Fredericton plans overhaul of transit system
Routes to outlying areas of the city would be scrapped to increase frequency of buses elsewhere
Fredericton is proposing significant changes to its transit service that would see the elimination of certain routes, taking buses off the street earlier at night but increasing the service during peak times.
The changes are designed to boost bus service to the heaviest populated areas of the city without adding any extra cash into the transit system.
"It is a move from driving past as many houses as possible to picking up as many passengers as possible. City council really wants to hear what transit users and the public think about of the proposed new system."
Public open house sessions are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday where Tony Hay, the city's transit manager, and other transit staff will answer questions.
Tuesday's open house is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Willie O'Ree Centre. Another public meeting will be held Thursday at the Grant-Harvey Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Under the proposed changes, the transit routes to Silverwood, Lincoln and to Lower St. Mary's would be eliminated.
Bus service would end earlier at night, with buses coming off the road between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., instead of 11:30 p.m.
The changes would mean a minimum of hourly service on all routes, with service every half hour during peak hours on weekdays. There would no longer be a two-hour gap in service between 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
Saturday service would not change. There is no mention in the plan of starting Sunday bus service.
The city says the changes would mean increased transit frequency in the areas of the city with the heaviest population, with no new money required to run the service.
A new system of numbering the routes would be introduced, using even numbers for northbound buses the odd numbers for southbound buses.
It it estimated the new schedule will result in 98 per cent of the city's homes being within 500 metres of a bus stop.
The annual operating budget for Fredericton Transit was $3.8 million in 2014, with revenue projections of $1.7 million.
The city's target is for the transit system to recover 40 per cent of its cost, which city officials say is in keeping with Canadian cities of the same size.