Shuttling by public transit is a possibility at Barrie’s waterfront this summer.
By direct motion Wednesday night, city council agreed to have staff partner with the Downtown Barrie BIA to support its grant submission for the development and implementation of a one-year pilot project — a waterfront shuttle transit system — paid for with federal dollars.
The route would include downtown Barrie, Centennial Beach, Southshore Centre and Allandale Waterfront GO station.
Ward 2 Coun. Craig Nixon, who represents the downtown, said the city’s involvement is to assist the BIA with administrative staff to put together the grant application and get it submitted by the end of the month.
“It will be of great assistance to people downtown over the summer and especially during Kempenfest,” Nixon said of the service. “The shuttle will save a lot of walking for people, where they’re going from one end of the lakeshore to the other.”
“Any motion that will increase people’s trust in public transportation, in addition to showing them that you don’t have to park right exactly where you need to be, that’s something I can get behind,” said Coun. Sergio Morales.
Funding would come from the tourism growth program, sponsored by the federal development agency for southern Ontario, or FedDev.
“It’s a considerable amount of money that will cover all costs for a shuttle moving in between the points mentioned,” said Nixon, who noted Thursday the BIA is calculating the total dollar amount to be applied for from FedDev.
“The amount requested will depend on the number of days or weekends throughout the summer that the BIA chooses to offer the shuttle, and which weekends coincide with events planned in and around the waterfront area,” Nixon added. “They are also finalizing the cost involved to ensure that the request, through the grant, covers all costs."
All cost, such as chartering the bus from Barrie Transit, the driver, fuel, etc., would be covered through the grant funds received, said Nixon.
“If for some reason the cost of the project was to exceed the amount received (from FedDev), it would be the responsibility of the BIA to cover the difference," he added. "However, that is very unlikely."
If the BIA is successful in receiving funding for a waterfront shuttle transit system, staff would report back to Barrie councillors with the details of the system.
FedDev Ontario says it delivers programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario, Canada's most populous region.
For more on FedDev, visit feddev-ontario.canada.ca/en.