West Grey is the first municipality to throw its support behind a Township of Southgate resolution. The motion involves SMART, the Saugeen Mobility and Regional Transit.
Southgate Mayor John Woodbury believes its time to explore ways to make SMART mobility transit more efficient and cost effective.
Southgate’s motion is calling on SMART member municipalities to cooperatively explore amalgamation of service with Grey and Bruce Counties to potentially reduces transit duplication and develop efficiencies.
Currently SMART serves those with physical and mental challenges and is offered in nine Grey and Bruce communities.
Woodbury says the intent of the motion is not to cut services to the vulnerable that SMART currently serves, but rather to investigate the possibility of expanding the service to serve an even larger demographic.
He says there are gaps in the service noting for example that SMART operates in Southgate, Chatsworth and West Grey but not Grey Highlands.
He believes it is time to take a regional approach, as transportation he says is a regional issue.
West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson calls the Southgate motion timely given the work that is taking place at the County level right now in transportation.
Grey County is preparing for its own Grey Transit Route (GTR) pilot project which will launch late this Spring.
The 2.3 million-dollar GTR pilot project is made up of 1.85 million Ministry dollars allocated to Grey County and half a million dollars to the Township of Southgate towards a community transportation project.
Robinson says West Grey is supportive of investigating opportunities to provide service more effectively or more efficiently.
She says a possible alignment of service through collaboration could provide enhanced options for all citizens.