The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) and the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC), with funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), have collaborated to develop the Ontario Community Transportation Network (OCTN): http://www.octn.ca/.
The OCTN connects individuals, organizations, and transportation providers interested in exchanging information, experiences and best practices about community transportation services in Ontario. The Network helps to inform, support, consult and collaborate with community transportation stakeholders across the province.
Communities throughout Ontario have different forms of transportation systems depending on their size and location. Community transportation (CT) refers to all of the transportation services and resources that exist within a geographic area and are available to help meet the needs of local residents. These can include: municipally-funded transit; privately owned transportation services; volunteer driver programs; vans that not-for profit organizations, health and/or social service agencies own and operate for seniors or people with disabilities; shuttle buses for commuting students and workers; and other services.
"Transportation is a vital component of a healthy community, enabling people to access employment, education, health & social services, and recreational activities" says Lorna McCue, Executive Director of the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition. "This project supports organizations that are undertaking transportation initiatives that will have positive impacts on individuals’ health and well-being, and strengthen the inclusiveness and economic vitality of their community.”
The Ontario Community Transportation Network recognizes the importance of accessible, affordable, and available transportation services for Ontarians. Membership is free and open to anyone, as the Network welcomes the participation of all community transportation stakeholders: http://www.octn.ca/join/.
Network activities over the next 6 months will include:
- Webinar series
- Issue paper
- Bi-weekly blogs
- Monthly newsletter
- Member and service directories
- Listserv/discussion forum
- In-person event