Yesterday, The County of Simcoe announced the new LINX Transit Service that will be starting this summer in our region. I was on hand to tour the new buses and hear about the plans for the future of this service.It is a very exciting opportunity to bring transits to various demographics and provide affordable transportation to our region.
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 today 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 sclinx.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.
Here are some quick facts also released by the County –
Fares: Fares will operate on a zone system based on distance travelled – fares for Route 1 range from $2, $4 and $6. Exact cash fares only will be accepted on the bus. The County will be offering a LINX reloadable card that users can purchase for convenient access to the LINX. LINX cards will be available in mid-July. For sales locations and information, please visit sclinx.simcoe.ca.
Hours of Operation: Route 1 LINX service will operate Monday to Friday with the first bus starting at 6 a.m. and the last drop off occurring at 7:40 p.m. The LINX Service does not operate on weekends.
Locating Your Bus: Alerts and real-time bus tracking will be available on sclinx.simcoe.ca. The County has also partnered with an existing App company called Transit App to link real-time bus and route information through the popular app. The app is available for download by Apple and Android devices. Tracking information will be available once the route launches in August.
LINX Buses: The first route will start with four 30 foot buses, with seating for up to 24 passengers plus room for eight standing passengers each and two wheelchairs, and 2 LINX+ buses with seating for up seven passengers, including 3 wheelchairs. The buses are equipped with GPS based vehicle location systems, automated stop announcements, smart card fare systems and CCTV cameras.
Environment: LINX buses are equipped with low emission engines with current clean diesel technology. The LINX bus offers above average fuel economy and the manufacture has also partnered with the aerospace industry, integrating proven concepts into the bus, greatly reducing noise pollution – making it one of the quietest transit buses on the road today.
Bus Operation: The County has entered into an agreement with First Canada ULC to operate and maintain LINX buses. First Canada has transit operating agreements across Canada and also provide school bus transportation services.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
Deputy Mayor – Don Allen