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

Rural Residents Need More

Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force wants gas tax to help fund rural transportation.

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(Grey Bruce )-The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force is calling on the Ontario government to put more resources into rural communities.

In its updated Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, the province is reviewing that strategy and the Poverty Task Force wants to ensure that they receive feedback and ideas from people in Bruce and Grey counties.

United Way of Bruce Grey Executive Director, Francesca Dobbyn says they heard similar messages from across the community.

Issues such as transportation, jobs, health services; and safe, affordable housing were among the issues brought up in the survey.

Families who responded to the survey indicated they had benefited from the government’s Child Benefit Taxes, Student Nutrition Program, and full-day kindergarten.

However, families with dependents over 18 and middle-aged people, seniors or those almost at retirement age are not eligible for these benefits.

The Poverty Task Force asked area MPP’s for comments on the submission, and both Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker and Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson contributed to the report.

Thompson says the Task force report is a testament to the years of neglect by the Liberal government.

She promises to continue to push for rural Ontario’s fair share through lower energy bills, and a fair share of the gas tax for rural residents so we can invest in transportation.

MPP Walker says the gas tax is the most persistent anti-rural policy of the last decade.

He says they want immediate action from the government to allocate a fair portion of the gas tax to all rural communities so we can meet our transportation and infrastructure needs.

The task force report is being sent off to Queens Park.