Council set to approve new Northern Transfer Point with Sault College

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The City of Sault Ste. Marie will be looking to enter into a 50 year lease agreement with Sault College for its new northern transfer point for Sault Transit at its meeting on Monday.

Transit Consulting Network was retained in 2017 to undertake a comprehensive operational review of conventional transit services. The objectives of the study were to reverse the service and ridership decline in recent years, by looking at alternatives that can reduce average travel time and improve transit coverage to serve more residents. They also looked at reinstating late Sunday service and other measures to increase Transit ridership, while remaining within the existing 80,000 service hours.

At the Council meeting dated April 9, 2018 the following report of the Manager of Transit and Parking was approved by Council:

Transit Route Optimization Study
Resolved that the report of the Manager of Transit and Parking dated 2018 04 09 concerning Transit Route Optimization Study be received and that City Council proceed with the implementation of the Transit Route Optimization Plan beginning June 3, 2018 which will include:

• Return of late evening Sunday service;
• Addition of the Great Northern bus to connect the Great Northern Road area to the Downtown Business area;
• Moving forward with east-west connectors and route enhancements that reduce travel time and reduce the need to travel to the downtown terminal; and that staff be requested to develop a plan to maximize the City’s share of the Public Transit Infrastructure Funding over the next ten years and make Transit infrastructure a priority in order to leverage this funding opportunity.

At the meeting held April 27, 2020 the following resolution was passed:

Resolved that the report of the Director of Community Services dated 2020 04 27 concerning the Northern Transfer Point consultant selection be received, and that Council authorize extending KRESIN Engineering Corporation’s fees on the Northern Avenue Improvements project by $27,700 to include the Northern Transfer Point tendering and contract administration.

At a meeting held June 8, 2020 the following resolution was passed:

Resolved that By-law 2020-123 being a by-law to authorize the execution of the Contract between the City and Avery Construction Ltd. for the Northern Avenue Improvements (Contract 2020-5E) be passed in open Council this 8th day of June, 2020.

At a recent meeting held July 13, 2020 Council was informed of the transit route changes to support the Northern Transfer Point The following resolution was passed:

Resolved that the report of the Director of Community Services dated 2020 07 13 concerning Transit Route Optimization Update Supporting the Northern Transport Point be received as information.

The following appears on the report to council for recommendation:

Transit services and Legal have negotiated a long-term lease agreement with Sault College to support the construction of the Northern Transfer Point (NTP) on Sault College Property. The NTP will provide many benefits to improve service delivery with increased access for students, more frequent and direct service as well as additional options to access more destinations.

The term of the agreement will be fifty (50) years and effective at the commencement of the construction date. The NTP will be operated and maintained by Transit Services and utilized by the public.

It will be necessary for Sault Ste. Marie PUC Distribution to run a dedicated line from one or two poles for power supply and to track power usage. By-law 2020-157 authorizing the execution of a Private Power Line Crossing – Crossing Private Property User Acknowledgement appears under item 11 of the Agenda.

A Transfer Payment Agreement will follow for signature with respect to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Sault College is in the process of obtaining final approval (under section 28) from their ministry but supports the negotiated agreement as presented.

Transit Services is always willing to receive any feedback from the public for any proposed changes. Comments and or concerns can be shared by calling 705-759-5438 or emailing transit@cityssm.on.ca. The Transit Division continues to research and explore new ways to ensure the most appropriate and timely service is being provided to the community.

Monday’s council meeting will begin at 430 pm.

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