Free transit rides proposed for high school students
BARRIE, ONT. -- Barrie city council resumed Monday night with a virtual meeting.
Two of the big topics discussed were a transit program for secondary school students and a new youth centre for the city.
Councillor Mike McCann proposed the city offer free bus rides to high school students to offload some of the transportation stress on school boards.
McCann said that some students are waiting for hours to catch the bus home because of new transportation regulations.
The free service would be provided in the afternoon and run until the end of December.
Councillor Keenan Aylwin suggested staff look into a more long-term option for students. "This is a way that we can try to start addressing our climate targets as well," he said.
City staff got the green light to research the costs and will report back for a further vote.
Meanwhile, councillors also endorsed plans to build a centre for at-risk youth.
Last month, Shak Edwards, president of Shak's World, asked council for 42-thousand-dollars to lease space on Maple Avenue to help vulnerable youth.
At that time, council requested a more detailed business plan, which was provided last night, but Mayor Jeff Lehman said it needed some fine-tuning.
"We're interested in seeing that happen in Barrie," Lehman said. "There is more work to be done, to build out that model, to build the capacity of that organization."
Councillors referred Shak's World to The Sandbox and Georgian College for help with the business plan and said it is willing to partner with the not-for-profit organization in the future.
All decisions made last night require a second vote of approval at council next week.