Downtown Yarmouth. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
By Tina Comeau
The consultant studying the transit needs of the Town of Yarmouth has yet to arrive at the end of the process, but he is getting closer council has been told.
Part of the process of gathering input included an online survey that had been available on the town’s website from May 30 to June 8.
The next steps of the process, as outlined on the town’s website, are:
• to finalize a transit service concept by June;
• development of a 5-year transit service and business plan by July;
• to provide a final report and hold a public open house by August;
• and to develop a service agreement between the town and a service provider by September.
The Town of Yarmouth has retained the services of Transit Consulting Network to undertake a study to determine what type of transit service best meets the community’s needs.
Whether it would be a system similar to that of Hut’s Transit is one thing being looked at. Hut’s Transit stopped operating at the end of April after its operator said he could no longer afford to keep the service going.
As part of the ongoing study process, there have been focus groups help to discuss transit needs. It was noted at council’s June 12 meeting that the consultant has met and/or spoken with stakeholders in the community including Gary Hudson who ran Hut’s Transit, seniors’ homes, the medical community, businesses and schools. He’s also spoken with other organizations that run different types of transit services, such as Le Transport de Clare, HOPE and King’s Transit.
Yarmouth town CAO Jeff Gushue said the consultation process has been intended to help the consultant that’s been hired to “understand the community, to understand where the origins and destinations are that people want to go from and to and also understand the previous service that was in place.”
About the previous service Gushue said the consultant has also sought an understanding of what was great about the service, and what were the issues that had arisen.
Gushue said the consultant hired will be able to bring a professional perspective to the table about what a transit service should look like.
“That is the part of the process he is working on right now,” Gushue said, saying they are expecting this summer to see a draft model of what a service should look like.
“The part that would provide the tender documents for us to put that service out would be done later,” said Gushue. “First we would have to agree on what the model would look like.”