New Cobourg Transit Provider Recommended

In Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg will soon have a new public-transit provider, leading up to a fixed-route pilot project in September.

The Public Works, Planning and Development committee voted at its May meeting to recommend to council that the town proceed with an agreement between the town and Mobility Transportation Specialists to operate the public-transit services budgeted for.

No details were discussed among committee chair Brian Darling and committee members Lucas Cleveland and Miriam Mutton, but details were set out in a report by Transportation Supervisor Renee Champagne.

The existing contract with Century Transportation will expire upon commencement of the new Transit Operations Contract, which has separated transit operations and transit-vehicle maintenance into two separate contracts – one for such functions as drivers and dispatching and the other strictly for vehicle maintenance.

MTS has indicated they will accept the town’s offer to use municipal property at 390 King St. W. for vehicle storage, office space and dispatching services, and the RFP includes a limited fixed-route service for the town’s 30-ft. vehicle for at least a one-year pilot project.

Of the four bids for the contract, Mobility scored highest in such criteria as staff qualifications and start-up transition plan, as well as price. Of the two highest scorers, Mobility had the better price, “and their submission provided a distinct degree of understanding throughout all aspects identified in the scope of work,” Champagne’s report said.

“MTS has extensive experience in providing accessible transportation and specializes in On-Demand services.”

The annual cost for transit operations for the first three years is estimated at $795,879.41 for 2024, $678,461.90 for 2025 and $707,404.33 for 2026. The estimate for 2024 includes start-up costs as well as the fixed-route pilot estimated cost of $72,550.40, but these are not included for subsequent years.

The town has the option to extend operations for two additional two-year terms.

“Public transit plays a critical role in community wellbeing and supports a complete community by allowing people to access work and services,” the staff report said.

“The pilot fixed route is expected to improve services for transit riders by making it easier to access without the need to book a ride in advance.”

Director of Public Works Laurie Wills estimated a three-month transition time between contracts, and said that actual fixed-route service should begin in September.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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