Connecting Communities

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Posted July 22, 2020 | Updated September 5, 2020

UPDATE: The survey and comment period are now closed. The council report outlining the financial plan and public consultation findings goes forward at the September 9 meeting. Read the Council report

Missed the public meeting on August 12?
Watch the recorded meeting | Download the presentation | Download Q&A from the meeting



Proposed intercommunity bus service for northern Oxford County


Consistent with Oxford County’s SouthwestLynx vision, the Government of Ontario's Connecting the Southwest strategy looks to build a safe and reliable transportation system that:

  • connects smaller communities to larger centres;
  • improves access to jobs and critical services; and
  • supports an open and competitive business environment.

Although the south part of Oxford County will benefit from intercommunity bus transit grant programs that are already underway for this initiative, northern Oxford remains with limited access to transportation connections and services both within and outside of Oxford County.

By leveraging Ontario’s Gas Tax Transit funding, the townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra have an opportunity to work together with Oxford County to develop a new intercommunity bus transit service. This new service, if approved, is proposed to start operating in April 2021. Our timeline for this project allows the partners to meet timelines for provincial funding and to implement a bus carrier service contract.



Why?

Transportation connections are critical to the vitality of small urban/rural Southwestern Ontario. Public transportation connects communities to each other and people to their work, family, medical services, education, and social and recreation activities.

In Oxford County, transportation options that serve more people can also help address some of the unfilled jobs that exist in our community. Access to transportation and the ability to travel around the County are also consistently identified as an area of concern to Oxford County residents, as noted in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan (2015), Community Wellbeing Survey ( 2016), Zero Poverty Plan (2018) and soon-to-be-released Workforce Readiness Plan (2020).

The proposal for intercommunity bus service in northern Oxford County presents a long-term sustainable transportation option that can impact quality of life for many residents.


Where?

The proposed intercommunity bus service would run:

  • as a “fixed stop” loopconnecting at Tavistock, Embro, Plattsville, Drumbo, Innerkip and Woodstock;
  • with proposed connectionsto the Grand River Transit System (New Hamburg), the Stratford Intercity Transit System (Shakespeare), and the Middlesex and Tillsonburg Intercommunity Transit Systems (Woodstock Transit Terminal); and
  • with a number of proposed additional, on-demand “flex-stops” as shown on the map below. Flex stops are included daily on a route based on individual request and may only be available at certain times.


How much will it cost?

The intercommunity bus service is proposed to be financed through the Ontario Gas Tax transit funding, ticket sales, and possibly contributions or investment by employers who benefit from the service. However, there would still be some taxpayer costs applied through a municipal tax levy, which is applied to your municipal property tax bill. Based on our current estimates, the costs of this service would be:

  • An increase to your base municipal property taxes of between $0.25 (25 cents) and $0.50 (50 cents) per household for all of Oxford County
  • An additional increase of between $2.50 and $3.00 per household only for those who live in Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra
  • One-time funding contribution from Oxford County’s already-approved 2020 budget for intercommunity transportation to cover transit program start-up costs, including the purchase of a new bus



How to have your say [Comment period is now closed]

We're looking for feedback on the intercommunity bus service from anyone who might benefit: residents and businesses in northern Oxford, the County's other area municipalities, and those travelling from outside of the County for work, business or personal reasons. You can have your say through:


1. Our online tools up to August 21, 2020

2. The public meeting

This online meeting took place on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
Watch the recorded meeting | Download Q&A from the meeting


3. Direct written submission to the project coordinator

  • EMAIL: Send an email to Laura Hamulecki, Public Works, Oxford County, at lhamulecki@oxfordcounty.ca.
  • MAIL: Send a letter to Laura Hamulecki, Public Works, Oxford County, 21 Reeve Street, PO Box 1614, Woodstock, Ontario, N4S 7Y3.


If you are interested in the proposed intercommunity bus transit service and would like to be contacted with updates or to provide further input, please register and/or sign in to Speak Up, Oxford, then look for "Follow this project" on the right.

Posted July 22, 2020 | Updated September 5, 2020

UPDATE: The survey and comment period are now closed. The council report outlining the financial plan and public consultation findings goes forward at the September 9 meeting. Read the Council report

Missed the public meeting on August 12?
Watch the recorded meeting | Download the presentation | Download Q&A from the meeting



Proposed intercommunity bus service for northern Oxford County


Consistent with Oxford County’s SouthwestLynx vision, the Government of Ontario's Connecting the Southwest strategy looks to build a safe and reliable transportation system that:

  • connects smaller communities to larger centres;
  • improves access to jobs and critical services; and
  • supports an open and competitive business environment.

Although the south part of Oxford County will benefit from intercommunity bus transit grant programs that are already underway for this initiative, northern Oxford remains with limited access to transportation connections and services both within and outside of Oxford County.

By leveraging Ontario’s Gas Tax Transit funding, the townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra have an opportunity to work together with Oxford County to develop a new intercommunity bus transit service. This new service, if approved, is proposed to start operating in April 2021. Our timeline for this project allows the partners to meet timelines for provincial funding and to implement a bus carrier service contract.



Why?

Transportation connections are critical to the vitality of small urban/rural Southwestern Ontario. Public transportation connects communities to each other and people to their work, family, medical services, education, and social and recreation activities.

In Oxford County, transportation options that serve more people can also help address some of the unfilled jobs that exist in our community. Access to transportation and the ability to travel around the County are also consistently identified as an area of concern to Oxford County residents, as noted in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan (2015), Community Wellbeing Survey ( 2016), Zero Poverty Plan (2018) and soon-to-be-released Workforce Readiness Plan (2020).

The proposal for intercommunity bus service in northern Oxford County presents a long-term sustainable transportation option that can impact quality of life for many residents.


Where?

The proposed intercommunity bus service would run:

  • as a “fixed stop” loopconnecting at Tavistock, Embro, Plattsville, Drumbo, Innerkip and Woodstock;
  • with proposed connectionsto the Grand River Transit System (New Hamburg), the Stratford Intercity Transit System (Shakespeare), and the Middlesex and Tillsonburg Intercommunity Transit Systems (Woodstock Transit Terminal); and
  • with a number of proposed additional, on-demand “flex-stops” as shown on the map below. Flex stops are included daily on a route based on individual request and may only be available at certain times.


How much will it cost?

The intercommunity bus service is proposed to be financed through the Ontario Gas Tax transit funding, ticket sales, and possibly contributions or investment by employers who benefit from the service. However, there would still be some taxpayer costs applied through a municipal tax levy, which is applied to your municipal property tax bill. Based on our current estimates, the costs of this service would be:

  • An increase to your base municipal property taxes of between $0.25 (25 cents) and $0.50 (50 cents) per household for all of Oxford County
  • An additional increase of between $2.50 and $3.00 per household only for those who live in Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra
  • One-time funding contribution from Oxford County’s already-approved 2020 budget for intercommunity transportation to cover transit program start-up costs, including the purchase of a new bus



How to have your say [Comment period is now closed]

We're looking for feedback on the intercommunity bus service from anyone who might benefit: residents and businesses in northern Oxford, the County's other area municipalities, and those travelling from outside of the County for work, business or personal reasons. You can have your say through:


1. Our online tools up to August 21, 2020

2. The public meeting

This online meeting took place on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
Watch the recorded meeting | Download Q&A from the meeting


3. Direct written submission to the project coordinator

  • EMAIL: Send an email to Laura Hamulecki, Public Works, Oxford County, at lhamulecki@oxfordcounty.ca.
  • MAIL: Send a letter to Laura Hamulecki, Public Works, Oxford County, 21 Reeve Street, PO Box 1614, Woodstock, Ontario, N4S 7Y3.


If you are interested in the proposed intercommunity bus transit service and would like to be contacted with updates or to provide further input, please register and/or sign in to Speak Up, Oxford, then look for "Follow this project" on the right.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    If you live in Oxford County, or outside of Oxford County but are interested in using this service, take the "public" version of this survey. Please see the map in the main section of this web page before starting the survey. 

    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    If you are part of a business in Oxford County, or one that is part of the Oxford County economy and/or an employer of people living here, take the "business community" version of this survey. Please see the map in the main section of this web page before starting the survey.

    Take Survey
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link