A huge investment from the province will see millions of dollars pumped into Barrie’s transit system and a reimagined bus and train stop for riders.
The Ontario government has approved more than $13 million for three local projects.
Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MPP Doug Downey made the announcement Thursday morning at the Barrie Transit garage on Welham Road.
Downey says the money will go a long way in helping the influx of people expected to move into all areas of the city in the coming years.
Stormy Barker risks losing her job because of a bus route change.
The Barrie resident has worked at SBS Drivetec, a small manufacturing plant located on King Street, for about 10 months. SBS operates two shifts between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. each day.
Barker works the early shift and had caught a Barrie Transit bus at 5:05 a.m. each day; through a transfer, she’d arrive at a Route 8B stop near the plant with enough time to get to work a few minutes early.
But changes to the transit schedule that were implemented in late August mean her first bus arrives later, the transfer window is wider and the second bus picks her up at 5:55 a.m. Now, she’s late every day.
Hundreds of people gathered at Sunnidale Park on Labour Day Monday to show their support for unions and their efforts to support workers.
Hosted by the Barrie and District Labour Council, the annual event included fun events for youngsters as well as displays courtesy of various organizations.
“It’s important that everybody celebrates Labour Day and to acknowledge what we have won for labour for people in the work force,” said Derrick Smith, council vice-president and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We need to work together to improve situations in the work place.”
Changes are coming to Barrie Transit to help improve the service for riders in the city.
Bus routes between Georgian College, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the downtown jumped 36 percent since the universal bus pass was introduced last year. The city says some buses have been operating at full capacity.
Buses on express routes are currently operating at half-hour intervals that will be shortened to 22 minutes. Several of the current routes will change as well.
Barrie residents may be moving more efficiently around the city soon.
The Ontario government will provide $110,000 in funding to the municipality, for the construction of two lay-by lane bus stops at the downtown transit hub, through the “Public Transit” and “Rural and Northern” streams of the Investing in Canada infrastructure program, Barrie-area MPPs announced in a press release Aug. 16. The stops will be capable of accommodating six buses at one time.
“This is an exciting initial announcement that will be supported by additional transit investments in the near future,” Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MPP Doug Downey said. “Families in Barrie depend on reliable and efficient public transportation. Our government wants to ensure they receive the best service possible.”
Simcoe County launched two new LINX transit service routes on Tuesday, connecting Wasaga Beach to Barrie and Orillia to Barrie.
The new Route 2 will connect Wasaga Beach to south Barrie, with stops in Clearview and Essa, while the new Route 3 will connect Orillia to north Barrie, with stops in Oro-Medonte.
Route 1, which runs from Penetanguishene and Midland to Barrie, launched in 2018, and according to Simcoe County, has seen ridership increase on a monthly basis.
COUNTY OF SIMCOE
Starting Aug. 6, 2019, Simcoe County is launching two new LINX Transit Service routes and assuming the operations of an existing connecting link between Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.
The new routes complement the successful launch of Route 1, Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie, which launched in 2018 and has seen ridership increase on a monthly basis.
The changes will provide faster and more frequent services and are being made with no additional operating or capital costs, according to the City of Barrie
“In the fall of 2018, ridership in Barrie experienced significant growth with the implementation of a U-Pass,” Brent Forsyth, Barrie’s transit director, told Global News. “What we’ve seen is kind of in the northeast quadrant of the city, ridership has grown exponentially.”
The Georgian College U-Pass costs $86 per semester and is added to students’ fees. Regularly, a student bus pass would cost $255 per semester.
MPP Jill Dunlop was in Midland to announce help for the town’s transit service.
“Almost $40,000 for a transit project in Midland,” Dunlop said.
The funding announcement was made on Friday under the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.