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GO Transit, Ontario Northland offering weekend service to Muskoka in August

File photo of a GO train. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve White

Metrolinx wants to help alleviate the headaches of driving up to Muskoka for the remainder of the summer.

The pilot project is a combined effort by the agency and transit operator Ontario Northland to service both the Muskoka Region and North Bay.

“This partnership with Ontario Northland is an exciting opportunity for us to help our customers get to where they need to go,” Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said in a release.

“Whether they’re vacationing or visiting family, we are giving the GTHA more options to travel better, faster and easier.”

The service will run every Friday from Aug. 2 until Sept. 3.

According to the release, the 5:35 p.m. Barrie train out of Union Station will meet with an Ontario Northland bus at Allandale Waterfront GO Station. The bus will continue on to serve Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville and North Bay.

The return bus trip will happen at the end of the weekend — whether it’s on the Sunday or holiday Monday — and connect with a Toronto-bound GO train at Aurora GO Station.

“This service is ideal for those commuting to cottage country,” said Ontario Northland CEO Corina Moore.

“We are lining up our services in an effort to create a seamless, convenient connection for our passengers.”

Cottagers will only need to buy one ticket each to gain access to both the GO train and the Ontario Northland bus.

However, it won’t be as simple as tapping a Presto card. Instead, tickets must be purchased at ontarionorthland.ca.