Nova Scotia

Metro Transit plans bus pass giveaway

The Halifax Regional Municipality's transit service plans to offer free bus passes and other incentives this fall to drive up ridership.

Bus, ferry service hurt by six-week strike

Metro Transit wants to lure riders back. (CBC)

The Halifax Regional Municipality's transit service plans to offer free bus passes and other incentives this fall to drive up ridership.

Metro Transit officials say revenues were down four per cent in April compared to the same month last year, following the six-week strike in February and March.

"We did anticipate there would be some drop due to people finding other ways to travel due to the strike," said Tiffany Chase, spokeswoman for Metro Transit.

Metro Transit offered free rides for two weeks after the strike, in addition to extending bus passes.

It's planning another campaign for September.

"We would be looking at running a marketing campaign that would include contests to win free bus passes and things of that nature to give people an incentive to get back on board," Chase said.

More than 700 Metro Transit employees walked off the job on Feb. 2 to back their contract demands, leaving tens of thousands of people without bus or ferry service.

A tentative deal with Local 508 of the Amalgamated Transit Union was reached on March 11. It was ratified a few days later.

With files from the CBC's Rob North

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