City to investigate free bus service for Barrie high school students

“I believe this is a good opportunity for the kids, community, school boards, and the City

Barrie high school students may be able to catch an after-school ride until the end of December free of charge, courtesy of the City and Barrie Transit.
Monday night, city council adopted a motion, originally put forward by Ward 10 councillor Mike McCann, to investigate the feasibility of providing free transit to students until Dec. 31, to help fill in COVID-19-related transit gaps of students finishing classes before school buses are available.
“I believe this is a good opportunity for the kids, community, school boards, and the City … because it gives us a real opportunity to take some of the transportation issues that the school boards have, and we can present ourselves to be a solution to that stress,” said McCann.
The motion adopted has four parts:
• That staff, in consultation with school boards and the transportation consortium, investigate the feasibility of providing free transit service to Barrie high school students until Dec. 31.
• That the free transit service be only provided within one hour following the end of school time, and at bus stops adjacent to Barrie secondary schools.
• That the free transit service be contingent on support from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to remove passenger capacity limits on transit routes.
• That staff, in consultation with the school boards and the transportation consortium, investigate the feasibility of implementing a longer-term solution to provide free transit service to Barrie high school students, and report back to general committee.
If the program proves successful, it could be included in next year’s budget, said Mayor Jeff Lehman. As well as helping students, the program would be a good way to showcase Barrie Transit as an environmental and financial alternative, said McCann.

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