Napanee Council approves transportation partnership with Deseronto

Deseronto Transit will move to fixed stops as of September 5, 2023. Proposed routes will operate from 4:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Stops in Greater Napanee will include Lennox & Addington General Hospital, Baker and West Streets, Market Square, Camden Variety, No Frills, and Walmart. Image via Town of Deseronto website.

The Town of Napanee will partner with the Town of Deseronto and Deseronto Transit to provide a coordinated transportation service intended to benefit both municipalities.

The Town of Greater Napanee Council discussed the possibilities of this partnership at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. Council accepted a report from Annie Manion, Manager of Community Economic Development, proposing the partnership to provide a co-ordinated transportation service that will benefit both municipalities. 

As previously reported, Deseronto Transit plans to move to fixed stops as of Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2023. The proposed fixed routes will operate from 4:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Stops in Greater Napanee will include Lennox & Addington County General Hospital, Baker and West Streets, Market Square, Camden Variety, No Frills, and Walmart. Town staff will monitor other potential stops as the route becomes established. 

Grant funding to initiate a public transportation system is available through Lennox and Addington County and must be utilized in accordance with the Transfer Payment Agreement existing between Lennox and Addington County and the Ontario government. The funding was allocated to the County based on an approved budget and timeline. 

Town Council authorized Napanee staff to submit a proposal detailing how funding will be utilized to implement the sustainable transportation service within the timelines, as detailed within an agreement between the County and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). That proposal, subject to Lennox and Addington County and MTO approval, would provide $93,000 for 2023-2024 and a further $93,000 for the project in March 2024 for that year and 2025.

Discussion of the new transportation system in Council Chambers was generally supportive.

Councillor Dave Pinnell inquired whether proposed stops would be subject to review and what would happen to the “as needed” stops that Deseronto Transit currently provides.

Manion answered, “Deseronto Transit is looking to go to a fixed route as opposed to being on demand. Any of the calls that wouldn’t be on a fixed route would hopefully be picked up by taxi services or something along those lines.”

Councillor Mike Schenk observed that this opportunity was in step with the needs of Seniors Outreach Services and also with a previous delegation’s discussion on making the town more pedestrian-friendly, decreasing the need for cars.

Councillor Angela Hicks requested that any proposed new benches, trash cans, and signage for transit stops be in keeping with the current esthetic of the town.

“It really is a good opportunity,” Mayor Terry Richardson stated, “because it’s going to provide us with a transportation system that’s already established… Deseronto Transit has… been around for a while. I know that they’ve probably ironed some of the kinks out, and we will probably find some more kinks as we move forward, but it’s really a great opportunity for our community to get involved in this, especially with a project that’s revenue neutral at this point, from what I understand… It’s a great opportunity for our community to move forward with respect to the transit system.” 

As always, you can find out more about this meeting of Napanee Town Council by watching meetings on the Town’s YouTube channel, and by checking out the Council agenda on the Town website.

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