North Bay council has been asked to save a bus route it is considering cutting, one which costs the city $80,000 a year to shuttle only eight passengers.
The request came at a public budget session Tuesday night from Marc Morin, who owns a rental property on Hwy 11, north of the psychiatric hospital, the bus route for which is on the chopping block.
Morin said his tenants need to take the bus into town because they are on Ontario Works programs and do not and cannot afford to own cars.
“They have no other mode of transportation and it would be devastating if this type of service were to be cut off,” Morin told council.
More with less
He acknowledged the city had to do “more with less,” but suggested rather than eliminating the bus route service be cut from 16 trips to eight, enough to allow his tenants “to survive.”
Coun. Dave Mendicino, chairman of the Community Services Committee, said the bus route is indeed “on the table to eliminate.”
But, Mendicino said, he would be willing to take another look at it.
Council also received another transit request, this one involving Parabus service.
Jim Rowlings, a double leg amputee, asked for Parabus service to be extended to Sundays.
“This is a Charter of Rights thing,” Rowlings said.
“The handicapped should not be treated like second-class citizens. Something has to be done.”
Deputy mayor Peter Chirico told Rowlings a special committee made up mostly of disabled people has been working with North Bay’s transit department over the last six months to enhance Parabus service, as mandated by the province.
Coun. Judy Koziol, who sits on the special committee, also invited Rowlings to join the committee.