Ontario Northland’s success worth celebrating – Moore

North Bay Nugget

Agency eager to work with province on northeastern rail plan

Ontario Northland bus ridership surged by 100,000 last year to upwards of 350,000 people. File Photo

Corina Moore is both “proud” and “grateful” ONR will be involved in creating a solution for passenger rail in northeastern Ontario, citing the agency’s role as “transportation experts” as the reason.

“We’ve been in this business for 117 years and that’s really the story for us. Let’s focus on what Ontario Northland is doing today, because we’re doing a lot for Northern Ontario for transportation,” says Moore, president and CEO of Ontario Northland.

Based on its experience and skill set, as well as the passenger data it has collected, Moore says Ontario Northland will be able to put together a “comprehensive plan of options” for the provincial government to consider when it decides on how to move forward with passenger rail.

Corina Moore

Moore points to Ontario Northland’s recent success with the expansion of its motor coach services — with ridership having increased by 100,000 last year to upwards of 350,000 — along with its added stops at hospitals, universities and colleges in the North and the thousands of parcels shipped each year.

The ONTC’s 2017-18 annual report is currently in approval with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

Passenger numbers for motor coach services were 256,324 in 2014/15, 235,277 in 2015/16 and 243,482 in 2016/17.

“We look at what our footprint was and what it is now, that’s an exciting story for Northern Ontario, because just in the last year we’ve increased our ridership by 100,000 people. So 350,000 passenger trips a year is significant when you’re looking at the population of Northern Ontario,” Moore says.

Ontario Northland also recently launched a trial bus stop at the Highway 407 terminal in Vaughan, where passengers travelling between North Bay and Toronto can connect to GO Transit buses, the Toronto Transit Commission subway or York Regional Transit.

“So there’s a lot of things to celebrate and that expansion means that more people in Northern Ontario are connected to major centres like Toronto and Ottawa, and it also means we’ve really had a focus on how do we connect people who are at hospital, how do we connect people who are at educational institutions, and now we stop at all those various places in Northern Ontario.”

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