Gravenhurst Against Poverty (GAP) has launched a pilot transportation project.

Gravenhurst Taxi will be available every Tuesday and Thursday to take people around town to do errands like grocery shopping, get to job interviews or to do their laundry. A tab will be set-up with the taxi company, which will be paid off using funding GAP has received from the Muskoka Community Foundation.

To arrange a trip, call Gravenhurst Taxi at 705-687-2246. Chair of Gravenhurst Against Poverty Steering Committee Lonnie Dart says you need to tell the dispatcher that you’re booking a trip through the GAP transportation program. 

Dart says the foundation for the idea was created two years ago when GAP did a needs assessment survey. “Transportation challenges were one of the things listed as being a real need for many people who were facing difficulty in the community,” she explains. 

Dart says the funding is “limited” which is why they’re doing this as a pilot project, and not fully executing the program. “We’re testing it out to see how big the need is,” she explains. If the need is greater, Dart says they will circle back and look for more funding to expand the program. 

A Facebook post was made Monday morning and Dart says it’s already gotten a big response. “It’s important for people who don’t have other ways of getting from one end of town to the other,” she says.

While GAP has focused on food security during the pandemic, Dart says now it’s time to work on improving transportation in the region.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic our numbers have grown drastically,” she says. Pre-pandemic, Dart says they were serving 60 to 70 people every week, now they’re delivering to 425 people every Thursday.