nb-si-saint-john-council

Saint John council and staff have resorted to cutting services to deal with pension fund deficit. (CBC)

Saint John Transit announced cuts Monday as part of the city's efforts to deal with a $129-million pension fund deficit.

Some routes will be eliminated and some will be reduced on evenings and weekends.

Earlier this year, four transit jobs were eliminated through attrition. At around Christmastime another dozen drivers and maintenance workers will lose their jobs.

Regular transit users expressed worry about lengthened commutes and depleted service.

"I'll probably have to take a taxi or have one of my grown children try to get [me] a drive back and forth to the area that I'm working," said Deborah Soucy, who already commutes 1.5 hours to and from work each day.

"It would impact me quite a bit," she said.

Every Saint John city service has been instructed to freeze spending.

Christopher Titus, Chair of Saint John Transit Commission, said the city was left with little choice.

"We've been faced with this problem and we're trying to deal with it but clearly when you have to reduce budgets in most municipal and or provincial arrangements it's employees who unfortunately bear the brunt," he said.

"It's not a pleasant task, but it's a task that we have to deal with and we've gone through every sort of option that we could go through and this is the only one that we could come up with," said Titus.