Northumberland County Announces Conclusion of Commuter Connect Shuttle Bus Pilot Service

In Local

(Today’s Northumberland file photo)

Northumberland County Council has made the decision to conclude the Commuter Connect pilot service, effective August 2, 2024. This decision follows a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot service, which began in September 2022, connecting Northumberland residents to the Oshawa GO Station.

“I know for the loyal riders who depend on this shuttle bus service this will be disappointing news. The decision to discontinue the Commuter Connect service was not made lightly,” states Warden Brian Ostrander. “Northumberland County launched this program as a pilot to assess the interest and demand for a regional transit service, and to evaluate the costs involved in delivering it. Unfortunately, due to low ridership numbers and the cost to subsidize the rider service, we have determined that the operation will not be sustainable beyond the pilot phase.”

In December 2023, the Northumberland Line—connecting residents between Campbellford, Brighton, Colborne, and Cobourg—was discontinued due to low ridership interest and costs associated with operation. At that time, County Council extended the timelines for evaluation of the the Durham Line—the more active line—to determine if a reduced service would be more financially sustainable.

Council approved an extension of funding until 2026, pending a review of updated trends in June 2024 to confirm financial feasibility. Based on this June review, which noted continued low ridership and a high cost to subsidize the service, it was determined that the operation was no longer sustainable.

Discontinuation of the Durham Line, with service to the Oshawa GO station, represents the conclusion of all Commuter Connect pilot transportation services.

The 18-month pilot, in partnership with Metrolinx, was implemented to determine the logistical feasibility and ridership demand for establishing a full-time transit network connecting Northumberland communities with each other and with GO Transit services. The project generated insights that will help inform future potential transportation programs in Northumberland County.

“We appreciate the support and feedback from all our riders during this pilot project,” states Director of Strategic Initiatives Dan Borowec. “Ridership participation has been invaluable in understanding local transportation needs, and we will continue to investigate alternative transportation options in Northumberland County for residents, workers, and employers.”

Developing transportation infrastructure to strengthen connections between local communities – along with neighbouring regional transit systems – is a key priority identified in Northumberland County’s Transportation Master Plan. In 2022, the County partnered with Hop In Technologies, a transportation logistics provider, to coordinate the Commuter Connect pilot, scheduling weekday bus service. In addition to operating the online portal for rider ticket purchases, Hop In also coordinated bus service delivery with Community Care Northumberland to provide bus services within Northumberland, and with Eastern Charters to deliver services along the Durham route, taking passengers directly to the Oshawa GO and back again to Northumberland.

“The logistical support provided by Hop In technologies enabled us to deliver a schedule with multiple stops each day to meet the transportation needs of commuters,” adds Borowec. “We are grateful for the exceptional customer service and rider experience delivered by Community Care Northumberland and Eastern Charters. Their on-time, friendly, and reliable service delivery helped get our riders safely to where they needed to go every day.”

Riders impacted by the conclusion of the Commuter Connect pilot program can redeem any unused rider credits for a full refund by visiting commuterconnect.ca. Any unused rider credits will be automatically refunded after August 2, 2024.

For questions around the schedule or to redeem unused credits, rider can call email: userhelp@hopintech.com or call (289) 800-9711

For questions about this 18-month transit pilot and the decision to conclude this service, please email communications@northumberland.ca.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

Join Our Newsletter!

Want to keep up to date on news and events in Northumberland? Subscribe to newsletter!

You may also read!

Video – Local MPP Says LCBO Given “Generous Offer” and Privatization is Off The Table

(Today's Northumberland file photo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqybpKDtTco It’s been one week since the LCBO workers went on strike and the Government shows no

Read More...

BECN – Young Entrepreneurs Presented with Micro-Grants

This summer, 21 young entrepreneurs from the Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland (BECN)’s My Future My Career and Summer

Read More...

Northumberland OPP – Belleville Man Charged with Sexual Interference, Sexual Assault on Person Under 16

Members of the Northumberland Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have arrested and charged an individual in relation

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu