Events, News & Announcements

This newsletter’s events, news and announcements are listed below and posted on our website at:  If you have an event, news or announcement related to community transportation that you would like to share, please email us at:


Haliburton Highlands Transportation Summit – Haliburton, ON
This event will bring key decision-makers, stakeholders and leaders from across various sectors to focus on the creation of a plan for transportation in the Haliburton Highlands. The morning will provide an overview of the current context and an analysis of previous local initiatives, as well as information on services being provided in bordering regions and regions of similar geography and demographics. The afternoon will be a working session devoted to determining what actions need to be taken within Haliburton County to create a more mobile and better connected community.

Date: Tuesday November 15th, 2016
Time: 8:30am-4pm
Location: Haliburton Legion, 719 Mountain St. (Haliburton, Ontario)
Fee: $25 (to cover the cost of lunch)

Click here to learn more and to register, or visit -

OCTN Webinar: 

Community Transportation Coordination
Date: Thursday December 1st, 2016
Time: 1 - 2:30pm

This webinar will -

Define the scope of discussion:
  • Explain what is meant by CT “coordination”
  • Present models or types of coordination (e.g., centralized control, brokerage, voluntary cooperation)
  • Go over the steps to coordination
  • Examine the importance of coordination to meeting transportation need
Provide an overview of the issues: 
  • The benefits, challenges, opportunities and trends regarding different aspects of coordination - such as intake, scheduling, dispatch, fares, and the sharing of resources
Offer stories from the field: 
  • Representatives from CT Link (Simcoe) will present on: The what, why, who, how & when of their new program; Provide details on what aspects of coordination they are engaged in; Their successes/outcomes achieved to date; Future plans or opportunities; and Lessons learned, including suggestions for those wanting to undertake similar initiatives
Provide opportunities for involvement: 
  • Participants will be offered time to engage in conversation so as to ask questions and share their own experiences or stories with others
  • Dennis Kar, Associate, Dillon Consulting Limited
  • Irena Pozgaj-Jones, Program Supervisor, Community Programs County of Simcoe, Children and Community Services
  • Robert Soczka, Executive Director, Helping Hands Orillia
Moderator: Lisa Tolentino, Facilitator, Ontario Community Transportation Network

Click here to register, or visit:

Stay tuned for other webinars to be hosted by the OCTN. Upcoming topics to include:
  • The Use of School Buses for Providing Community Transportation
  • Medical Transport & the Coordination of Appointments

There's Another Way to Think About Inter-Community Public Transit – Oct. 7, 2016
For those interested or engaged in “inter-community” transportation, and the effects that it may have on the local economy, this recent article in the Meaford Independent (Grey County) will be of particular interest

New transit for rural Community Care – Sept. 30, 2016
This recent article about municipal support, funding and collaboration for community transportation in Northumberland County, was printed in
Northumberland Today


Request for public input and feedback on NOMTS Discussion Paper by December 16, 2016
Recently the
Towards a Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy discussion paper was posted on and on the EBR. This discussion paper brings together in one report: The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) are seeking public input and feedback on the findings, issues, opportunities and strategic directions by December 16, 2016.

Suggested Reading:

For this newsletter Norm Ragetlie, Director of Policy & Stakeholder Engagement at the Rural Ontario Institute, recommends the report: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit, (National Centre for Transit Research, U.S. Department of Transportation, July 2014).

“I found this an invaluable resource that convincingly shows that the value of rural transit services outweighs the cost of providing the service. Most of the concern that municipal leaders have expressed to me regarding establishing transportation services in rural Ontario reflect the notion that it would be a costly subsidy that would benefit few. This study quantifies the benefits using sound methodology. I would recommend it to anyone looking to educate stakeholders in their community and to build support for the development of a rural transit service.”  

You can access this document by clicking here, or going to the Resources tab on our website and searching under Reports – USA.



Since the last newsletter, two new blogs have been posted to the OCTN website. You can check them out here:

Transportation Issues Affecting Those in Northern Ontario posted Oct. 17th, 2016

Driving Our Community Forward - Northumberland Transportation Summit posted Nov. 9th, 2016



In each newsletter we highlight a community transportation service as a way of providing you with up-to-date information about CT initiatives within the province, nationally or even internationally. In this newsletter, we are highlighting another new project from within Niagara Region (in southern Ontario), called Pelham Transit.

Pelham Transit - The Town of Pelham is made up of 5 villages and has a population of over 16,000. The Town borders on the larger municipalities of St. Catharines, Thorold, and Welland which are all major hubs in the Niagara Regional Transit system. In 2015, the Town of Pelham revisited their Strategic Plan and developed goals to support its Vision, Mission and Values. These goals were to: 1) Feel like a small town; 2) Enhance the quality of life in the town; 3) Provide an environment so that businesses can thrive; and 4) Become financially resilient for the next 20 years.

It was determined that the development of a municipal transit system was one of the keys to realizing these goals, so it became a priority to offer public transportation to Pelham residents. It was agreed that any public transportation system would need to: a) link the municipality’s 5 villages; b) link the municipality to surrounding areas; and c) connect to the Niagara Regional Transit System.

Prior to this time the Town had no municipal public transit service, so they set to work on collecting relevant data such as identifying needs, defining the scope of a transportation system, exploring the types of service that might be possible and holding stakeholder consultations. They also applied to the Ministry of Transportation`s Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program and received monies so as to pilot an initiative.

Their community transportation project began in September 2015 and included the provision of conventional transit, special event shuttles and a Trans Cab service. A local non-profit organization, Pelham Cares Inc., and the private sector were already providing some transportation services (including specialized services), and so the Town worked with them to combine efforts and coordinated coverage. Since then, they have been able to evolve into a more formal transportation “system” that supports their community.

This community transportation project has both increased the ability to meet local transportation demand and improved mobility options for individuals who did not have access to their own transportation, including seniors, people with disabilities, and students, among others. Pelham Transit now offers a transportation service that is fully accessible, equipped with a bike rack and designed with convenience in mind. This municipal transit service has also lessened the demand on Pelham Cares Inc. and provided additional services to a greater number of people.

Among those who became new riders were students attending Brock University and Niagara College. About half of the transit's 1,400 riders last year were students, and this number continues to grow. This year, Town council struck a deal with the university and college to receive $5,000 from Brock University's student union and $10,000 from Niagara's student administrative council so as to continue to provide transportation during the school term.

For more information on this CT service, please contact: Vickie vanRavenswaay, Director Recreation, Culture & Wellness, Town of Pelham – (905)-892-2607 ext. 312
Visit the OCTN Website
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