The MET (Muskoka Extended Transit)

The MET (Muskoka Extended Transit) is a CT pilot project funded until March 31, 2017 by the Ministry of Transportation - Ontario, through the Community Transportation Pilot Grant Program. The goal of the MET service is to make it easier for people living in more rural areas of Muskoka to get to main towns, programs and services. Using a needs analysis approach it was recognized that this service would be beneficial to everyone but in particular seniors, people with disabilities and low income families.

The District Municipality of Muskoka consists of 6 towns/townships covering a geographical area of 3,816 km2, with a population of 59,980 “permanent” residents (Stats Canada, 2006). Given of the vastness of Muskoka, utilizing school buses made the most sense as they are already out in all areas of Muskoka picking up students and dropping them off at schools. The MET features seven routes throughout the District. Five routes are travelled weekly and two are travelled on the 1st and 3rd week of every month. Each route starts picking up passengers right after the bus drops off students in the morning. The return routes are designed to ensure that buses are back in time to pick up students.

The MET is continually working with outside agencies and district programs to coordinate services and let people know about the service to encourage usage. The MET also demonstrates flexibility by encouraging feedback and suggestions by the community. Two routes have already been revised as a result of this invited participation. This project was implemented with measurements in place to monitor ridership and help plan for sustainability. The MET transit committee, partnering agencies and the community in general are all very supportive and hoping for its success. For more information on the MET, visit: www.muskoka.on.ca/en/community-and-social-services/MET-_Muskoka-Extended-Transit_.aspx