Travelers and workers at the St. John's International Airport will have a new option to get them to the airport starting next year.
Metrobus will begin servicing the airport on Jan. 2 by changing its route in the Airport Heights area of St. John's.
'It's another opportunity to grow and develop and advance Metrobus.' - Ron Ellsworth
Starting in January, Route 14 will add a stop on World Parkway at the airport.
"The challenge for us previously was getting into the airport and getting out based on the network on the inside, but with the changes done by the airport authority our bus can now easily get in and out," said Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth, also a city transit commission member.
"The bus that now services Airport Heights will now swing in through the airport and back to the university which is an exchange point. So it's another opportunity to continue to grow and develop and advance Metrobus."
Buses will drive from the airport and back to the university via Torbay Road and Newfoundland Drive.
A 'natural change'
Metrobus general manager Judy Powell said expanding service to the airport was a "natural change" that will come at no additional operational cost.
Powell said it's difficult to please everyone with a new route, but expects the airport stops will mostly be used by locals heading to and from work.
"In reality, you will get some people that are flying in and out that will use the service, but for the most part, it'll be people working in and around the area," she said.
Powell said the service will run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, which wouldn't accommodate late night and early morning flights.
She said Metrobus has a long-term vision of the route, which will run for at least a year.
Route will become wheelchair accessible
Route 14 will also become wheelchair accessible in January. It will be the sixth route to add wheelchair service in the city.
"This service offers another ground transportation option for passengers to access the airport, as well as supports the growing number of employees working both in the terminal building and at the businesses located on airport land," wrote airport spokeswoman Marie Manning in a release.
One of the new bus stops will be located near the arrivals area of the airport terminal building, while another will be located at the nearby Holiday Inn on World Parkway.
Ellsworth said so far he hasn't heard any complaints from the taxi industry about how the new service might affect its business.