PERTH COUNTY – After more than a year of service, Transit Coordinator Maggie Martin told Perth County council that ridership continues to climb during her update on Dec. 16.
Nov. 16 marked one year of service for PC Connect. During the first year of service, PC Connect Routes A and B completed a total of 1,521 rides.
A winter campaign is currently underway, encouraging residents to avoid the stressful snowy drive and ride PC Connect instead.
In November, Perth County’s PC Connect routes completed a total of 184 rides, with 122 on Route A in the northern section of the county, and 62 on Route B in the south.
“Our ridership increased by 14 per cent compared to October so we are certainly continuing to trend in the right direction,” said Martin.
While she was presenting an update on PC Connect to county council, Warden Jim Aitcheson asked for an update on concerns raised by council regarding Via Rail’s schedule changes for trains that service Perth County.
“Via did advise that their changes were a result of an increase in freight train activity which is, of course, great for our economy, however not so great for passenger trains that operate on freight train infrastructure,” said Martin. “So they did advise that since making the schedule change that on-time performance has increased drastically going from five per cent to 75 per cent which created a better customer experience for the ride, but nonetheless Via did acknowledge our concerns regarding the timing change and they have agreed to take these into consideration and also better communicate service changes with us in the future.”
She said she would be having a meeting with Via Rail and GO Transit to develop a better partnership and align services to better complement each other.
“We have also agreed to advocate on behalf of Via to CN to express the importance of passenger rail to our community,” said Martin.
PC Connect continues to operate within the grant funding provided by the Government of Ontario. Since its launch, PC Connect has collected $13,675.70 in fare revenue.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner