Ladies and gents, the last bus is back. Upcoming changes to the Fredericton Transit bus schedule will include an extension of its service hours.
This past September, Fredericton Transit made a few changes to its operations that included a fare increase and the removal of the last available buses on routes commonly used by students. These routes included 11S Prospect and 17S Regent.
“We’re extending some service at night to better serve people serving the mall,” said Darren Barker, operations foreman for Fredericton Transit. “When we made the changes back in September we didn’t think it would inconvenience people as bad as it did because the mall closes at 9 p.m.”
Four new night-time bus runs will be added. Routes 11S Prospect and 13S Prospect will now leave King’s Place for their final run to the Regent Mall/Corbett Centre at 10:15 p.m. Routes 12N Brookside and 14N Barker’s Point will also leave King’s Place at this time to go to the north side of the city.
However, in order to add more night-time runs to the schedule, some morning runs had to be removed.
“It’s a give-and-take relationship there. We listened to what people had to say and we made the changes,” said Barker.
Routes 13S Prospect and 17S Regent will now stop their morning runs from Kings Place at 9:45 a.m. rather than 10:45 a.m., as every other bus has already been doing. Route 13S Prospect will also change its departure time from Kings Place from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
“It was two runs that weren’t really heavily used anyway,” Barker said.
More changes to route timing will be announced by the end of the year.
Although the forthcoming schedule changes will be welcome to students, some are saying there is still work to be done.
Jordyn Meade-Baxter, a second-year student at STU, although pleased with the opportunity to take the last bus is good for students, would like to see even more changes with the transit schedule.
“I don’t think the [17S Regent] should stop their morning run where they are one [of the buses] that goes to campus. It gives students less opportunities to get to school,” he said.
Meade-Baxter also said that all buses, not just 11S Prospect and 13S Prospect, should have late buses travelling to and from the mall for students who hold jobs outside of campus.
“The biggest change I think they need is to make the Saturday runs also run on Sundays. Students who work can’t always afford to cab to and from their jobs, and some are only available to work on weekends,” Meade-Baxter said.
The route schedule isn’t the only change coming to city transit in the New Year. There will be changes to pricing as well.
Single cash fares will increase from $2.50 per ride to $2.75 per ride. Monthly passes for students will go up from $45 to $55, and monthly passes for adults will increase from $70 to $80.