Grey County is working to overcome a major economic roadblock by adding transportation services for key routes in the area.
At its council meeting August 8th, the County signed some funding transfer agreements to move forward on the fully provincially funded transit project.
Back on May 23rd, Grey County received $1.85 million from the province's Community Transportation Program.
Under the program, the County is to provide regular, transit service along Highways 26 and 10 that would have key stops at medical, shopping, Georgian College and employment locations.
The plan is to also provide after school transportation between Owen Sound and Wiarton as well as the LaunchPad Youth Activity Centre in Hanover.
The Launch Pad route is set to begin this October. The other routes should start when the county finds a transit operator.
Eventually, it would see service between Owen Sound and Wiarton three days a week.
There would be transportation in Northwest Grey and Bruce including Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs and Wiarton.
On Highway 10, there would be service between Owen Sound and Markdale and from Markdale to Dundalk.
The Highway 26 route would have one vehicle per route, twice a day, five days a week going from Owen Sound to Meaford to The Town of the Blue Mountains.
The County plans to have a connection to South Georgian Bay Transit which goes further east.
The whole program aims to be up and running by April 2023.
The plan is not without challenges.
County staff say pilot projects in the past have highlighted some issues, such as people who don't live on the main routes struggled with getting to them, and staff also say there was a gap in funding support for on-demand transit to those arterial routes.
The next step will be public consultation about travel times and where stops should be. The county will look for a transit operator, and the technology to support running those routes.