MPP Laurie Scott announced Dysart et al will receive $23,618 in gas tax funding this year, with the money supporting the municipality’s Dymo bus accessibility program.
Funding for the gas tax program is determined by the number of litres of gasoline sold in the province during the previous year. Municipalities supporting public transit services receive two cents per litre of gas tax revenue collected in their community, Scott noted.
This funding can be used to extend service hours, buy transit vehicles, add routes, improve accessibility or upgrade infrastructure.
This year, the province is dishing out $375 million to 109 municipalities. To make up for reduced gas sales last year due to COVID-19, Scott noted this year’s gas tax pool includes one-time additional funding of $120.4 million to ensure municipalities can support their transit systems.
The Dymo bus has been operating in Dysart since 1989, said CAO Tamara Wilbee. It is designed to assist individuals with mobility difficulties, or those who require the assistance of a wheelchairaccessible vehicle to move around. The vehicle is equipped with a lift and automated ramp. The service provides transportation to individuals on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the user’s eligibility.
The bus travels to five areas within Haliburton County, and makes regular trips to Lindsay, Peterborough, Bracebridge, Barrie, Oshawa, Toronto and Kingston. It also assists with long-term care facility and medical transfers.
Fees to take the bus range from $6 to $47 depending on where you live and your desired destination. Anyone wanting to travel outside of Haliburton County is billed $1.50 per kilometre. Trips to Lindsay, Peterborough or Bracebridge cost a minimum of $300, while trips to Barrie, Oshawa, Toronto or Kingston cost a minimum of $200, plus $50 per hour while in use. Dysart’s website notes these trips typically only take place when six or more people sign up, bringing the per person cost down to between $50 and $100.
Wilbee said caregivers, attendants, guide dogs and service animals are welcome to accompany someone taking the bus at no extra charge.