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Published May 1, 2024

Barrie Transit's 'The New Network' will be ready to roll June 2

Barrie Transit's 'The New Network' will be ready to roll June 2

The wheels on Barrie Transit buses will continue to go 'round and 'round, but beginning June 2, 2024, what's being called "The New Network" will offer riders a route plan that introduces express, frequent, local and Transit ON Demand routes.

This is the first of two phases, with the latter to begin around mid-2025.

In a memo to city councillors, transit officials said the revamp is to better meet the needs of current and future transit customers.

There will be new transit coverage on Hanmer Street, Lakeside Trail and Amelia Street.

The changes are cost-neutral, as some of the pressure regarding operating hours will be eased because of the Transit ON Demand service model.

Phase 2 will feature service coverage expansion to places like Benson Drive, King Street, Morrow Road and Caplan Avenue.

Transit ON Demand, where service is provided to low-transit demand areas in the city, will be expanded. The current service allows passengers to book trips via a mobile app, web browser or by phone.

"On May 1, 2024, through to June 2, 2024, Barrie Transit will initiate an overlap of the Transit On Demand service. This includes a fare-free launch of Phase 1’s Transit ON Demand zones, while retaining the existing scheduled routes for the month. The primary objective of the overlap is to familiarize transit customers with the expanded Transit ON Demand service," according to the memo.

The memo goes on to say the current Transit ON Demand model, which was launched as a pilot program in August 2020, has received "exceptional customer feedback."

It's anticipated "The New Network" will result in capital cost reductions for growth or replacement vehicles by $10 million in the city's capital plan over 10 years.

The operating budget for Barrie Transit topped $25 million last year, of which more than $6 million was recouped from fares and passes.

To support the transition, the following communication methods will be used during the lead up to the launch of Phase 1:

  • In-person education sessions in April 2024 about the Phase 1 changes at Allandale Recreation
    Centre, Parkview Community Centre, Transit Terminal, and Georgian College.
  • On site educational materials sent to facilities such as community/recreation centres, retirement
    residences, and transit hubs.
  • Online content detailing the changes to each route at barrie.ca/NewTransitNetwork,
  • Posters (including on bus), TV, radio, social media, & facility screen ads,
  • FAQs and education for front-line staff (such as Service Barrie) to assist riders in trip planning.


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