Making it to Algonquin, without the automobile

Originally published in the Toronto Star

Fabiola Carletti
Staff Reporter

Photo by Flickr user Яick Harris

Ontario’s top park just got a lot closer to the city.

Currently, car-less Torontonians must either rent a vehicle or take an indirect route by public transit to get to Canada’s oldest provincial park. But starting next Thursday, a new express service called Parkbus will roll out as a new option.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to board a non-stop bus from four Toronto locations to four popular drop-off points in the sprawling park. At $84 per round-trip the ride is less expensive than taking existing bus routes to Huntsville followed by a private shuttle. And if you factor in the cost of gas, parking and renting a car, it’s a lot cheaper than taking a personal vehicle. Even drivers may want to hang up their keys for an environmentally friendly and even educational alternative.

“Parkbus is a non-profit initiative that aims to eventually make other popular Ontario parks accessible by bus,” said Alex Berlyand, co-founder of the project. “We also intend to have a volunteer on each bus talking about the fragile and valuable elements of Algonquin Park.”

The founders find it ironic that in wanting to enjoy nature, most people are contributing to carbon emissions that damage the environment. The 56-seat coach buses are set to outdo even the most ambitious carpool and foster friendships between first-time and veteran visitors. (continue reading…)

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