New busing system for Manitoulin scheduled to be launched on April 9

MANITOULIN—The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) has indicated it will be launching its new bus-transportation system initiative for Manitoulin Island on April 9. The service will provide an intercommunity bus service between Sudbury and Manitoulin Island.

“The enhanced transportation service is scheduled to be launched on Manitoulin Island on April 9,” said Renee Baker, communications manager of ONTC on Tuesday. “We are still working backwards from that date to finalize our agency locations along the route. And we’re still finalizing the schedule based on this and the date, and in the next week or so this will be finalized and we will be advertising the schedule in both the Recorder and Expositor newspapers.”

“This is a very important initiative and will enhance the transportation services for residents of the Island,” said Guy Dumas, of United Manitoulin Transportation (UMT). He pointed out the ONTC is launching this service on April 9. He said that he understands the ONTC has radically changed its originally proposed schedule to focus more on what local residents’ needs are.

Ms. Baker said the ONTC, “wants to implement a service that will be successful. One that provides the kind of service and schedule that makes sense for them to use. And, as often happens in these type of cases, even after say six months, with public input tweaks can be made to the schedule.”

Mr. Dumas pointed out the proposal for funding to further fill gaps in the transportation system—in providing transportation services on the Island so residents can travel from one place to another locally, which was forwarded by Central Manitoulin on behalf of Island municipalities—will be receiving an answer from the province in May.

Mr. Dumas has received about a dozen letters from businesses on the Island in support of the province providing funding, but even more support to the funding being provided is needed. “I just need more businesses to indicate they are in favour of the funding being provided for our proposal,” said Mr. Dumas. Any business that would like to make it known you are in support of funding being provided toward the enhanced transportation services on the Island can provide this information to Mr. Dumas online at gdumas@marchofdimes.ca