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Friday, October 27, 2017

Transit Is In A Good Place: Orillia Mayor

Orillia | by Ian MacLennan  

Steve Clarke touts new route, new operator and new buses, for starters.

Mayor Steve Clarke says Orillia Transit is in a good place right now.

The mayor says looking back over the past year or so,  the system has five new buses, an additional route and a new operator.

The city also did a transit operational review that pointed out the strain extra ridership was having in west Orillia.

He feels for a community the size of Orillia,  city council has truly demonstrated that transit is a priority.

A sixth route is being added to the West Ridge-area beginning January 2nd.

The annual cost will be over $400,000.

Clarke says when he and members of council rode public transit,  the number one concern was reliability of the buses arriving downtown to meet connections.

A report will be coming to council in the new year about a possible fare increase.

The current price is $2.00, which is a four per cent drop since 2010.

Clarke says nobody wants an increase on anything, but as costs go up and investments are made,  the city has to look at alternatives.

The mayor continues to push for proper transit hub, rather than riders waiting downtown, mostly lacking shelter in all kinds of weather.

Clarke did throw out the possibility of using the Peter Street property, which will be vacated in a few years when Orillia OPP gets a new detachment.

He says the site would have to be analyzed properly.

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