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LINX ridership numbers speed past county expectations

'The response has been overwhelmingly positive,' says official, noting first year of transit program exceeded county forecasts by 29.9 per cent
2018-08-07 Transit JO-011
A LINX transit bus. Jessica Owen/BarrieToday file photo

A year in and the County of Simcoe’s LINX transit system has already exceeded ridership expectations, and the numbers are only growing.

County of Simcoe council received an annual update on the LINX transit program during their committee of the whole meeting this week.

“Staff have been periodically riding the bus to get feedback on the service and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” wrote David Parks, director of planning, development and tourism with the county in his report.

The first route that was rolled out back in August 2018 travelling from Midland/Penetanguishene to Barrie saw 10.9 per cent growth in September 2019 from the same period in 2018.

While it was expected the route would see about 27,500 riders annually, this year 35,794 riders boarded the bus.

There were three new routes implemented in August of 2019.

During the first week of service on Route 2, which runs from Barrie to Wasaga Beach, service saw the buses at or near capacity.

Route 3 that runs from Barrie to Orillia saw 4,759 riders hop on the link between August and September, which met expectations for the route.

Route 4 between Collingwood and Wasaga Beach thoroughly exceeded ridership expectations.

While the expectation was this route would see roughly 2,500 riders monthly, ridership continues to be over 7,000 customers a month.

“Social and community agencies have been very supportive and complementary towards the transit services. Anecdotally, the new services have saved many organizations significant funds by reducing the need for providing taxi services to clients,” wrote Parks.

The first year of revenue service from September 2018 to September 2019 saw 35,794 paid customers, which exceeded county forecasts by 29.9 per cent. Ridership on all four routes is projected to be over 130,000 from September 2019 to September 2020.

In 2020, two more routes are planned for launch: Route 5 from Alliston to Bradford and Route 6 from Midland to Orillia.

“Staff will also start planning for additional weekend service in 2021, subject to further council approval,” said Parks.

Fares to ride the LINX vary depending on destination, but range from $2 to $6, with a reduced rate when transferring from existing municipal transit.

For a full schedule and detailed fare and stop information, click here.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 14 years of experience to her role as reporter for Village Media, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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