The Flex shuttle bus service between Opasatika and Moonbeam will end this month. The Service was a four-year partnership between four municipalities that also included Kapuskasing and Val Rita-Harty, with provincial funding.
Val Rita-Harty Chief Administrative Officer Jimmy Cote says the bus service averaged 270 riders per month or nine one-way trips per day.
“People have to book 24 hours in advance, lets be honest it’s been a crazy few years for everybody so it’s hard to plan ahead,” he said. “Definitely COVID did not help this project unfortunately.”
Cote says there were several attempts to increase usage including a partnership with the Centre de Sante.
He adds that the four communities between Opasatika and Moonbeam were offered a two year extension but the price was too high.
“It was just over $100,000 that was missing just for the day-to-day operations of the Flex Shuttle, if we did move forward with the extension,” he said. “It represented $25,000 per municipality. It’s a hefty amount to pay.”
Cote says it was a tough decision for the four municipalities to make, because everyone realizes that the service provides better access in the area.