Study accelerated for Sunday Cornwall Transit service

Cornwall Transit manager Len Tapp makes a presentation to the Cornwall budget committee Feb. 4, 2016. Tapp believes it would cost up to a half million dollars to add Sunday bus service in the city. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The manager of Cornwall Transit suggests it would cost upwards of a half million dollars to add Sunday service.

Len Tapp and division manager John St. Marseille made the remark during budget deliberations Thursday at city hall.

“We need Sunday service. To me it’s not a want,” Coun. Mark MacDonald said. “I know it’s going to be a hefty price tag but we need to deal with what we do know. With more people relying on Handi-Transit and an aging population.”

Tapp said the seventh day service was costed out a number of years ago and the “limited service” would add $400,000 to $500,000 to the budget.

In addition, Tapp said the city would need more buses first before adding Sunday service.

“It’s almost a whole different operation,” Tapp said.

The transit manager, citing other municipalities, suggested fares would have to be hiked considerably to support a Sunday service.

The city plans to undertake a study, the results wouldn’t be ready until 2018.

The $70,000 over two years would study busing routes – specifically Riverdale area and the Cotton Mill areas at night in addition to Sunday service.

But Couns. Mark MacDonald and Elaine MacDonald asked to accelerate the study and put the full $70,000 toward it this year.

The recommendation still has to be approved by the full city council.

“It’s something we need to look at,” Coun. Justin Towndale said, adding that some workers spend about an hour’s wages just to get to work.

“I meet workers. Home care workers … the kind of money they make … the only way they get to work is the city bus,” Coun. Elaine MacDonald added. “We don’t want to make life easier for cars, we want to make it easier to people.”

Speaking of a petition circulating to bring Sunday service to Cornwall, Tapp said it’s easy to request it but it’s another thing to implement it.

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