THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is introducing new bus routes that will connect passengers to jobs, hospitals and other essential services in the Northwest with the launch of two new intercommunity bus services.
The service was promised in February 2020, and scheduled to start on April 1, 2020, but postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Starting May 17, 2020, the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) will begin permanent intercommunity bus service from White River to Thunder Bay with three return trips per week. The agency will also provide a new permanent intercommunity bus service from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg, starting May 18, 2020, with two return trips per week.
“People in Northern Ontario deserve access to safe and reliable public transportation that connects them to employment opportunities, medical appointments and other essential services,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Our government is working closely with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to fill the recent gap in the Northwest.”
The expanded bus service to Winnipeg from Thunder Bay will travel along Highway 17 via Dryden and Kenora and provide stops at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, and the University of Winnipeg.
“For too long Northwestern Ontario has been excluded from Ontario’s passenger transportation network and today our government is keeping its promise to bring reliable and safe bus transportation to the Northwest,” says Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River. “I am proud to see the ONTC connect people and communities from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg and everywhere in between.”
“This is tremendous news for northern communities, allowing individuals to rely on bus transportation to get the essential services they need in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay by connecting communities across the Northwest,” said Mayor Dan Reynard, City of Kenora.
“The City of Dryden is very pleased to see the province bring reliable and comfortable bus service to our community, said Mayor Greg Wilson, City of Dryden. “Thank you to MPP Rickford and Minister Mulroney for delivering this critical service to our community during these unprecedented times.”
“Ontario Northland is proud to be expanding our bus service across northwestern Ontario, with stops in Thunder Bay, Dryden, Kenora and Winnipeg,” says Corina Moore, ONTC President and CEO. “This route extends the integrated transportation system that is growing throughout the province to provide passengers with more convenient connections and direct stops at hospitals, post-secondary education institutions and other transportation providers.”