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New Midland to Orillia LINX route rolls out starting Aug. 2

Despite pandemic, LINX ridership numbers in 2020 were up over 2019 numbers by 28.7 per cent
2020-09-03 LINX Transit MK
Miriam King/Bradford Today

A new transit route linking Midland to Orillia will be pulling out of the lot starting Aug. 2, with free rides for the first month.

The County of Simcoe’s LINX Transit system will be expanding with a sixth route in August. The new route will connect Penetanguishene and Midland to Tay, Severn, Oro-Medonte and Orillia. Fare service will commence for Route 6 in September 2021.

The current LINX transit service operates along five corridors:

  • Route 1 – Barrie to Springwater, Tay, Tiny & Midland /Penetanguishene
  • Route 2 – Barrie to Wasaga Beach
  • Route 3 – Barrie – Oro-Medonte – Orillia
  • Route 4 – Wasaga Beach to Collingwood
  • Route 5 – Bradford West Gwillimbury to New Tecumseth

During a County of Simcoe council meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors received a report on current LINX transit ridership statistics.

According to the report, the county reduced service levels in March 2020 and transit staff continues to monitor and adjust as required.

“Limiting non-essential public transit was crucial to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic’s curve and our transit system will be essential in lifting the County of Simcoe out of the crisis caused by lockdowns and COVID-19,” noted Dennis Childs, transit manager with the county, in his report to councillors.

The system observed strong ridership performance in the first quarter of 2020 but saw decreased ridership in the remaining three quarters due to COVID 19 restrictions and lockdowns. However, LINX ridership continued to grow overall in 2020 with 117,251 rides, up from 91,140 rides in 2019 – a 28.7 per cent increase year over year.

In 2021, the system observed lower ridership than the budget performance from January to April, with ridership down 28.8 per cent from anticipated ridership levels due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns with 33,523 actual riders as compared to the budget rides of 42,379.

“Ridership is predicted to return to budget levels once the majority of the population receives their vaccination,” noted Childs.

For more information including ridership schedules, fares and stops, click here.


Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen brings 12 years of experience to her role as regional reporter for Village Media, primarily covering County of Simcoe matters, education and features.
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