Raymond Cua the Travelling Foodie came to Haliburton County from Monday July 24 to Thursday July 27 to sample the culinary delights of the Highlands and blog about them. He stopped by Baked and Battered in Haliburton on Thursday at lunch. /JENN WATT Staff

Transportation opportunity should not be missed

To the Editor

For almost a decade Rural Transportation Options has been advocating for some type of public transportation in the county. We are delighted that the county is now coming to see both that there is a need for transportation and that there are models of rural transportation systems that may well be appropriate for our community. Setting aside $50000 in the next county budget for a feasibility study for a transportation system is wonderful.

Over the past two years the county has participated in a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Transportation. Through this project we have come to a much better understanding of transportation models that would be appropriate to our community and our needs. In addition the transportation task force and its predecessor have created a strong collaboration between various transportation providers the county and those concerned about transportation in the county. The MTO pilot project has been revisioned as a large MTO program to support the development or expansion of community transportation. On offer is a grant of a maximum of $500000 over five years. MTO has been quite clear that this is a one time only grant. We are unlikely to see such fulsome support for rural transportation for many years.

At the last county council meeting the council decided not to apply for this funding. We are asking that the mayors and deputy mayors reconsider this decision. Research case studies conferences and other rural transportation programs do suggest that this new MTO grant is sufficient in both time and funds to have a functioning tested transportation system in Haliburton County by 2023 and this system would commence in perhaps small mode in 2019.
We do ask county council to reconsider your decision. This is an opportunity too good to be missed.

Heather Ross
Rural Transportation Options