News

Ride Norfolk tweaks weekend shuttle

Monte Sonnenberg

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Ride Norfolk public transit service. (File photo)

Ride Norfolk public transit service. (File photo)

Ride Norfolk has tweaked its summer-time weekend shuttle service to include more areas of the county.

 

This summer, three shuttles will operate on weekends. One will be responsible for a Port Dover route, a second will look after a Port Rowan-Long Point route, while the third will take care of a Simcoe route.

The buses will meet regularly at the playground on Tom Millar Drive in Turkey Point. There, they will exchange passengers who have different itineraries for the day.

The cost of adding a third shuttle on the weekend will be about $11,000. Funding will come from local businesses and a $6,000 grant from the South West Ontario Tourism Corporation.

“The additional service will offer residents and visitors to Norfolk County easy access to a larger variety of retail and tourism-based services,” Brad Smith, co-ordinator of the Ride Norfolk service, said in a recent report to Norfolk council.

“A public transportation service option allows riders a safe and reliable travel option to access these services without concerns associated with driving such as drinking and driving, parking restrictions, navigating unfamiliar roads (and so on).”

The first Ride Norfolk shuttle dedicated to weekend tourism was introduced last year. It ran along the lakeshore between Port Dover and Long Point and featured stops at tourism-related businesses.

The lakeshore shuttle was sponsored by local businesses and was deemed a success. The addition of a third shuttle opens this tourism market to more local businesses.

Another modification involves suspending shuttle service in the summer on holiday Mondays. Tuesday, Smith explained to council there is insufficient demand for this service on long weekends. Ridership last year on four holiday Mondays totalled as much as Ride Norfolk expects to carry on a regulation Saturday.

In-town fares for the weekend shuttle will be $2 a ride. Fares for riders requiring a transfer for another bus at the Turkey Point hub will be $6. All fares are one-way, with riders being charged additional fares for return trips.

The cost of using the service for a full day will not exceed $12. Children under the age of five ride for free while the student rate is $2 a trip.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com