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Bus will travel Hwy. 11 corridor from Bracebridge to Barrie 0

By Kristen Smith, Special to QMI Agency

Greg Hammond, secretary-treasurer of Hammond Transportation, stands next to a Hammond bus. The bus will be back on the road Monday after service was halted Oct. 17.
Submitted photo

Greg Hammond, secretary-treasurer of Hammond Transportation, stands next to a Hammond bus. The bus will be back on the road Monday after service was halted Oct. 17. Submitted photo

Barrie and Orillia residents will see a new bus coming through the region by the month’s end.

The Corridor 11 Bus will travel from Huntsville to Barrie while making stops in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Washago and Orillia.

Greg Hammond, secretary-treasurer of Hammond Transportation, said he has been meeting with transportation committees and city officials about transportation issues in Muskoka for a couple years.

“It’s pretty clear that... the inability to access affordable transportation is a barrier to many Muskokans and... there’s an obvious need for increased transportation services in Muskoka,” Hammond said, adding the service is intended for people aiming to get to work, school or to hospitals in Orillia and Barrie.

The idea, he said, is for people to “get there, do those things, and get home in the same day.”

The bus will run twice daily, starting at the Huntsville Place Mall at 6:30 a.m. to Georgian College in Barrie or Orillia and the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre  in Barrie. Round-trip fares range from $7 from Washago to Orillia to $43 from Huntsville to Barrie.

More information about trip times, scheduled stops and fares is available at corridor11bus.ca.

Commissioner of Muskoka Community Services, Rick Williams, said Muskoka has been under-serviced with respect to transportation and many of the agency’s clients struggle to find reliable, affordable transportation.

“With the Ontario Northland train service ending this month, the Corridor 11 Bus service will be even more essential,” Williams said in a news release.

Hammond said the new bus service has not been designed to replace the train service.

“This is a very different market. We’re looking at a very different need,” said Hammond.

He said the service needs to see somewhere around 20 passengers per day to be financially feasible.

“By December, we’re going to know whether this service looks to be viable or not,” said Hammond.

“It’s not like we have to carry a million passengers to make this work,” he said, adding Hammond Transportation is doing its best to make the service affordable.

barrie.news@sunmedia.ca

 

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