LINX Transit Service begins August 2018
Simcoe County residents will soon have a new public transportation service to connect communities across the region with the first route starting August 2018. County Councillors gathered at the County of Simcoe Administration Centre in Midhurst to unveil the Simcoe County LINX transit service, showcasing the new buses and outlining the first route and five year plan to link Simcoe County residents to key service and labour hubs across the region.
“This is a huge milestone for our County and we’re pleased to offer another crucial service to our residents and communities,” said Warden Gerry Marshall.
“Our region has a large geographical footprint and we have a growing population of seniors, students and residents who need affordable and reliable transportation options to access health services, jobs and education hubs in other communities.”
Route 1 launches August 7, 2018 and runs from Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie with stops in Wyebridge, Waverley, Elmvale and Midhurst. To introduce the service, the County is offering complimentary fares between August 7-September 4, with regular fare rates starting after Labour Day. The County is also offering an accessible door to door transit service for individuals with mobility needs called the LINX+. Residents are asked to complete a registration form to access the service by visiting linx.simcoe.ca or by calling 1-800-263-3199.
In 2017, as part of the County’s Transit Implementation Plan, County Council approved a 5-year, $5 million plan to create a regional transit service. Recognizing the need to increase public transit within Simcoe County, the Government of Ontario recently topped up funding with a significant $8.4 million contribution.
As part of a five year roll out of the LINX Service, the following proposed routes will be considered: Orillia to Barrie (2019), Collingwood to Barrie (2019/2020), Alliston to Bradford West Gwillimbury and Midland to Orillia (2020/2021). The County will also assume some existing inter-municipal routes currently operating throughout the County. Visit linx.simcoe.ca to learn more.
Simcoe County youth educate adults about waste, organics, future
Councillors received a first-hand look at the County of Simcoe’s new green bin marketing and events campaign during Council on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. As the County strives to increase its diversion rate and grow participation in its green bin program, it is rolling out a multi-platform campaign to engage, motivate and educate County residents about the benefits of using their green bins, with a heavy emphasis on regional youth educating today’s parents and adults.
The campaign leads with a call to action: Grow Your Green Bin. Not Your Garbage! It is being promoted through TV ads, online videos, print, billboard and radio ads, social media and a household mailer. There is also a contest running on local radio throughout the summer for a chance to win great prizes.
The campaign features children educating the public about the benefits of using greens bins.
It also aligns with the County’s Learning and Living Green program where more than 100 local schools participate in waste education and diversion initiatives. Another component of the campaign is a summer festival and event series where the County’s green bin team is touring to all 16 member municipalities to attend events and raise awareness about the use of green bins. The event includes a 9-metre-high inflatable green bin to drive home the message.
County publishes annual report card
The County of Simcoe has published its fourth annual report card, entitled Housing Our Future: 2017 Annual Report, to measure and evaluate the implementation of recommendations contained in its Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy.
“As we complete phase one of our 10 year plan, we’re pleased to announce that we have surpassed our 895 unit phase one target by creating more than 1,000 new units since 2014,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “We’re making an impact by investing in multiple strategies, such as secondary suites, new apartment buildings, motel conversions, community improvement plans, financial incentive programs and rural builds to help meet the growing need for more affordable housing in our communities.
”As the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager for this region, the County of Simcoe is responsible for developing and implementing Our Community 10-Year Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention Strategy. The Strategy was approved by County Council in 2014.
Paramedic andSeniors’ Services expanding in Elmvale
The County of Simcoe is investing in the development of a new facility in the village of Elmvale that will house a Paramedic Services station and the Long Term Care and Seniors’ Services Adult Day Program Centre for the surrounding area.
“With an aging population and rising paramedic call volumes across the region, we continue to make strategic investments which enable us to expand and enhance our services to meet the needs of our residents and communities,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “This new dual use facility will serve residents in Springwater, Wasaga Beach, Oro-Medonte, Tiny and Tay for years to come and we thank our partners at Springwater Township for working with us on this important venture.”
The County has acquired 191 Queen Street West in Elmvale. The facility will consist of a two bay Paramedic Services station, allowing the County to expand services to the area and address increased call volumes. The County has outgrown its current leased space at the Elmvale Fire Hall, which was originally set up for a single paramedic response unit 12-hours per day and is now being used to house a 24-hour, fully staffed paramedic transport unit. This space no longer meets the operational needs of Paramedic Services and is anticipated to be used by Springwater Fire.
The Adult Day Program Centre will enable the County to expand its current program operating out of leased space at the Manse of St-John’s United Church in Elmvale. The new space will allow for an increase in capacity and reduce the existing waitlists for the program. The County’s Adult Day Program operates in Penetanguishene and Elmvale and provides daytime respite, support, education and activities for families and caregivers. Potential clients for the program are referred through a variety of sources such as Community Care Access Centres, program clientele, physicians, friends and relatives.
Construction of the facility is anticipated to commence in late 2018, and be completed in mid-2019. The estimated cost of constructing the facility is $3.9 million, inclusive of land acquisition and construction.
Getting a charge out of the County
Three new electric vehicle charging stations are ready for use across Simcoe County thanks to funding from the provincial government.
Through the County’s Sustainable Operations program $267,350 was applied for and received to install three “Level 3” supercharger stations that can be found at the following locations:
• Simcoe County Museum1151 Highway 26, Midhurst
• Washago Carpool Lotcorner of Highway 169 and Highway 11, Washago
• Station Park212 Huron Street, Stayner
These superchargers are able to charge a fully electric vehicle within an average of 30-45 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle and quantity of power required making them ideal for highway travel. This past Canada Day long weekend saw more than 20 electric vehicle owners take advantage of these units, with Washago alone servicing 14.
“With more than 465,000 residents and 9 million visitors to our region each year, it is vital that we invest in initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint and highlight our commitment to being sound environmental stewards,” said Warden Gerry Marshall. “Investing in these charging stations has strengthened our sustainable infrastructure and provided more environmental options to our residents and visitors.”
The County of Simcoe charges a fee of $0.25 per minute to use the vehicle chargers. A typical fill-up – lasting approximately 30 minutes – would cost the user $7.50. Charging fees create a revenue neutral operation for the County to maintain the charging stations while ensuring affordability for users.