'We are losing precious time': New transit route delayed as council debates transfer point

·2 min read

A fourth route for the Town of Orangeville’s transit system will be delayed thanks to a decision to nix the transfer hub plans on Broadway.

The route was set to be established in order to serve an area of town that currently does not have transit service.

“(It’s) so frustrating,” Coun. Todd Taylor told the Orangeville Banner. “We are losing precious time to serve all of our community.”

He added that Veteran’s Way and the west end of town are two examples.

“We currently have entire neighbourhoods not served by transit,” said Taylor.

The fourth route would allow the transit service to operate on a four-quad system. Each quad would serve a different area of the town and meet with the rest at a central location, allowing riders to transfer to reach their destination.

Council reversed their decision on the Broadway hub in a 4-3 vote on Nov. 23, after hearing numerous concerns from businesses in the downtown core and the BIA.

Taylor, along with Councillors Lisa Post and Grant Peters, felt that sufficient work had been completed to prove the safety and benefits of a Broadway transfer point, which would have been located between First and John Street.

Instead, several members of council would like to see staff investigate the possibility of using the Edelbrock Centre, an idea which was favoured until more recently.

“I am disappointed in the decision,” said Taylor. “The Edelbrock site will cost over $300k to implement, while downtown was minimal.”

Until council settles on a location, any work on the transit project, which includes the fourth route, has been put on hold.

Taylor added that part of the reasoning behind a centralized station is to improve challenges deterring ridership, such as reliability and access to certain parts of town.

“Our buses are underutilized today; this is a fact,” said Taylor. “Why would anyone want to ride a bus that is frequently late and does not get you close to a desired location?”

Council is scheduled to vote on a motion to revisit the idea of using the Edelbrock Centre at its Dec. 14 meeting.

Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner