Cornwall Hearing, Cornwall, Ontario

Sunday bus service could cost city as much as $650K in first year

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By Nick Seebruch
Sunday bus service could cost city as much as $650K in first year
Cornwall Transit.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The City of Cornwall received a report from administration on the possibility of introducing Sunday bus service.

The report was in response to an online petition to the City of Cornwall asking for the introduction of Sunday service.

The petition on Change.org was started by Ginette Guy and has over 700 signatures at time of writing.

“The impact of not having any public transit on Sundays is two-fold; it limits the mobility of the individuals and impacts the local economy,” the petition reads. “Non-drivers of all physical ability, age, and socio-economic levels cannot carry out the same level of activities on a Sunday as drivers can and this through no fault of their own. This has a direct impact on the local economy as this segment of non-drivers cannot shop, dine out, go to the movies, attend events, and other entertainment on Sundays.  Workers with no transportation must depend on family and friends to get a ride to work!”

According to the City of Cornwall’s report however, the annual cost to the City for a Sunday bus service would be between $250,000 and $500,000 with a first year start-up cost of $150,000.

The City also estimates that the usage for such a service would be around 700 people, roughly half of their Saturday service.

Len Tapp, Division Manager for Cornwall Transit said that he was not yet convinced that a Sunday service was viable, but proposed presenting the idea in his department’s next annual budget submission.

“I’m not there just yet, and certainly an online petition is not a scientific thing you want to base a decision on,” Tapp said.

This is not the first time that the City has received such a petition in recent years, and Mayor Bernadette Clement explained that she understood the underlying desire.

“People want to live in a place that is accessible and affordable, so I certainly understand why this petition has come before us,” Clement said. “I appreciate that you are saying that administration review Sunday bus service as a part of the 2020 budget submission particularly for handi-transit.”

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Jenni MacDonald, Dominion Lending, Cornwall, Ontario