NORTH SIMCOE – In light of the transportation difficulties residents of Christian Island sometimes face, Beausoleil First Nation is looking to expand its transit options, including pursuing partnerships with its neighbours.
Angela Beedie, community economic development officer with Beausoleil First Nation, said the conversations are in very early stages, but there is interest in possibly hooking into some of the developing transit projects in north Simcoe.
“Transit has been a real challenge lately,” she said. “Especially for visitors coming to Christian Island.”
Christian Island’s transport woes are well known. Its main car ferry, the MV Sandy Graham, was taken out of commission in May after it was deemed too dangerous to continue operations.
Beausoleil First Nation has developed a small transit service linking the ferry stop at Cedar Point to Midland and Penetanguishene. But Beedie said there is interest in becoming involved in the larger Simcoe County transit project. A draft report on the transit portal was released in September, which proposed a Barrie-to-Midland bus route.
“We’re hoping to get into that portal and then do transfers,” she said. “If someone wants to go to Barrie, they can go into our bus and then transfer in Midland.”
This could also include becoming more involved in services such as the Midland-Penetanguishene bus route, said Beedie.
“Use of that bus service is picking up,” she said. “If we can have service from Cedar Point to Penetanguishene, our riders jump on that route and go to Midland if they want.”
Penetanguishene CAO Jeff Lees said the town is interested in reaching out to its neighbours, including Beausoleil First Nation, to expand transit in the region.
“As our transit system gets a little more mature, we can expand upon it,” he said. “Obviously, Beausoleil First Nation is an integral part of … north Simcoe. We want to ensure we can connect our communities.”
Lees said a connecting link among the north Simcoe municipalities, including Beausoleil First Nation, is vital.
“At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring we’re providing the transit service our residents need,” he said.
Shared Public Photo/News Source: Simcoe.com View Source