Public transportation connects communities to each other and people to their work, family, medical services, education, and social and recreation activities. These connections are especially important in small urban/rural communities. This is why Oxford County, in partnership with the townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra, are exploring the possibility of an intercommunity bus transit service in northern Oxford County.
The proposed intercommunity bus service would run:
- as a “fixed stop” loop connecting at Tavistock, Embro, Plattsville, Drumbo, Innerkip and Woodstock;
- with proposed connections to the Grand River Transit System (New Hamburg), the Stratford Intercity Transit System (Shakespeare), and the Middlesex and Tillsonburg Intercommunity Transit Systems (Woodstock Transit Terminal); and
- with a number of proposed additional, on-demand “flex-stops.”
The service is proposed to be financed through the Ontario Gas Tax transit funding, ticket sales, and potential contributions or investment by employers who benefit from the service. Some taxpayer costs would still be applied through a municipal tax levy, which is applied to municipal property tax bills.
In Oxford County, transportation options that serve more people can help address some of the unfilled jobs that exist in the community. Access to transportation and the ability to travel around the County are consistently identified as an area of concern for residents, as noted in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan, Community Wellbeing Survey, Zero Poverty Plan and soon-to-be-released Workforce Readiness Plan. The proposal for intercommunity bus service in northern Oxford County presents a long-term sustainable transportation option that can impact quality of life for many residents.
Oxford County and the townships are looking for feedback from residents and businesses who are invited to have their say about bus stops, schedules, costs and more. Feedback can be submitted on Speak Up, Oxford! through survey or interactive map, or by email or mail. There will also be a public meeting held in August. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup for more information.
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 121,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community, and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.