FONOM Pleased Ontario Government Investing in Transportation Services

KIRKLAND LAKE, ON – The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) commends the provincial government’s announcement to improve transportation services within and between communities across the North. The announcement [CLICK HERE to review announcement] to enhance bus services and implement the Community Transportation Grant Program was made on December 1, 2017 by the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle and the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca alongside the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Bill Mauro.

The Ministers announced that return service would be in place five days a week between all communities served by Ontario Northland or private carriers. The government has also committed to monitoring ridership levels to ensure customer demand is met and service is expanded when needed.

“FONOM will be holding the government to account to ensure that bus services will in fact be improved and expanded when needed,” said Mayor Alan Spacek of Kapuskasing and President of FONOM. “Many Northern Ontarians depend on bus transportation to get to medical appointments, post secondary education and to visit friends and family. We need a system that is both accessible and reliable. A person should never have to wait on the side of a highway in the middle of the night to be able to get on a bus.”

In addition to enhancing bus transportation, the government also introduced the Community Transportation Grant Program. The program aims to assist municipalities in developing new transportation services or improve existing service to communities across the province that are not served or are underserved by regular transit and intercommunity bus service.

“This program will prove beneficial particularly for those with limited mobility, seniors, people with disabilities, youth and people living on low income. However, we caution the government not to shift responsibility of intercommunity transportation to local governments.”

The announcement demonstrates that the government is listening to the needs and concerns of Ontarians by improving and enhancing bus transportation services. FONOM will continue to call on the government to ensure that the transportation network in Northern Ontario is reliable and properly invested in.

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