The County of Simcoe is celebrating a significant milestone as its LINX Transit service reaches its five-year anniversary. Since its launch in 2018, LINX Transit has undergone remarkable expansion, catering to over 700,000 riders to date and operating nearly two million kilometers in 2022.
The system is a good example of the kind of community transportation network Transport Action encourages, connecting residents across the 16 communities in the county, and to GO train and bus services at Barrie and Bradford.
The foundation for LINX Transit’s success was laid in 2017 when the Simcoe County council approved a five-year, $5 million initiative. Having now concluded their five-year launch plan, LINX Transit boasts an extensive network, with six routes traversing the county:
Route 1: Penetanguishene/Midland to Barrie
Route 2: Wasaga Beach to Barrie
Route 3: Orillia to Barrie
Route 4: Collingwood to Wasaga Beach
Route 5: New Tecumseth to Bradford West Gwillimbury
Route 6: Midland to Orillia
The network operates fully accessible buses, and the county also offer a LINX PLUS+ door-to-door accessible service for eligible residents, and for visitors who are registered for accessible service in another community.
In a press release, Dennis Childs, the transit manager for the County of Simcoe, remarked on the growth of LINX Transit. “Since the start of LINX Transit, we’ve grown dramatically. Starting out with just four buses, we now operate more than 30,” Childs stated. “Thanks to the hard work of our operators, mechanics, and supervisory staff, we saw our ridership double in 2022, and we look forward to building up LINX Transit through our transportation master plan.”
A key feature of LINX Transit is its strategic route design, with stops at major hubs, including hospitals, educational institutions, and employment centers. This approach provides convenient access to essential services and job opportunities, fostering economic growth and improving the lives of the county’s residents.
Simcoe County is now in the process of updating its transportation master plan, which will incorporate a comprehensive transit review. With future growth and expansion in mind, this review will serve as the foundation for five-year and ten-year plans aimed at enhancing transportation connections between local municipalities. The county council is set to evaluate suggestions and proposals, with input from residents and key community stakeholders.
Local citizen advocates affiliated with Transport Action have written to request weekend and evening service on all routes, including Route 2 to provide a connection into Collingwood on weekends which should be a significant opportunity to grow ridership further. The extension of route 3 to connect with GO at Allendale Waterfront, and additional stops in Midhurst to access the county museum and other key destinations, were also suggested. We are awaiting a response.
County Warden Basil Clarke also emphasized the importance of LINX Transit, stating, “LINX Transit connects Simcoe County and provides our communities with affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible transportation to and from our major business, education and health hubs.” He further expressed the County Council’s dedication to nurturing the growth of this transit service, acknowledging its popularity and effectiveness.