PC Connect will launch service six days/week

·3 min read

NORTH PERTH – Council approved an agreement on Oct. 26 for the North Perth Public Library’s Listowel branch, Elma Memorial Community Centre and the Elma-Logan Recreation Complex to be the three PC Connect county transit stops for the municipality.

The County of Perth has been granted $1.45 million from the Community Transportation Grant Program to implement an intracommunity transportation pilot project throughout the county. The PC Connect transit service is designed to provide an alternative, affordable means of transportation to places of employment, grocery stores and medical appointments.

Due to the global pandemic, the launch of PC Connect had been delayed from its summer launch date to Nov. 16. Perth County will be managing two routes that will each operate for eight hours a day, six days a week. In addition to Perth County’s route A and B, the City of Stratford will be launching an additional three routes under the PC Connect branding, which will provide connectivity to Kitchener, Waterloo and London.

To minimize traffic disruptions and provide riders with a safe environment to load and exit buses off of main roadways, the use of municipal properties was requested wherever possible. The PC Connect team requested North Perth enter into an agreement with Perth County to host three PC Connect bus stops.

“We will be receiving a similar agreement from Stratford for their part of the project and that bus stop will also be at the North Perth Library,” said CAO Kriss Snell.

He added an update to his report during the council meeting on Monday evening.

“It does sound like we do have the buses in place for the soft launch for all the routes as of the information I have today,” said Snell. “So that is great news. We are looking forward to the soft launch in mid-November and it does look like we have buses for all those routes. Hopefully, that stays in place and we can anticipate the soft launch and the full launch early in 2021.”

“You caught my ear there about the soft launch,” said Deputy Mayor Doug Kellum. “Is the route every day or every other day?”

Voyago, the service provider for the project had told the PC Connect team there would only be one bus available by the soft launch date so it had been planned that buses would only run every other day until the whole bus fleet was available.

Snell said his understanding is they will be receiving the buses and the bus drivers to operate routes daily.

“Perfect, so that has changed,” said Kellum.

“Isn’t that good news, given that I stuck my neck out on that one,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg.

Coun. Terry Seiler asked if the system might connect to Elmira in the future so people can connect with the Grand River Transit system.

“If you recall the Stratford project does currently contemplate a stop in Elmira and also Conestoga Mall,” said Snell. “So there will be a connection in Elmira to the regional transit system as well as the rail system in Kitchener and then the other stop will be at the downtown Kitchener Go Station.

“So the Stratford intercity project will connect us to both the Region of Waterloo system and the Go system.”

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner