Bombers fans to pay bus fare to stadium, but rides back are free
Fans will also have to pay to use Park and Ride service this season
Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans who take transit to games will have to pay the regular bus fare to go to Investors Group Field, but rides home will still be free of charge.
As well, those who use the Park and Ride service to get to and from the stadium will have to pay a fee for each game or buy a season pass.
The Winnipeg Football Club says it has "little choice but to ask fans to contribute" toward its $1.25-million price tag for transportation services this CFL season, whether they take regular transit or Park and Ride to the stadium.
"It's the inability to come to a resolution with the City of Winnipeg over the last six months, and we needed to lower our transportation costs from 2013, so we weren't provided any other way to do it," Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller told CBC News on Thursday.
Last week, the city denied the Bombers' request for a break on transit fees, citing the football club's "robust" profit in the past year.
- City denies transit discount for Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers push for new game-day transit deal
As much as one-third of fans use transit to get to and from each Bombers game, according to the team.
As part of the team's new transportation plan, fans will be asked to buy the regular $2.55 one-way fare to get to the game. That fare can be paid with cash, bus tickets or by presenting the driver with their monthly bus pass.
The football club says it will pay the return fare.
The Park and Ride service to and from the stadium will now be operated by the Winnipeg Football Club using First Student, a professional bus provider.
Fans will have to pay $5 per person for each round trip, or they can buy a pass for $40 per person that will cover Park and Rides for the regular season starting on June 26, according to the team.
The Bombers are offering the same eight Park and Ride Super Express routes as last year, all offering non-stop service between these parking locations and the stadium:
- Route 1 – McPhillips Street Station casino.
- Route 2 – Club Regent casino.
- Route 3 – St. Vital public works yard.
- Route 4 – Manitoba Hydro (820 Taylor Ave.)
- Route 5 – Assiniboia Downs.
- Route 6 – St. Norbert Hotel (3540 Pembina Hwy.)
- Route 7 – Garden City Centre.
- Route 8 – Kildonan Place.
Miller said fans are not upset about having to pay regular bus fare to go to games.
"The feedback that we got at our fan festival over the weekend was, 'I'm OK with paying for my ride to the stadium, so you go charge and make sure we have a football team that's going to be competitive on the field,'" he told CBC News.