The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) has granted $499,950 to the County of Wellington to develop a demand-based ridesharing system that will service Wellington County. The new ridesharing service, which is scheduled to launch in April 2019, will utilize a mobile app to book, pay and track trips. A call centre will also be available for residents that do not have a mobile phone.
The need for a public transit service in Wellington County was identified in the 2015 Wellington County Rural Transportation Study, and more recently in a 2018 study with stakeholder meetings and a County of Wellington Community Response Survey. Within five days, results from the survey confirmed community support for this project, indicating that 89% of 869 respondents would like a public transportation system to service Wellington County communities.
“Wellington County residents, especially those living in rural areas, face a number of transportation barriers,” said Warden Dennis Lever. “A demand-based transit service will provide our residents with cost-effective options, helping them travel to and from work, visit the downtown cores of our municipalities, and make all parts of the County more accessible.”
An Implementation Team is currently working with Dillon Consulting Limited and existing community partners to design a system that will make it more convenient for residents, visitors, seniors, youth, persons with disabilities, and others to access essential services in our community.
“The impact that this grant will have on rural Wellington residents is tremendous. For many residents, transportation is a barrier to accessing health care services, the Food Bank, counselling, employment and other necessary supports to function optimally. The grant will reduce barriers to daily living and improve the health of our population,” said Karen Armstrong, Health Link Collaboration Coordinator. “The idea of linking different parts of Wellington County through transportation, is not a new one” said Economic Development Chair, Councillor George Bridge. “This easy to book system will increase opportunity for ridesharing, provide more options to local employers and their workers, and bring us one step closer to connecting our rural and urban communities.”
“Being a teenager and living rural means you’re often stuck. Rural transit means that youth can get a part- time job and become involved in their community” said Grade 12 student, Jadyn Godfrey.
Additional information about the project will be shared via www.wellington.ca/transportation