New Brunswick

Riverview puts brakes on Codiac Transpo expansion plan

Riverview's decision to hold off on a planned transit expansion is not a setback, according to the chair of Codiac Transpo's governance committee.

Codiac Transit governance committee chair says taking time to study the situation a chance to 'get it right'

The Town of Riverview has decided to put its plans to expand public transit on hold for 2016. (CBC)

Riverview's decision to hold off on a planned transit expansion is not a setback, according to the chair of Codiac Transpo's governance committee.

Moncton Coun. Charles Leger said the town's move was "an opportunity for Riverview to get it right."

Riverview had been considering an overhaul to its transit service in 2016, but at a meeting on Saturday, decided to put plans to expand the service on hold, due to budget constraints and other spending priorities.

Riverview Mayor Ann Seamans said the town also wants to gather more information on ridership. 

Leger said on Information Morning Moncton that Riverview has been asking its residents what it would take to get more people to ride the bus and that shows a commitment to Codiac Transpo's service to the town.

If you make your bus system better, than people are going to take it.- Charles Leger, chair of Codiac Transpo governance committee

He said residents say they would like to have the buses run on schedule and more often, and they want better connections between the three municipalities. 

Leger said he feels strongly about the current system, but knows there is still room for improvement for the residents of Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview

"I'd eventually like to see a bus that would run every 15 minutes from Riverview into downtown Moncton and then make connections," he said.

Leger said Codiac Transpo continues to look at options to improve public transit in the area, including an idea to bring in more riders via high school students who may be able to take the city bus instead of the school bus, which could mean savings to the province.

"We are beginning to realize that [the] younger generation are not as dependent on the automobile as other generations are, [so] we have opportunities,"  Leger said. 

"If you make your bus system better, then people are going to take it."

Leger said the new downtown centre could also be an opportunity to give people the chance to ride the bus to events at the new stadium, as part of the price of the event ticket.

That could mean Riverview and Dieppe would create park-and-ride lots for bus users who don't want to take their vehicles downtown.

Leger said that as of September, ridership was up 3.7 per cent over last year, with a total ridership at about 1.3 million people annually.

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