Orange transit bus could hit the streets of Timmins again

Timmins Mayor George Pirie and transit maintenance supervisor Marcel Côté are seen here standing in front one of the orange city buses late last summer. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Local Journalism Initiative jpg, TD

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The orange transit bus initiative in honour of residential school victims and survivors was a huge success last year, says clerk Steph Palmateer.

Last fall, a Timmins Transit bus was fully wrapped in orange as part of the Orange the City initiative,

At the Indigenous Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday, Jan. 19, members discussed whether they want a fully wrapped orange bus and several other buses with Every Child Matters panels on them running in the city again this year.

Palmateer said, in his opinion, the orange bus initiative was successful.

“We gained national recognition. It was by far, the single-most reposted social media item we’ve had at the City of Timmins,” Palmateer said at the virtual meeting. “If the committee is in agreement, I’ll go ahead and start the process. We can make sure we have the bus again this summer.”

Palmateer said the fully wrapped bus cost about $15,000 for two months, while the panels on other buses cost about $3,000 for the same period of time. There wouldn’t be any production cost this year.

“So, all total we’re looking at is $18,000,” he said. “The money’s not a problem. We have the money in the account for it but if we can offset that cost by getting sponsorship, we can certainly make a decision to have them run longer or have more funds available if we do it year after year.”

Committee member Joe Nakogee recalled being emotional the first time seeing the bus.

Another member Angele Beaudry said she liked the initiative and noted it was important to spread the message that Orange Shirt Day is significant every day.

“It’s not just that day it’s important to think about that but every day. Even if we don’t add it, as long as we see the advertisement throughout the year, I think it has a bigger impact,” she said.

Palmateer said the orange panels could start running in June, with the orange bus hitting the streets in early fall.

“You’d have the panels out there for months, and then the orange bus comes out for a couple of months,” he said.

With no decision made at the Jan. 19 meeting, Coun. Kristin Murray and Palmateer will be bringing more updates and different options on how to proceed at the next committee meeting.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva writes for Timmins Today. Her reporting is paid for by the federal government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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