With the five-month-long lockout now behind it, Codiac Transpo rolled out a series of new changes to its routes and service on Thursday.
Angela Allain, the acting general manager of Codiac Transpo, said the changes are in response to various consultation initiatives with citizens in greater Moncton.
The new service will see more buses being 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.
The city hopes the changes will help boost ridership.
The commitment to 30-minute loops is a reduction from the 90-minute loops the buses used to run on, according to the transit service.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to love that one, that is nice. That way I don't have to wait," said bus user Brenda Curwin, whose top complaint about the old service was wait times.
'I can't wait for them to be up and running, to go for a ride just to see.' —Brenda Curwin, bus user
"After I seen the routes, nobody has to wait. They can hop from one bus to the next," she said.
"I can't wait for them to be up and running, to go for a ride just to see."
The new bus network will have 19 routes instead of 23, said Marie-Claire Pierce, a senior transit planner with Codiac Transpo.
"You might say, 'Well jeez, that's not as many service areas.' But really, we're touching on all the service areas and more," she said.
Three main routes — the red line, the green line, and the blue line — will run every 15 minutes, said Pierce.
Full service by end of January
Some bus stops will also be relocated, she said.
"People may have to walk a bit further to get to their bus, because it may not be going to their front door any more. But in order to streamline the system, we had to make some significant changes."
Most people in greater Moncton will have a bus stop within 500 metres of their home, Codiac Transpo officials said.
Partial service will be rolled out before Christmas and all buses will be back on the road by the end of January.
The city has already promised that residents will be able to ride the buses for free for a period of time.
"We sincerely welcome our customers back to this system we’ve redesigned to make their travel more efficient and effective," the acting general manager said in a statement. "We’ve really worked hard to give them what they’re looking for," Allain said.
Codiac Transpo ended its lengthy lockout last Friday after the union and city council agreed to a new contract.
The 9.2-year collective agreement includes an average annual increase of 2.58 per cent.