If Petrolians take the bus it may be on Lambton County’s dime

Petrolia Mayor
John McCharles

Petrolia Mayor John McCharles says Lambton County will likely need to help financially if a bus service to Sarnia is going to work.

The town started looking into the idea after several students approached Councilor Liz Welch. They were going to Lambton College in the fall, but didn’t have transportation to get there and wondered if the town had considered a bus service.

Welsh has been meeting with community agencies, including local bus companies about the idea and it is estimated it would cost about $45,000 to $50,000 to run a bus each year.

Welsh says several other communities have expressed an interest in the service. “We felt if it was something that was going used by more than one municipality, the county should have a look at it,” says Welsh adding users would also pay a fee to ride the bus.

McCharles agrees. “In my opinion, it is a serve that needs to be provide and it has to be taxpayer subsidized to work,” he says. But McCharles knows it could be a tough sell. The county recently turned down St. Joseph’s Hospice for funding because it was for programing not capital.

“If there is a will from the county to do something, then I think it can happen…There needs to be something done.”

Welsh agrees. “It is a way to encourage people to be able stay here,” she says. “What I’m hoping is the county will at least try and run a pilot project for the fall.”

– Heather Wright