‘The Link’ rural bus service celebrating one-year anniversary with free ridership July 11 to 15

Five-year pilot project connects Selwyn Township and Curve Lake First Nation to Peterborough

'The Link' rural bus service logo

The Link, a rural transportation service connecting Selwyn Township and Curve Lake First Nation to Peterborough, is celebrating its first year of service with free rides from July 11 to 15.

A pilot project of Selwyn Township, Curve Lake First Nation, Community Care Peterborough, and the City of Peterborough, the service has two routes: Route 31 runs between Peterborough, Lakefield, and Curve Lake First Nation, and Route 32 runs between Peterborough, Bridgenorth, and Ennismore.

Since launching in May 2021, The Link has averaged over 500 riders per month on 15-passenger buses operated by Peterborough Transit.

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To mark its one-year anniversary, the service will be free to use from July 11 to 15. Normally, a two-ride pass costs $15, a 10-ride pass costs $50, and a monthly pass costs $150.

In addition, Selwyn Township will be hosting an event on Monday (July 11) to recognize the funding and partnerships involved in The Link project. The recognition event takes place at 11 a.m. in the Lakefield-Smith Community Centre parking lot (20 Concession Street, Lakefield).

On Wednesday (July 13), an open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Community Care Chemung (551 Ennis Road, Ennismore), where people can learn more about The Link, its routes and schedule, and rules of service.

For those unable to attend the open house in person, Selwyn Township will be hosting a Facebook Live question-and-answer session about the service at 6 p.m. on Thursday (July 14) on its Facebook page at facebook.com/SelwynTownship.

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In a media release, Selwyn Township says it will be evaluating The Link in 2023 to explore how to improve the service and is seeking feedback through an online survey. Those who complete the survey at selwyntownship.ca/thelink will have a chance to win a free 10-ride bus pass valued at $50. The survey will also be available during the July 13th open house.

The Link was originally funded in 2020 as a three-year pilot project with a $1.48-million grant under the Ontario government’s Community Transportation Grant program.

In summer 2021, the Ministry of Transportation extended the grant period by an additional two years and provided an additional $884,625 in funding, allowing the pilot to continue until 2025.