BRADFORD, ONT. -- LINX transit is ready to wheel out new changes to bring more communities together.

Simcoe County's LINX buses first hit the streets three years ago with a single route. Now there are four, with plans for more.

"We're about 80 per cent above our projections in ridership in all the routes," said David Parks, County of Simcoe.

The county is rolling out a fifth route on Aug. 4 that would take riders from Alliston to Bradford.  The route will run free for the first month of service.

LINX ridership peaked at 18,000 in January, but the pandemic forced the county to reduce its runs by 50 per cent.

The county is monitoring ridership closely and hopes to increase the number of runs in the coming weeks.

Riders must wear a face-covering.

The county plans to add a sixth route that would connect Midland and Penetanguishene to Orillia. Route 6 is expected to start in the fall.

The county has purchased eight new buses at the cost of $2.5 million that should be on the roads sometime this year.