City transit staff are meeting with their county counterparts to explore ways to cooperate on transit services for Barrie and county riders.
In a memo to city council, Tyrell Turner, the City’s supervisor of transit business services, explained the Transit and Parking Strategy Department is “meeting regularly with the County of Simcoe (Simcoe County LINX) to explore opportunities to work together to provide the best customer service for any riders using both Simcoe LINX and Barrie Transit with the goal of building ridership for both parties.”
The talks, he continues, include transfer stops, alignment of bus schedules, communication of schedule information, bus stop infrastructure, future routing plans, and fare integration.
“A fare integration encourages a transit rider to utilize both transit systems to complete their entire trip with the benefit of a reduced fare both to and from their destination. A fare integration plan has been established and the following parameters have been discussed and agreed to by both parties.”
Transit riders departing the Simcoe County LINX would receive a $1 discount off the regular cash fare for Barrie Transit. Alternatively Barrie Transit riders would receive a $1 discount off their Simcoe County LINX cash fare.
Transit riders must provide a date and time stamped transfer from the originating transit provider to receive the corresponding discount. Transfers would be valid for 120 minutes to accommodate the length of the original trip plus transition onto the LINX or Barrie Transit system. Departing transfers would only be valid for discount at Barrie bus stops that are serviced by the Simcoe County LINX system.
Both the Simcoe County LINX and Barrie Transit will configure their fare boxes to track the number of discounted fares provided throughout the pilot. This will provide valuable insight into the uptake of the pilot and associated travel patterns.
The pilot be undertaken for a 12-month term from March 1, 2019 to February 28, 2020. At that time the County of Simcoe and the City of Barrie can review the pilot and make an informed recommendation to their respective Council for a potential permanent fare integration moving forward.