After months without public transit, Moncton buses will be back in service Monday morning.
The City of Moncton had locked out about 80 bus drivers, mechanics and service people since June 27.
After the city of Moncton and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1290 reached a deal in November, employees have been working non-stop to get buses ready for the roads, much to the relief of customers.
Codiac Transpo says the new service will see more buses on 30-minute loops, reduced travel times, shorter waits at transfer points and the ability to expand or contract routes based on rider demand trends.
"It'll be chaotic, I mean all hands on deck tomorrow. Our drivers will be coming in and picking up their schedules and getting their pre-trip inspections done on their buses and getting ready to roll in a safe manner," said Marie Claire Pierce, Codiac Transpo's senior transit planner.
Pierce said she hopes people will be patient with them while they work out the kinks.
The following routes will start running on Dec. 17:
- 50 Red Line (Northwest Centre to Champlain Place via Wheeler Blvd.)
- 51 Green Line (Mountain Road service)
- 52 Blue Line (Main Street service)
- 60 Bessborough
- 61 Elmwood
- 63 Lewisville
- 64 Hospitals
- 81 Riverview
- 91 Champlain
- 92 Amirault
To help sweeten the deal for past riders, and to possibly gain more, Codiac Transpo is offering free rides until the end of January.
For riders like Norah Thompson it will be a relief to have a reliable way around the city again.
"I'm pretty excited about it, I've been doing a lot of walking the five months it's been off," she said. "I'm really looking forward to getting on the bus again."
Thompson said she's looking forward to returning to areas not in walking distance from her home.