Ride Well could benefit local employers: Small

KENILWORTH – Economic development officer Dale Small believes Wellington County’s planned Ride Well program will benefit local employers.

Following county councillor Campbell Cork’s update to council on July 8, council had a number of questions on the project.

Councillor Steve McCabe first wanted to know the project cost.

Cork said there are different subsidies, but stated that he believes the one for employees heading to workplaces would involve employers.

Small stated the initial funding for the five-year pilot project was through a provincial grant.

“It’s allowing the county to start the Ride Well program.”

Small said there are certain fees which would be paid by the riders.

Wellington North CAO Mike Givens said he understood the cost of a return trip from Arthur to Guelph would be about $38.

“But there are a lot of variables which would impact the cost,” he said.

Givens added organizers are not talking too much about exact fees until there is a better understanding of potential usage.

Cork added that with the bus program in Grey County, there is a commitment to stops in Mount Forest and Arthur.

Different from Uber

Mayor Andy Lennox pointed out this project is a ride-sharing service, which is different from Uber.

Lennox said if three people are heading the same way every day and ride together, the sharing can reduce the cost per person.

Small said, “another big win will be when we are able to make this work from an employer perspective for some of our larger companies such as Musashi and Golden Valley in Arthur and those which are struggling to get workers to their facilities.”

Intent not to subsidize

Lennox stressed the intent is not to subsidize the employer/employee rides with tax dollars, even though the service would use the same platform and potentially the same drivers.

“It would be the employers picking up the tab,” Lennox said.