For Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella, it was simply a "no brainer.” After City Council passed a by-law to approve a new shuttle bus service, Mayor Marchisella told ElliotLakeToday it "doesn't make much sense to spend $90,000 a year for one route when we're getting three routes now for $45,000 a year."
The newly approved shuttle service from downtown Elliot Lake to Sprague on the Trans Canada Highway is being provided through an agreement with Greyhound Bus Lines and the City over five years.
There will be two shuttles per day, six days a week, plus additional services. It's being funded through a provincial grant of $377,000 over five years with a municipal contribution of nearly $45,000 for a total of nearly $ 420,000 over the contract period.
The shuttle will help connect Elliot Lake with improved bus service being provided by Ontario Northland Transportation along the Trans Canada Highway corridor. Ontario Northland has established bus passenger service from White River east through Sault Ste. Marie and from Toronto north to North Bay and communities as far north as Hearst.
There is a per ride fee of about $10 per passenger for a ticket on the shuttle and the City of Elliot Lake will invoice Ontario Northland $10 one way for each passenger using the shuttle service.
At Monday night's Elliot Lake Council meeting, councillors also made their final approval of this year's property tax levy. Although there are small increases in some commercial taxes, for the most part the rate in unchanged for residential ratepayers, at 2017 levels.