BWG Transit is getting nearly $279,000 of provincial gas tax money to help fund its 2019 expansion, which includes early evening and weekend service and an extra bus.
Jeff Yurek, minister of transportation, announced Tuesday the Ontario government is dividing $364 million between 107 municipalities that provide public transit service to 144 communities.
"We are investing in public transit to make it a more convenient travel option and to attract more riders," said Yurek. "More public transit will cut through gridlock and get people moving."
For the 2018/2019 funding period, the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is receiving $278,939, according to Caleigh Clubine, the town’s community relations officer.
“The amount is only slightly more than what we’ve received in the past few years, but any increase is good news!” she said.
In 2017/2018, the town got $256,964 in gas tax funding, and in 2016/2017, it got $252,790, Clubine said.
“The amount is based on factors including transit ridership and municipal investment in the transit system, and is to be re-invested in transit.”
The County of Simcoe is also getting $900,000 in new funding for its LINX transit system, which has an Alliston/BWG route planned for 2020, according to Trevor Wilcox, the county’s general manager.
BWG Transit will see the following changes in 2019:
- Early evening and weekend service: Route 1 will expand operation from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Route 2 will operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Routes 1 and 2 will operate on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Route 1 schedule change: Route 1 (the “across-town” route) currently runs along Holland Street on a 35-minute loop. It will change to a 30-minute loop to create a shorter trip and aime to make planning simpler for travelers.
- Service to Reagens Industrial Park: Route 2 (the “around-town” route) will introduce service along Reagens Industrial Parkway. There will be no set stops – passengers can simply wave to hail the driver and board the bus, and/or let the driver know in advance if they wish to exit the bus along that road.
- A second bus for Route 2: To reduce travel and wait times, a second bus will operate on Route 2 every weekday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The “regular” Route 2 bus will be called Route 2A and will continue to run in a clockwise direction, while the new bus will be called Route 2B and will run counterclockwise.
Next up for BWG Transit expansion, according to a town press release, is integrating its bus schedules with smartphone apps. New ride guides will include stop numbers so riders can look up departure times for any stop.