Full fares went into effect Friday after more than a month of free rides offered by Codiac Transpo following a five-month lockout last year.
The bus company also announced a few changes to two routes that will take effect on Sunday:
- #50 — Red Line Will no longer travel on Trinity Drive. On the trip from Champlain Place, the bus will now travel on Mapleton Road and Plaza Boulevard to the Northwest Centre. The company said stops will be located near Wal-Mart and the bus shelter near Winners. After leaving the Northwest Centre to return to Champlain Place, the bus will travel on Plaza Boulevard.
- #71 — Coliseum People who live around Westbrook Circle have a new bus stop to replace the Berry Mills Road bus stop. The company said the route will now turn off Berry Mills Road and stop at the small street parallel to Berry Mills, located between Bingham Drive and Jonathan Avenue.
The company said ridership is gradually improving but admits not everyone is pleased with the new system.
The city offered Codiac Transpo users free rides in order to get people back on the buses and boost the public's confidence in the city's transit system following the lengthy lockout.
Codiac Transpo spokesperson Marie-Claire Pierce said many of their customers are asking why more direct routes linking all three communities were not part of the new bus service.
Pierce said their hands are tied — Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe own and operate their own buses separately.
"Basically if you get on the buses in Dieppe, the revenue from that bus stays within the Dieppe revenue source," she said.
Denise Babineau said the new bus routes are still not efficient. It takes her 50 minutes to get to work and an hour and a half to get back home.
"I don't understand why it takes so long to go from point A to point B," she said.
Babineau lives in Riverview and works in Dieppe, a 10 minute drive by car. Yet, she said she still has to catch a transfer to get to and from work.
"If they had a direct bus from Riverview to Champlain Mall that would be awesome," said Babineau.
Pierce said the company has set up a tri-community committee to come up with a way to share costs and resources so the buses can run straight through Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe.
But she said it's a complicated undertaking because it would require the entire governance of the bus service to change.
Until then, Pierce said transfers will remain.