Caledon Community Services receives 5-year transportation grant from the Ministry of Transportation
Caledon, now more connected than ever before, says CCS
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation announced approved funding of up to $500,000 over five years for transportation for Caledon residents. This announcement is the result of a local transit project proposed by Caledon Community Services with the support of the Town of Caledon. Confirmation of the application’s success was received from the province’s minister of transportation, Kathryn McGarry.
“We’re pleased to be part of the broader transportation plan being developed by the Town of Caledon,” said Monty Laskin, CEO of Caledon Community Services (CCS) in a press release. “While limited in scope and certainly not a robust public transportation service, this five-year program will be a lifeline for hundreds of people across Caledon. It will provide much-needed support connecting people to employment, community services and to other adjacent transit services.”
This five-year provincial grant comes after two years of service in which CCS successfully piloted specialized transportation for Caledon residents aged eight-59. The new program will build upon CCS’ transportation services, which are usually reserved for seniors and those unable to drive due to a disability. This new program will address some of the many transportation gaps identified by passengers during the two-year pilot period.
“I congratulate Caledon Community Services on receiving funding. It’s great news and will help fill some gaps in transit demand in Caledon,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “Alternative transportation options like this one dovetail with Caledon’s transportation master plan currently gathering input and feedback from the public.”
“Mayor Thompson was on board right from the get go, he was as strong a supporter in making this happen as was the CCS team,” added Laskin. “We approached him when the opportunity became available and indicated that we were up against dozens of other municipalities across the province. No question about it, he was all in.”
Bill Parnaby, the chair of CCS board, is elated. “I know how difficult it is to maintain our vital transportation services. It’s great to see our organization working closely with the mayor and Town of Caledon staff in identifying the key areas in our community needing transportation support. CCS provided the operational plan and the Town extended itself to the Ministry of Transportation in many ways. A sound business case, great advocacy and effective partnership won the day here. Together we’re bringing this important service to our community.”
This expanded transportation program will provide immediate support to young people and to people needing to get to work, secondary education and to community programs and events.
“Accessible and affordable transit in Caledon is an enormous challenge because of the large geographic expanse and relatively small but growing population,” notes Laskin. “CCS has had to be innovative to meet the community’s needs. The town is working towards a master public transportation plan and we’re happy to be working as a partner in this endeavour.”
As a result of this new funding, CCS will be able to add a new bus to its fleet and hire a new driver. There will be a fee for this service and the organization is committed to a continued emphasis on affordability.
Fay Davy, CCS’ manager of transportation services, concludes, “Being able to bring this service to Caledon on a more sustainable basis has been a goal of CCS. I am grateful from the Town of Caledon with whom we worked to craft a really good proposal. Seeing this happen means that CCS is able to help Caledon be more connected than ever before.”
More information on routes, destinations and times of operation will be released in the coming weeks as the program rolls out.