The Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program provides support to municipalities to partner with community organizations to coordinate local transportation services, and share resources to serve more riders, provide more trips, and reach more destinations. For local news articles on projects funded by the CT Program, please go to News.
Meeting transportation challenges
Many rural, small and northern communities do not have the population density or the compact urban form to support a public transit system. These are communities that tend to have higher proportions of the population who are transportation-disadvantaged, such as seniors, persons with disabilities, youth, and low-income groups.
Local health and social service agencies and volunteer organizations have stepped in by providing transportation to their own client base. While this helps agency clients, there are other community members who need access to transportation. Client-based transportation may also result in unused capacity, unmet demand or duplication of service within the same community.
Coordinating community transportation can be a cost-effective way to build capacity by optimizing existing services and by using available transportation resources more efficiently. For example, two different organizations that provide trips to the local supermarket for their clients in half-empty buses could coordinate their services to use one bus to go to the supermarket and free up the other bus to offer trips to other destinations and to new riders.
There is no one solution or approach to service delivery to meet the many challenges of providing transportation to underserved areas. The 2014-2015 CT Pilot Program allowed municipalities the flexibility to collaborate with a range of community partners and to develop the service models and service levels that meet the specific needs of their community.
Municipal applicants were required to partner with at least one community organization that has transportation service, assets or resources to implement a coordinated transportation service. Funding could be used for capital (vehicles, IT systems) and/or operating expenditures (coordinator salaries, driver wages, maintenance and fuel).
Applicants to the 2014-2015 CT Pilot Program were required to demonstrate how their projects would meet the three program goals to:
- Improve mobility options for individuals who do not have access to their own transportation;
- Build capacity to better meet local transportation demand, particularly where it is challenging or not feasible to provide conventional or specialized transit service due to population size or density; and
- Create networks of coordinated community transportation service that leverages existing services and pools resources to provide more rides, to more people, and to more destinations.
At the end of the CT Program period on March 31, 2017, CT grant recipients are required to report back to the Ministry on the progress of their initiatives, the performance measures of their CT services, and how well their projects have met their community’s mobility needs. The Ministry will then evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and the pilot projects in addressing transportation challenges.
The Ministry hopes to determine the effectiveness of community transportation as a model for delivering transportation service to underserved and hard-to-serve communities.
To learn more about the CT Pilot Program, you can contact the Ministry of Transportation at: 1-800-268-4686 or 416-235-4686 or email: CTProgram@ontario.ca