Prescott and Russell’s new agri-tourism travel route is to be launched before the end of June. United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) Director of Economic Development and Tourism Carole Lavigne updated the Economic Development and Tourism Committee at its last meeting and briefly explained the new Broue & Chew route, which will link breweries, wineries, and other small food producers across the counties.
According to UCPR Treasurer Valérie Parisien, a cost analysis is being conducted of PR-Transpo fees. The goal is to ensure fees are fair for users after the provincial subsidy for the service ends in 2023. At the April 28 meeting of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Lavigne said the transportation services provided by Prescott-Russell Community services could be added to the on-demand platform for PR-Transpo’s services.
Lavigne said PR-Transpo’s free service of providing transportation to COVID-19 vaccination clinics has been used sparingly but regularly. She told the committee that the greatest use of the service has been in Hawkesbury and Rockland.
PR-Transpo launched as an inter-municipal transit service in 2019, with routes and stops connecting all UCPR communities. The pandemic led to a suspension of the route service and in February 2021 the decision was made to have PR-Transpo operate on-demand.
When it was launched, P-R Transpo received a $2 million subsidy from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the regular adult fare was set at $5 per ride.
The UCPR has received a grant to cover approximately half the cost of a flood mapping study of the portion of the Ottawa River within the counties.
According to UCPR Director of Planning and Forestry Louis Prévost, the estimated cost of the study is $300,000 and is to be completed in 2023. The grant from the federal National Disaster Mitigation Program will cover 50 per cent of the cost.