After more than 20 years without a municipal public transit system, a new one could be coming to Pembroke.
An online survey has gone live to get input on what residents would like to see in a local transit system, and to see if there is enough public demand to move forward.
"Phase one is the survey, to see if there is demand," Pembroke city councillor Brian Abdallah tells CityNews Ottawa. "Phase two would actually cost out -- a costing model, a revenue model, staffing and the route."
Abdallah says, if council approved phase two for the consultants go-ahead, the next step would be a one-year pilot project.
His vision is to have two electric-powered buses that could hold 20 to 25 people, which would operate in the east and west ends of Pembroke, with short wait times.
Abdallah says, so far, he is seeing a lot of support for the idea, including from Algonquin College.
"They estimate up to 50 per cent of their 1,000 student population would use transit," he says. "Social and health agencies would use transit. For example, Ontario Works clients, mental health services, social services, Pembroke General Hospital, the Pembroke Mall and the senior residents have indicated a need for transit."
If there is enough support to move forward, funding would be required from upper levels of government. Abdallah says each bus, including a charging stations, would cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1-million.
If the survey and funding come through, a pilot project could be up and running in the next 12 to 18 months.
The last city-run transit system, Pembroke Transit, ran for just over 20 years, from 1977 to 1998.