OPINION: The beach and a bus

By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: The beach and a bus
Stock photo.

A couple of weeks ago, Cornwall’s Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) reviewed the final draft of the new Waterfront Master Plan. The top priority item for Cornwall’s waterfront is more recreational beach areas. You know where there are some great public beaches? In South Stormont and in South Glengarry.

I believe at the PAC meeting it was lay member Ron Syminton who suggested that Cornwall Transit should organize a bus over the summer to go to one of the beaches in South Stormont. I think this is a great idea and is a great revenue opportunity for the municipality that enacts it first.

Cornwall already has its own buses and I think that this opportunity is one for Cornwall to lose. There is no reason that I can think of why either South Glengarry, South Stormont or the United Counties of SD&G Tourism department could organize their own buses to pick up residents in Cornwall and bring them to one of their beaches. Residents of Cornwall already frequent the beaches in our neighbouring municipalities, which is evidence of the great economic draw they are for South Glengarry and Stormont. Those beaches will become an even greater economic driver if there are literally bus loads of people going to them over the summer.

How I think this could work, is Cornwall could run a route to one of the beaches in South Stormont or South Glengarry based on demand. Maybe the bus would start out only being once a week, then grow with demand; or maybe start on Saturday or Sunday at first. Tickets could be sold on a per-ride basis, or maybe a season pass? I think the fares would likely need to be higher than the standard Cornwall Transit fare, if not because of the demand, then simply because it would be a longer ride than the normal bus route.

Now another question that would need to be addressed, is which beach? South Glengarry has two great beaches in Charlottenburgh Park and Glengarry Park. South Stormont has Milles Roches Beach, Woodland Beach, Farran Park Beach and Lakeview Park Beach. Given the economic potential of having beach goers from Cornwall bused into their municipality, I think that South Glengarry and South Stormont should have the chance to bid on being the beneficiary of the potential bus route.

Whichever municipality gets the chance to host a summer beach bus route will have to consider options on how to increase profitability of their beach. They could have pop-up vendors to cater to the beach goers, paddle boat rides, wakeboard rentals and more.

Ultimately, I think the City of Cornwall should be the ones who initiate this bus-to-beach connection. Like I said, the Townships or the United Counties of SD&G could do this on their own and cut the City of Cornwall out. I think that having a bus commute to a local beach in a neighbouring municipality could be a great way to meet the clear demand for more beach access in Cornwall. If Cornwall does choose to develop a beach of it’s own along the city’s waterfront, this might be a good carry over measure to give Cornwall residents access to a beach while one is developed in their own town. This would also show City administration if there is adequate support for a beach in Cornwall.

What do you think readers, of creating a summer bus routes to nearby beaches? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nicholas.seebruch@tc.tc

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