PEI

Stratford bus ridership plummets

The number of people riding the bus between Stratford and Charlottetown has dropped dramatically this spring.

People buying cars, says transit manager

Fewer people are riding the Stratford Connector. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The number of people riding the bus between Stratford and Charlottetown has dropped dramatically this spring.

April ridership was down 16 per cent, and it fell a further 22 per cent in May. That May drop represents 426 fewer passengers. Stratford Mayor David Dunphy is concerned.

"We want to make the transit system as successful as possible," said Dunphy.

"[We want to] find out why the numbers are down and address the issues."

Trius Transit owner Mike Cassidy was also alarmed by the dramatic drop in ridership. When he investigated he traced the problem back to a single company - CGI - the IT company at the foot of the Hillsborough Bridge in Stratford.

"With a major employer, CGI, in Stratford, it's unfortunate for me to say that they bought cars," said Cassidy.

"As soon as they start to buy the cars, in some cases car pooling, we are tracing the drop to a CGI change of the employees with cars versus using our public transit."

Cassidy said a plan is in the works to attract new customers across the whole system from Stratford to Cornwall. It involves clearer schedules, new routes, and a renaming of the business. That will all be rolled out in September.

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