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Accelerating Rural Transportation Solutions Webinar SeriesAccelerating Rural Transportation Solutions Webinar Series

A lack of access to transportation negatively impacts quality of life in rural communities. Numerous individuals in small communities across Ontario who struggle to get to where they need to go on a daily basis. For a long time rural and remote communities have voiced their concerns about the transportation challenges that they face. In many rural communities there are few alternatives to the private automobile, and those services that do exist are often uneven in their reach and hard to sustain.

However, there is reason for optimism as increased awareness and understanding is developing across the province about the need for public transportation solutions in rural areas. Increasing interest and importance is being placed on this issue from across sectors such as economic development, health, social services and the environment. Municipal and regional governments, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), environmental organizations. Within Ontario and beyond, models of collaborative rural transportation solutions are emerging and continuing to evolve.

Several program leaders of rural transportation initiatives within Ontario were willing to share stories of their success through a series of three webinar, organized by OHCC and in collaboration with the Ontario Rural Institute and HC Link. These webinars were presented in February and March 2014.

Part 1: Framing the issues, identifying the challenges, and exploring the opportunities

The first webinar in the series provided an overview of the issues, along with some of the challenges and opportunities that exist with setting up and running a rural transportation initiative.

Presenters:

  • Lisa Tolentino, Healthy Communities Consultant, Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition
  • Brad Smith, Public Transportation Coordinator, Ride Norfolk

Part 2: The importance of partnerships and collaborations to establishing rural transportation initiatives

The second webinar in the series examined the importance of partnerships and collaborations in establishing rural transportation initiatives.

Presenters:

  • Susan Stolarchuk, Transit Administrator, Deseronto Transit
  • Sue Shikaze, Health Promoter, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit and Chair, Haliburton Communities in Action Committee

Part 3: Garnering support from municipal representatives and community members

The third and final webinar in the series explored how to engage municipal representatives and community members in supporting an initiative.

Presenters:

  • John Keith, Manager of Transportation Services, Community Care North Hastings, operator of The Rural Overland Utility Transit (TROUT)
  • Jeannie Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, Municipal Transit Policy Office, Ministry of Transportation
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