Buses may roll between Borden and Barrie

The wheels of Barrie Transit may soon be going round and round between the city and Angus/Borden if a service agreement between the communities is adopted.
On Monday, Barrie’s general committee endorsed a recommendation that city officials be authorized to conduct negotiations with the Township of Essa and the County of Simcoe to implemented transit services between Barrie and Angus/CFB Borden, as detailed in this staff report.
Negotiations will define the scope of the transit agreement between the communities, what each party will bring to the table, terms and conditions, as well as funding to the City for the service. A similar negotiation will take place with the County.
If negotiations don’t produce an agreement on funding and service details by May 1 of this year, city officials will report back to council. However, if an agreement is reached, it will go to council as soon as possible following the conclusion of negotiations, after which the wheels may begin to turn.
As envisioned, the service would be provided on a full cost-recovery basis by the City, and would involve conventional and accessible transit vehicles. The initiative was sparked in 2011 when mayors of Barrie and Essa, and the base commander, met to discuss linking Angus/Borden and Barrie through public transit.
A study conducted in 2011 concluded there was sufficient public demand to justify a regular transit route, with those responding saying employment and shopping needs drove interest in the transit link.
If concluded, an agreement would see transit service provided Monday to Friday, in the mornings, mid-day and afternoon, involving two buses. The County has budgeted $50,000 for the project in 2013, and has indicated it will budget the same for 2014. The County has expressed an interest in establishing transit links between urban areas in Simcoe County.

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