By Chad Ingram
Haliburton Rideshare a project of the Rural Transportation Options committee has ended.
“After running for several years Haliburton Rideshare requires a dedicated staff and resources to properly continue its growth” reads a release from RTO. “Unfortunately at this point there are insufficient funds and energy for that work to be done.”
The Haliburton Rideshare website a forum for county residents to arrange for carpooling operated for about three years and was part of a community transportation project by RTO funded largely through grants from the MTO.
“Rural Transportation Options having worked tirelessly for almost nine years to improve transportation options within Haliburton County has tapped into provincial federal and local funds expertise and knowledge to advance the transportation agenda” the RTO release reads. “The issue of transportation is overwhelming complex and touches many different sectors. Rural Transportation Options was determined to make a difference in this area and both researched and considered what was needed within Haliburton County.”
“Matched with the number of empty passenger seats that are often found in personal vehicles ridesharing was quickly determined to be the ‘low hanging fruit’ when considering how to use existing assets to help folks get around” the release continues. “Carpooling was already a familiar activity for most residents; the Rideshare initiative strived to expand those carpooling circles and help folks travelling in similar directions connect to share rides.”
The Haliburton Rideshare website had about 200 registered users.
“While focus was on providing a successful virtual platform for people to connect to share rides the overall intent of the Rideshare initiative was to prompt people to consider ridesharing more often as well as to cause community groups to begin encouraging their own members and participants to rideshare” the release reads.
The release notes the components of the website have been archived should a group in the future wish to revive it.
Haliburton County council commissioned a transportation implementation plan for a booked shared ride service within the municipality. However it remains unclear at this time whether council intends to initiate such a system and council is scheduled to discuss the matter this month.