New bus link to south gets warm welcome
Photo by Louis Tam
Deb Smaldon-Plaskitt, Corridor 11 bus coordinator; Dave Powley, co-chair of the Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel; and Muskoka transportation committee members Ginny Kernohan and Terry Dasilva (from left) were at Nipissing University in Bracebridge on Wednesday, Sept. 12 to officially launch Corridor 11, a new bus service that connects Barrie to Muskoka.
BRACEBRIDGE - A new bus service between Muskoka and Barrie is experiencing a welcome response in Bracebridge, proponents say.
Announced last week, the new bus service evolved from previous studies and discussions around preserving Muskoka’s rail link to southern Ontario. A public meeting and official launch of the service was held at the Nipissing University campus in Bracebridge on Wednesday, Sept. 12, which drew dozens of visitors throughout the afternoon hours.
“People have been coming in all afternoon, people from groups, individuals and organizations, talking, asking questions and getting pamphlets, really keen and interested in the idea,” said Dave Powley, co-chair of the Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel.
Known as the Corridor 11 Bus, the service will run twice a day on weekdays from Huntsville to Barrie and back, making stops in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Washago and Orillia along the way. The service will be operated by Hammond Transportation, and received support from a variety of organizations that include the District of Muskoka.
The Corridor 11 bus starts on September 24 as a three-month pilot project.
“Historically, Muskoka has been underserviced in terms of transportation and many of our clients struggle finding reliable and affordable transportation for essential services, such as medical appointments or to educational opportunities,” said Rick Williams, the district’s community services commissioner. “With the Ontario Northland train service ending this month, the Corridor 11 bus will be even more essential.”
Greg Hammond said the bus came about as the result of months of intricate planning. “We’ve consulted with both Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Orillia and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie to ensure the Corridor 11 bus schedule will meet the needs of Muskokans,” he said.
“We’ve also been in touch with Georgian College to look at student enrolment and were pleased potential ridership (that is) there is substantial.”
For ticket information, schedules, drop-off locations and more information, please visit the bus service’s website at www.corridor11bus.ca, or call Hammond Transportation at 705-645-2583.