Thom cancels Pontiac bus route

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Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC &
PONTIAC – Thom Transport recently announced that their bus route between L’Isle-aux-Allumettes and Ottawa will no longer be in service after May 13.
According to Richard Brousseau, a Thom dispatcher, the run was

Allyson Beauregard

MRC PONTIAC &
PONTIAC – Thom Transport recently announced that their bus route between L’Isle-aux-Allumettes and Ottawa will no longer be in service after May 13.
According to Richard Brousseau, a Thom dispatcher, the run was
cancelled due to a lack of riders. “It isn’t feasible or profitable anymore. At the present time, we are running with less than 20 riders daily. We need over 35 to make it feasible,” he said, noting the business does not receive government funding.
Citizens were able to express their disagreement with the cancellation
before May 1 by contacting the Quebec Transport Commission, who must first give the business permission to cancel the run before it is terminated.
Dominic Labrie, Municipality of Pontiac Communications Officer, confirmed a low number of people using the service is a problem. “One employee  said there were only about 10 people on it,” he said. “What we really should be doing is encouraging the Quebec government to help fund transportation services in rural areas of Quebec so they can remain in operation,” he added.
The public transportation system in Quebec is currently undergoing a major restructuring and many organizations fear they will lose funding, including the Pontiac’s TransporAction. During April’s Council of Mayors meeting, the Council sent a letter to the government indicating their disapproval. “If TransporAction loses funding, they will be forced to knock on the MRC Pontiac’s door, but we’ve also been cut. The restructuring may be beneficial in major areas, but it’s
detrimental for rural communities,” said MRC Pontiac Warden Raymond Durocher.
According to Brousseau, the run has been in operation for over 20 years, with a lack of riders a problem for the last ten.