‘Pilot Project’ Transit System Coming to Gravenhurst

Posted on Thursday May 25, 2017
May 25, 2017
‘Pilot Project’ Transit System Coming to Gravenhurst
Gravenhurst, On – During this week’s Planning Council meeting, a ‘pilot project’ transit system in collaboration with the District of Muskoka and Hammond Transportation was approved. The project will work to introduce the Highway 11 Corridor Bus into an affordable transportation alternative in the Town of Gravenhurst.
“While the time frames available don’t lend themselves to a full spectrum of public transit ridership, it does provide the opportunity for what is referred to as a “shopping-model” system on a consistent loop, whereby riders could access public transportation to grocery stores, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and other points of interest throughout the urban centre,” said Scott Lucas, director of development services.  
Earlier this year, staff was approached by Hammond Transportation and the District of Muskoka about the concept of utilizing the Highway 11 Corridor Bus as a method to move people around the urban centre in Gravenhurst. The opportunity presented itself as the bus currently sits dormant in the town for 1.5 to 3 hours daily (typically between the hours of 11:00 and 3:00 pm). An internal task force will be established to review and finalize an appropriate route and to facilitate the collection of data to inform future decisions on transit opportunities.
Preliminary details include:
  • A consistent (30 minute) loop would be established, with a well-advertised schedule.
  • The service operational Tuesday through Thursday, beginning at 11:30 am and concluding at 2:30 pm. This would equate to 6 loops, although the availability of the bus on Wednesdays is anticipated to be slightly less.
  • A commitment to the pilot of 6-months (remainder of 2017) beginning on July 1.
  • A two month “free trial period” during which ridership would be free as an introduction to the service.
  • Upon conclusion of the free trial period, Hammond Transportation would institute and administer a fee for ridership (approximately $2).  Revenue would offset the overall cost to the Town.
  • The pilot project for the remainder of this year would result in an approximate cost of $9,000 ($18,000 annually). 
“Greater mobility throughout the Town is something that is well documented in the Town’s Strategic Plan and other guiding documents,” said Lucas. “In collaboration with the District of Muskoka (who currently fund the Highway 11 Corridor Bus and other transit initiatives) and Hammond Transportation, this presents a unique opportunity to conduct a limited pilot project in the Town and gauge community interest,” added Lucas.
Between contributions from the District of Muskoka and fares collected, the actual contribution from the Town would be quite minimal. During the course of the pilot project, further evaluation of funding models will take place and may include cost recovery through private sponsorship.
For additional information please contact: 
Scott Lucas - Director of Development Services
705-687-3412 ext. 274