Central Hastings Transit hoping for increased municipal funding in 2019
Marmora and Lake - Central Hastings Support Network is asking its five supporting municipalities for a boost in funding for 2019.
Executive Director for Central Hastings Support Network (CHSN), Sally Gale, visited Marmora and Lake council at its February 5 meeting to discuss the various services the network offers and to thank the municipality for its continued support.
Among its services to five municipalities in Hastings County, CHSN offers a volunteer driver program that provides more than 600 rides per month to people who don’t have transportation to things like medical appointments. It also offers a Community Volunteer Income Tax program that operates year-round and is available free of charge to low income residents.
Its most utilized service, however, is the Central Hastings Transit Program that offers subsidized round-trip bus transportation from Tweed, Madoc Township, Centre Hastings, Stirling-Rawdon and Marmora and Lake to Belleville, as well as in between communities.
“We are very grateful to the municipality of Marmora and Lake,” said Gale, referring to the funding contribution provided by the municipality.
All five municipalities served by the transit network provide a contribution to CHSN. Marmora and Lake provided $1,000 in 2018. This is part of Marmora and Lake’s commitment along with the other four municipalities, as well as Hastings County, to be a host community for Central Hastings Transit in order for it to receive Gas Tax Funding through the Ministry of Transportation. In 2017-2018, CHSN received just over $124,000 in Gas Tax funds.
CHSN also receives money from other sources such as service fees for bus use and fundraising efforts.
With the increase in ridership in 2018, Gale said she’s hopeful the five supporting municipalities will consider upping their contributions to the transit program. Marmora and Lake accounts for nine per cent of users, up more than five per cent from 2017.
Council will consider Gale’s request during budget deliberations this spring.