South Huron Seeking Grant For Rural Transportation

South Huron Mayor Maureen Cole. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

The Municipality of South Huron has applied for a provincial grant that supports transportation in rural communities and connecting transportation centres.

Mayor Maureen Cole says the grant can provide up to $500,000 over five years. She explains the grant has been available for a couple of years now but they decided to apply as a result of feedback they got from the Huron County job fair that was hosted in London in January. She says they heard from a number of people that said they would be willing to commute from London to the Exeter and Huron Park area if some form of transportation was available and employers in the area have expressed interest in addressing that problem in order to attract employees.

Cole says what they’re looking at is a nine-passenger bus with one seat wheelchair accessible so people could also use the van for medical appointments in London. Cole points out if five employers each have one employee in London that could meet in Masonville and come to Exeter and Huron Park that puts five people on the bus and she says given the number of people that travel Hwy. 4 every day to get to work she believes their proposal would be feasible and sustainable.

“So the grant that we’ve proposed, you can get up to $500,000, it would be $100,000 a year. The biggest cost, initially, is the capital, getting a nine-passenger van versus a bus.”

“If there’s five employers and they all have one person in London that could meet at Masonville and come up, you know, that’s five people on the bus. The volume of people that go on number 4 highway in a day back and forth to work, it should be feasible and sustainable.”