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Reprinted with Permission

Bus service may come to the county

By Joel Wiebe
Private company has plans to offer rural bus service locally

(PETERBOROUGH) Bus service may be coming to the people of Peterborough County.

Metis Transit has a plan, which doesn't involve taxpayer subsidies, to operate buses throughout the largely rural municipality, starting with Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield Township.

Darren Parberry, president of the company, is quick to point out that transit is privately owned and profitable in various places.

He's been working on the service for 12 years and is awaiting more public input before firming up plans. Consultation with the public and operators, he emphasizes, is key for success.

"My goal is mobility," he states.

Half the revenue would come from fares and half from advertising. Where many buses have three ads on the outside, he plans to have 10. Plus there will be advertisements inside the bus and with the schedules located at each bus stop.

Fares for regular and community service would be $2 while premium express service would cost $4 a ticket. Weekly and monthly passes would be available.

Mr. Parberry says his aim is bring communities together, which includes making the advertising available to the small businesses that make up much of the rural industry.

If there's a food drive going on, he says donations would earn riders 50 per cent off their fare. ¨There would be different levels of service for different areas, like express routes and more frequent service in the more densely populated areas, but he says their minimum would be service within two hours everywhere.

As for the name Metis Transit, Mr. Parnberry says that too is about bringing communities together.

A statement on the website reads that the transit system is designed with the caring and understanding of the Metis people with the concept for the service done by a Metis person.

The statement also says the service would provide a training ground for the Aboriginal, Metis and the local community through direct and indirect employment.

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