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Here for our Community — County Transit

June 16, 2022
Here for our community: Matt Reid Every day hundreds of people work behind the scenes to keep Prince Edward County running. We are profiling a few of the people that are ‘here for our community.’   We continue the series by talking with Matt Reid, Foreman of Recreation and Community Facilities   Can you start by giving an overview of your job?   There really isn’t a set day. It could be anything. On any given day there could be something in the parks that needs taking care of, it could be that something breaks and we need to fix it. We keep busy and it stays interesting. On a typical day in the winter, we’re working with ice users and making sure the arenas run. I lend a hand at the Picton arena when they need it but I’m mostly based out of Wellington.   In the spring we take the ice out of the arena. It’s pretty straightforward: we shave the ice down with the ice resurfacer and then we’ve got to put hot water on to remove the vinyl logos. Then we continue shaving it down. When we get down to the paint, we turn the ice plant off to break the seal between the ice and the floor. Then we bring in a tractor with a bucket and start taking the ice out in chunks. It takes anywhere between 4-5 days with a crew of 2-3 staff.   In the summer, there’s more ground to cover. We’re focused on the parks and washrooms and all of that fun stuff. There are 23 parks that we look after, so we’re all over the County, and our team grows with summer students and summer staff. The team that is responsible for the public washrooms are fantastic. I’ve done that shift a couple of times and it’s fantastic that they are able to keep up with it.   How long have you worked with the County? I started in 2008 as an arena attendant. It was a good job opportunity at the time and it stuck with me. I have been in the Foreman role for just over a year now. What do you like most about the job and working for the County? The thing I like most about my job is the staff I work with. It’s a good group and it makes it easy to come to work. There are 12 people on the arena team; that’s between both facilities in Wellington and Picton. I don’t know the right word to describe the team. It’s just that everyone gets along so well. Everybody’s easy going, and it makes it a lot easier to come to work everyday knowing that we get to do our job and have a good time doing it together. I was a little uncomfortable about this interview, because it’s a team effort here. Nobody could make this work without everyone else. I didn’t want this to focus on me, because it really is a team. How has COVID-19 impacted your work? It has made things a little more challenging, but everyone has done a good job with getting the protocols sorted out. We have appreciated everyone’s patience and understanding as we worked through the challenges of the pandemic. The screening, showing proof of vaccination and ID, the guidelines we have to follow and the delays on repairs due to shortages, contractor availability and shipping delays… it’s made things a little more challenging. The public has been really good, more than willing to follow the rules and be patient and understanding. Having the facility empty during lockdowns has been a little bit of a blessing because when we’re closed we get the time to do the really tedious and long jobs that we don’t get a chance to do when we have a full day of ice users and the public coming in and out. There’s been a lot of painting, buffing floors and things like that. We haven’t been sitting waiting for the doors to open. We’ve been doing a lot of things we can’t do with the public coming through the door. What do you enjoy most about the County? I grew up in the County. I like that this is where my family’s from, where my wife’s family is from. Everyone we know is here. It really feels like a community when you grew up here and know everyone. It is easier at work because I see a lot of ice users who either know me or know my family.      

Here for our Community….

Every day hundreds of people work behind the scenes to keep Prince Edward County running. We are profiling a few of the people that are ‘here for our community.’ We continue the series by featuring County Transit and Betty Best, a long-time driver. 

County Transit
County Transit launched in 2020 with a dedicated, branded bus.

The need for public transit

In 2013 The County Foundation’s Vital Signs report indicated that getting around The County was a challenge for many when it came to gaining access to services, recreation, education, jobs, housing, and food.

As a result, The County and The County Foundation worked closely to develop an integrated plan to expand public transportation and, in 2020, the municipality engaged Quinte Transit to provide fixed route and flex route for its residents. A dedicated bus was purchased and The County branded its transportation services as “County Transit” provided by Quinte Transit.

County Transit provides services for all ages, transporting people for various needs, from getting to The County for work or going to Belleville to shop, visit loved ones in a seniors home, or catch the train at the VIA Rail station. Residents are loving it and ridership is increasing.

The County Transit experience is awesome and the drivers are friendly and considerate -- Rider

County transit drivers are special people

We asked Betty Best, a County Transit driver and also a County resident, about her experience and why she loves driving bus.

“I have driven a bus for Quinte Transit since 2008. Having grown up in Prince Edward County I know a lot of people and I love meeting people. It is very rewarding to be able to provide this valuable and affordable service to those who may not be able to get around otherwise.

“We serve many people for many different reasons. Some need to get to school, work, shopping or medical appointments. Some people do not have a licence or cannot drive or may not have a car, so this service is beneficial to them. I love driving bus, and it is so great to see the service expanding in Prince Edward County.”

Betty Best, a County Transit driver and also a County resident, finds it rewarding to provide this valuable service to the community.

The driver was very nice and once we got to the Belleville Bus Depot, he told us where our transfer bus would be and the time it would be arriving. -- Rider

Exciting new opportunities with County Transit

 

Summer 2022 will see County Transit’s regular services continue with some exciting new opportunities to ditch the car and take the bus!

  • Daily Round Trip Fixed Route Service from Belleville to Picton, Monday to Friday and open to everyone. Call to book your ride.
  • Daily Flex Route (on-demand) Service Door to Bus Stop. Monday to Friday and open to everyone. Call to book your ride.
  • Daily Flex Route (on-demand) Specialized Service (Must Qualify). Call to book your ride.
  • Saturday and Sunday Sandbanks Summer Run in July and August. Call to book your ride.
  • Weekend Dinner Runs (nine per night) between Picton and Wellington/Wellington and Picton, June 17 to October 9, 2022 on Friday and Saturday starting at 5 pm with last pickup at 10 pm. $5 cash per person each way. Call to book your ride.

We hope you give County Transit a try this summer. Let us know how you make out and help County Transit keep our community on the move.

To book your seat contact County Transit provided by Quinte Transit at 613.392.9640 or 1.855.283.9640, info@quintetransit.ca or visit the County Transit online

The driver was most helpful and the overall experience was good. I would certainly recommend County Transit to my friends. -- Rider

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