report June 2014

The Rural Ontario Institute, in partnership with Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition and Bruce County, hosted a half-day forum in Walkerton to explore the rural transportation solutions.

In total, 44 stakeholders from across the region participated in the forum, which included representatives from regional municipalities, health and social service providers, and provincial ministry staff. Members of the Poverty Task Force Steering Committee and Transportation Action Committee participated and 2 groups were formed to discuss Rural Transportation in Grey Bruce.

Rural_Transportation_Forum_-_Walkerton_June_16_2014_-_Discussion_Notes

Grey looking for ways to improve rural transit

By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound

The Grey County administration building
Grey County has set the wheels in motion for a study it hopes will lead to an improved rural public transit system in the area.

A steering committee of senior Grey County staff, along with Toronto-based Lough Barnes Consulting Group, will spend the next several months on the project, which will involve creating an inventory of available transportation options, identifying service gaps in the region and coming up with recommendations on ways to create a more robust system, said social services director Barb Fedy.

“Basically, how do we take what currently exists and co-ordinate them?” she said in an interview.

Addressing rural transportation issues has been identified as one of the county’s strategic priorities.

County council set aside $50,000 in its 2014 budget for an initiative that “seeks to develop a long-term strategy for co-ordinating a rural transit system within Grey County that will support the needs of our community without creating additional burden on the county budget,” according to a Grey County news release.

Phase 1 of the project will focus on consulting with stakeholders, such as service providers, potential funders and The Grey Bruce Poverty Task Force’s transportation committee.

The consulting firm, which was retained following a request-for-proposal process, will develop maps of current transit services and gather information on their schedules and eligibility criteria.

Recommendations on potential ways to close transit service gaps in the region are to be presented to the county’s social services committee this fall.

Transportation, especially in rural communities like Grey-Bruce, is a significant challenge for people living in poverty.

Francesca Dobbyn, executive director of the United Way of Bruce Grey, told The Sun Times earlier this month that a lack of transportation is one of the single biggest barriers for people on low incomes to accessing supports in the community.

Participants of the recent Food Bank Summit in Owen Sound said some people are unable to access food banks because they do not have a way to get there.

Fedy said it can be a “huge challenge” for people living on Ontario Works, for example, to get to a grocery store or a medical appointment from their home in the country.

There are more than a dozen transit providers in Grey County, including Owen Sound Transit, Saugeen Mobility & Regional Transit and Home & Community Support Services of Grey Bruce. Grey County’s social services department also offers a van service for eligible people.

Fedy said the problem is the services are not co-ordinated.

“We will be looking at identifying options to build on what we have now to create a more robust system,” she said.

Transportation Action Group Agenda_12 May 2014

On the Agenda for the next meeting: PTF Transportation Agenda 12 May 2014

  • Update on Four County Labour Planning Board Transportation and Employment Study
  • Update on Grey County Transportation Study RFP
  • MTO Community Transportation Pilot Program