March of Dimes assists Island transportation campaign to take the next step

MANITOULIN ISLAND—A request for proposals has been sent out by the Mnising Transportation Campaign to a number of consultants to look into the feasibility of improving and expanding transportation options and filling current gaps in service for residents on Manitoulin Island.

“The request for proposals has gone out to a number of consultants,” said Guy Dumas, of the March of Dimes Canada, last week. He pointed out the RFP went out on October 27, “and we will be giving each of the consultants 30 days to reply. Then our committee will be meeting and will pick the consultant to be hired.” The consultant chosen will undertake a feasibility study to be carried out between January and June 2018.

“The RFP has gone out to companies that have done previous studies involving the transportation industry,” said Mr. Dumas. As well, he noted, the consultants chosen to submit RFPs were chosen through recommendations or those who have done feasibility studies as well.

Of course Mr. Dumas said the feasibility study will only go ahead if funding is found for the project. “We have made application for funding to several agencies.”

As reported earlier, Mr. Dumas said that its most recent meeting the local group decided to request March of Dimes Canada apply for grant funding to move the project to the feasibility stage. MODC has agreed to act as a lead for making the funding applications, a role they would continue until after the feasibility study has been completed.

On September 18 the Mnising Transportation Campaign group held a meeting to hold ongoing dialogue regarding the public transportation matter on Manitoulin. The goal was to understand the transportation challenge experienced by residents traveling to and from their “impact consuming activity” and the group resolved to find a viable and collaborative solution Island-wide.

Objectives include maximizing the ongoing conversation regarding the transportation matter on the Island and exploring the concept of a two-fold transportation solution. Mr. Dumas said the application for funding has gone out through March of Dimes Canada and forwarded as a request to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and other funding agencies.

“We are moving at a snail’s pace, but we are moving forward,” said Mr. Dumas.