New LINX route from Midland to Orillia to launch from August 2

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Despite the pandemic, the number of LINX users in 2020 increased by 28.7% compared to 2019

A new transit route from Midland to Orillia will be phased out from August 2, with free rides for the first month.

Simcoe County’s LINX transit system will expand with a sixth route in August. The new road will connect Penetanguishene and Midland with Tay, Severn, Oro-Medonte and Orillia. Tariff service will begin for Route 6 in September 2021.

The current LINX transit service operates along five corridors:

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

At a Simcoe County Council meeting on Tuesday morning, councilors received a report on current LINX transit ridership statistics.

According to the report, the county reduced service levels in March 2020 and transit staff continue to monitor and adapt as needed.

“Limiting non-essential transit was crucial in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic and our transit system will be critical in pulling Simcoe County out of the lockdown and COVID-19 crisis.” , noted Dennis Childs, county transit manager, in his report to councilors.

The system saw a strong ridership performance in the first quarter of 2020, but experienced a decrease in 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 trips, up from 91,140 trips in 2019, an increase of 28.7% year-over-year.

In 2021, the system observed ridership below budget performance from January to April, with ridership down 28.8% from forecast levels due to COVID-19 restrictions and blockages with 33,523 actual travelers per compared to budget paths of 42,379.

“Ridership is expected to return to budget levels once the majority of the population has been vaccinated,” Childs noted.

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


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