Codiac Transpo offers free rides to high school students
Moncton is spending $40,000 on promotions to boost bus ridership numbers
High school students in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe will be able to ride Codiac Transpo buses for free for the summer in a bid to boost ridership.
The campaign to increase youth ridership numbers starts on July 2 and goes until Aug. 31.
The Moncton-area students can get on Codiac Transpo buses without plunking down $2.25 simply by showing their student ID cards.
Heather Ouellette, a high school student, said she uses the bus to get around regularly.
"I think it's a really good idea it does save a lot of money for people who do take the bus a lot," she said.
Nicole Melanson, a city official, said the ridership campaign makes sense because it is encouraging young people to take the bus.
"They are the future generation, they're environmentally conscious," Melanson said.
"We actually have bike racks on the buses that they can also make use of to get to a bus stop near their home so we're hoping to cultivate that use of public transportation for future generations."
Melanson said the city transit service has already received number of questions about the program.
"Even the calls we've been getting from teenagers themselves or the parents asking "OK, so my son would like to go from here to here, how do we do that?" she said.
"[They're] learning to navigate the systems so this is all exactly what we're hoping will happen."
Transit service seeks to boost ridership
Back in March, Marie-Claire Pierce, Codiac Transpo's senior transit planner, said she hoped to see ridership increase by two per cent.
On average, 6,600 people take the bus every day in Moncton.
In December, $40,000 was removed from Codiac Transpo's fuel budget to be used for promotions.
Free rides were offered for a week in June to encourage riders to try the bus.
Moncton taxpayers subsidize Codiac Transpo. During budget deliberations last December, Mayor George LeBlanc said for every $1 collected by Codiac Tranpo in fares, the city is pumping in more than $3.
The goal of these promotions is to boost ridership, which will gradually reduce how much the city has to subsidize the transit service.
Samantha Meunier is a regular bus user in Moncton. She said her motivation to use the bus is pretty simple.
"Money that you save. I use if for work and it's great," she said.