A new public transit expansion is in the works to provide residents of Napanee with better access to family, friends, work, and services.
At its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee will hear a new report on the progress that has been made to partner with Deseronto Transit to improve public transportation in the Town of Greater Napanee.
Beginning on January 9, the Town of Deseronto will transition the Deseronto Transit Service to a weekday scheduled transit route, serving the Belleville to Greater Napanee corridor.
As previously reported, the proposed fixed route would connect the Town of Greater Napanee, the Town of Deseronto, the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, and the City of Belleville.
The report by Annie Manion, Greater Napanee’s Manager of Community Economic Development, states that discussions with Deseronto Transit have revealed there is a need and desire for a fixed-route public transportation service to provide affordable and reliable transportation for residents who need to commute, attend medical and specialist appointments, access essential and non-essential services, and travel within the communities to visit family and friends.
This service, which is available to all residents, including users outside of Greater Napanee and Deseronto, offers affordable, reliable, and accessible public transportation.
A 16-18 passenger bus equipped with accessible passenger seating will run daily from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The daily bus will stop at 10 locations in Napanee, including the Lenadco Complex, the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, Market Square, and downtown, as well as Walmart, Metro, No Frills, the Strathcona Paper Centre, and the Greater Napanee municipal offices, among others.
There will be stops on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and in Tyendinaga Township, four stops in the Town of Deseronto, and five stops in the City of Belleville, including the Quinte Mall, Belleville Hospital, and downtown.
According to the staff report, grant funding to initiate a public transportation system has been made available and approved through the County of Lennox and Addington for $186,000, to be used prior to March 31, 2025.
Additional stops or changes to the route will be reviewed by the municipalities during the pilot program to ensure the service is meeting the needs of the communities, the report notes.
The new service schedule offers route predictability and affordable rates, with single-use and monthly membership options available.
A one-way fare within the Town of Greater Napanee is $6.00; an unlimited monthly pass is $80.00.
For those wishing to access Deseronto or Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory as well as all Napanee stops, one-way fares are $8.00, and $100 for an unlimited monthly pass.
Single one-way trips to Belleville are $15.00, while an unlimited monthly pass costs $175.00.
In a press release, Greater Napanee Mayor Terry Richardson expressed enthusiasm for the new project, saying, “This partnership with our neighbours, the Town of Deseronto, is a welcome one. Not only do the residents of both municipalities benefit, so does the region. This provides both municipalities an opportunity for sustainability and growth in municipal transit, today and into the future.”
Dan Johnston, Mayor of the Town of Deseronto, added, “A considerable amount of work and collaboration has gone into making this transition a reality. With scheduled and predictable routes and more affordable and flexible pay options, we are excited about expanding our partnership with Napanee for transit services.”
Individual tickets and monthly passes are already available for sale at the Deseronto Town Hall (331 Main Street). Starting Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, tickets will be available for purchase within Greater Napanee at the Strathcona Paper Centre (16 McPherson Drive) and the Town of Greater Napanee Municipal Administration Centre (99 Advance Avenue).
A map of the fixed route is available for preview on the Town’s website, and hard copies are available at the Strathcona Paper Centre and the Town of Greater Napanee Municipal Administration Centre. Any feedback can be submitted through the Town of Greater Napanee’s Report an Issue Form.
Meetings of the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee can be viewed virtually (or watched afterward) on the Napanee Town Council YouTube channel or attended in person in Council Chambers at the Napanee Town Hall, 124 John Street. Further information about Council meetings is available on the Town’s CivicWeb portal.