A bookable ride share transportation system might be the solution to the county’s needs.

Earlier today, the councillors of Haliburton County heard from IBI Group’s Chris Prentice who suggested that the county could create a transit system that runs based on need. Prentice presented a plan detailing how that would work if the county moved forward with that suggestion, with the goal of helping the county find the best option to service the non-driving community members.

According to Prentice, when creating the plan, IBI went over the feasibility of options, how much the service would cost the user and the county, where it would operate and when, and how many people it could service.

Prentice says the suggestion of a rideshare option was based on the fact that a bookable service can better serve the populations of Haliburton County that is spread out over a wide area. As well Prentice explained that concept can be adapted and scaled based on the needs of the community.

Prentice explained that IBI based their information around the idea that the transportation system would run 10 to 12 hours a day with a combination of service between Haliburton, Minden, Carnarvon, and West Guilford, as well as trips to Wilberforce and up to Dorset.

Prentice says that based on that suggested service model, it would cost the county an estimated $255,360 in operating costs and the cost to the users would be as low as $7 for a one-way trip.

For that model to be successful, Prentice says the county would need a full-time staff member to oversee the operation, one accessible vehicle, dedicated staff hours to marketing the service and a database for manual booking.

According to Prentice, IBI estimated that in the first year that service could have roughly 800 than then average 3,200 a year for the next three years. Based on those numbers, IBI says the service could bring in $10,300 in the first year than $26,800 the next three years.

Although the information was received by the councillors, Algonquin Highlands Mayor, Carol Moffatt raised concerns over the idea of senior citizens having to potentially walk to a public road to use the service which is not feasible for some.

County Warden Liz Danielson pointed out that this is a huge decision to make and all of the councillors agreed to continue looking at options.