Bus service could run again to Selwyn
A new public transit service to Lakefield, Curve Lake, Ennismore and Bridgenorth could be starting next spring or summer as a three-year pilot project.
A 15-passenger city transit bus would be used on weekdays.
The service could later expand to allow longer hours, more buses and more routes, potentially to Peterborough Airport, for example.
A provincial government grant of $1.48 million has been given to Selwyn Township to operate the service, and at a meeting on Monday city council will consider entering into a three-year contract to run the service for the township.
It could be popular: there’s currently no bus service between Peterborough and Selwyn Township and a city staff report estimates 20,000 rides in the first year of the new service.
Riders would be able to catch the bus to Selwyn at Trent University and at Portage Place mall, states the report, and they could pay one fare to transfer from a city bus route to the township routes.
Although the report estimates the service would cost the city $360,800 to operate in its first year, that cost would be more
than offset by contract and fare revenue — it’s expected to turn an annual profit of about $33,200.
A separate city staff report — also to be reviewed Monday by city councillors — explains how the city could find the money to buy new buses for use in Selwyn.
The city, provincial and federal government can split the cost to buy four 15-passenger buses under the new Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, states the report.
Staff proposes the purchase of four buses: two to expand the Community Bus pilot program, which takes people on a route from apartment buildings to the mall and medical centres, and two more buses to use for the Selwyn routes, with one bus always on the road, plus a spare bus.
The total cost would be $800,000, but the city’s share would be $213,360 — and staff recommends dipping into the city’s transit reserve fund for that money.
Although it would leave the fund with about $28,000, the report suggests putting the annual profit of $33,000 back into the reserve to replenish it.
On Monday, city councillors will be asked to enter into an agreement with Selwyn Township and to precommit to buying those four buses in 2020.
That would allow city staff to order four new buses now for delivery in nine to 11 months.
If city councillors don’t want to buy four buses, the report states, at 2019 prices, then it’s suggested they buy at least two more to expand the Community Bus service within Peterborough.
There hasn’t been a bus between the city and Selwyn Township for awhile: dwindling ridership shut down the Lakefield worker bus in 2015 after 50 years of operation.