Elliot Lake’s economic development coordinator Ashten Vlahovich got the support needed to apply for a provincial grant to improve public transit in the city and offer residents access to cross-province Ontario Northland bus service with stops in Spragge.
The total cost for the project is estimated at $2.1 million over five years. The total grant the city is seeking from the province is $877,820 with the city ending up with its contribution coming in at $1,233,330 split over five years.
Vlahovich said the grant being sought would help offset the cost of supplying transportation for residents to Spragge to hook onto Ontario Northland’s new east-west service and could also allow for potential funding of Sunday bus service in Elliot Lake should council consider that an option.
“We’re going for this grant based on what we spend,” she told ElliotLakeToday following Monday evening’s council meeting.
“The municipality is eligible to apply for a local service, we are eligible for some funding,” she added, referring city transportation studies that have looked at Sunday service and bus route changes. “We are applying for the funding so that we can, if received, we can look at potentially implementing some of these optimizations, which may include Sunday service. We’re not committing to it now that would be something council would have to commit to at a later day.”
The city has already budgeted the $1.233,000 for transit operations over the next five years and is basing its grant application on budgeted transit costs.
Council approved moving ahead with the grant application.