'Bus to the Bend' nearing debut
GRAND BEND, ONT. -- A ‘Bus to the Bend’ is in the works.
The community of Lambton Shores has nearly all the steps complete to create a public transit service between Grand Bend, London and Sarnia.
Lambton Shores has proposed a regional bus network, similar to those that recently debuted in other counties.
The network will be designed to shuttle people between the beach, the chemical valley and the Forest City.
Newly hired Lambton Shores transit manager, Marina Ćajić says the buses, operated by Voyago Transportation, will be marketed at multiple types of users.
“As service expands it will help people commute to and from work. It will be for appointments and medical appointments in London and Sarnia. It will be for leisure."
And it is leisure that is the wild card in the proposed system.
A key question, how many buses should operate?
Ćajić says initially just a few, but more will be added as beach weather returns in 2021.
“Morning and afternoon service, two to three times a day, and build on that.”
Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber tells CTV News he’s not overly concerned the bus will turn into a beach party mobile. Besides, he says, even that could be economic boost if managed properly.
“I don’t believe that’ll be an issue. Possibly there will be one, but look, ridership is ridership, and if that becomes something, we will deal with it."
If the final applications stage is successful, the service will be fully funded by the province for three years. Ticket prices are expected to be between $5 and $10, one way.
Merchants in Grand Bend, CTV News spoke with, state the bus is a good idea to aid with tourism.
But operators suggest it should also have late runs to ensure students working at the beach can get to and from homes in nearby communities, also expected to be stops along the routes.
Organizers are hoping to see the routes start sometime late next month.