Metrobus to sell discounted taxi chits to customers affected by the strike

Daniel MacEachern
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Metrobus headquarters at Freshwater Road. — Telegram file photo

With the Metrobus Transit strike well past the two-month mark, the company’s latest move is selling discounted taxi chits.

Metrobus announced today that it will begin selling taxi chits to transit customers at a 50 per cent discount. General manager Judy Powell said details of the deal are still being worked out, including which taxi companies will be taking part, and how many chits will be for sale.

“They will be a predetermined amount, and we will be selling them to our customers at half-price,” she said. “So, essentially, if a taxi fare costs $15, for example, the customer would pay $15 but use their taxi chits which they got for half-price, so essentially it would be a $7.50 fare.”

Metrobus will start selling the chits on Wednesday through its online store at or over the phone at 722-9400.

Powell said the company will be buying chits from taxi companies at full price, adding that Metrobus is initiating the program to ease the financial burden of people affected by the transit strike.

“Metrobus is doing it in an attempt to provide some financial relief to our passengers who are experiencing difficulty during this strike,” she said. “We’ve heard from our customers, we know how difficult this has been for them, and we want to help with this financial hardship.”

Powell disagreed with the suggestion that the move might prolong the strike by making it easier for people to take taxis.

“I don’t believe that that will be the case. For us it’s about relieving some of the financial hardship,” she said. “It certainly doesn’t replace the bus system, and we know it’s not a perfect solution.”

Full details in The Weekend Telegram.

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Recent comments

  • Nat
    January 15, 2011 - 07:10

    Now this is just plain insulting. How about you use this money you're about to spend on taxi fares and use it at the bargaining table with the union? Completely unbelievable. Clearly the city just doesn't get it - we don't need cheaper taxi fares. WE NEED PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

  • Mundy
    January 15, 2011 - 06:31

    With this move my Metrobus, the Union is "toast" !!!!

  • Dennis hart
    January 15, 2011 - 05:33

    Here's a non car owner, single parent who works 50hrs a week, who hopes this drags on so next time they won't reject such a good offer!! Wait till they lose their jobs. Then ask them if this strike was a good thing! I wonder how long it takes to make up for months without a regular pay check?

  • Chris
    January 15, 2011 - 05:08

    You have to be joking. So metrobus has no revenue coming in and they are going to blow more money on providing half price taxi chits? The taxpayers of St John's must have piles of money to pay for this. This just blows my mind--who do they have in management making theses decisions?

  • Steven Beazer
    January 14, 2011 - 23:32

    This is crazyness, some of the striking bus drivers are driving taxi, Metrobus is defeating the purpose here. Keep them out longer, you people at Metrobus, the City, and the Union are complete jokes.This article cannot be real, tell me I'm on candid camera.

  • Jamie
    January 14, 2011 - 21:30

    This is an awesome idea..They did something very similar in Calgary many year's ago when their transit went on strike and they provided cab voucher's too the people. They had to show paystubs of what they earned monthly before they could get them. The line up was huge! Calgary's voucher's were free but 50 cent's per chit I defintely would pay...Finally someone stepped up the plate and did something and it shouldnt have taken this long.

    January 14, 2011 - 21:29


  • beast
    January 14, 2011 - 21:23

    Instead of doing crap like this, you guys should be working harder on getting the bus service back on the road.Judy must be nuts thinking this aint going to prolong the strike.People should not buy into this.Metrobus must be offering some kind of money to these taxi companies, money that could be put towards there workers.Then the mayor's big fix in all this is to do a great job cleaning the sidewalks which will cost even more money to the city. come on by give us a break and just get these busses back.

  • Sharon Putt
    January 14, 2011 - 20:46

    Well whoop-dee-doo.Selling chits at half price,That means it would only cost me about $40.00 back and forth to a hospital appointment rather than $80.00. I am off work on sick benefits.I can manage the bus fare but not the half priced chits! Please don't do me any favors.Then they will be selling them starting Wednesday.For crying out loud that's 5 days away!!! we want the strike over by then!!!!

  • sken
    January 14, 2011 - 20:26

    this is absolutely ridiculous. why are they spending money on cabs for people who could just be using the PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICE that we are supposed to have? disgusting that this has been allowed to happen and that this is even being considered a possibility, let alone put into place. what a waste of resources.

  • me
    January 14, 2011 - 20:21

    i am confused, they can do something like this, but they won't go back on the roads??? Wouldn't that ALMOST be easier?

  • Goulds Rulz
    January 14, 2011 - 18:38

    I'm going to George Street & getting my ride back to da Goulds for 1/2 price, yipppeeeeeeeeeeeee

    January 14, 2011 - 18:12

    Take the concessions off the table Judy Powell. You have already saved a half a million, by stranding your customers, which is a lot more then the unnecessary concessions are worth!! So now your selling your valued customers, taxi chits at half price!!! How commendable indeed!! Sort of like selling crutches to people whose legs you broke!! This has turned into a very cruel strike and bandaid solutions won't cut it. The concessions are the ONLY thing holding up this collective agreement. Put these drivers back to work by taking them off the table, or Resign!!

  • Randy
    January 14, 2011 - 17:34

    Yes bye, did you not just increase my taxes again for the third time in 4 years via mill rate increase and Property tax Assessments. Now you are going to pay half of everybodies cab fare, you people are nuts, all your buss drivers are now driving cabs. You have to go DOC, no more votes for you lets get Andy back.

  • mary
    January 14, 2011 - 16:51

    Judy Powell has to go. This is an unacceptable plan. What is wrong with the management at MetroBus. The chance of a discounted taxi trip is not a way to settle a strike or take care of affected citizens. MetroBus has failed the citizens of St. John's in how it has handled this strike. I'm poisoned.

  • trisha
    January 14, 2011 - 16:19

    It's about time that they wanna help people that are stuggling with the Metrobus. Like I take out over $200 dollars or more every two weeks on my paycheck to pay for cabs to work and home. So I wanted to say "Thanks for the help, so while we aren't stuggling, why don't you guys get back to the table and talk, so Metrobus can come back on the road,"

  • Steve
    January 14, 2011 - 15:44

    Another band-aid attempt at a solution from the city of St John's that will accomplish nothing other than prolong one of the lengthiest transit strikes in Canadian history.. .Why, oh why will they not just lobby the provincial government to impose binding arbitration? It's like being lost in the car with a husband who refuses to ask with directions.

  • roland of gilead
    January 14, 2011 - 15:39

    this is still a far cry from 2.25 for a fare to get somewhere, and i'm sure in the coming months we'll see a fare hike. that is IF these blockheads in the higher up of metrobus ever decide to do the necessary. the point here is that this is unskilled labour, and that anyone with an opportunity to do this job would jump at the chance, a temp agency i'm certain would fill these vacant drivers seats in a matter of moments. when you have employees that decide to strike then do not want to come to reconciliation talks, what do you do? if you've ever had people work under you like this the answer is simple. employees who do not want to work your employer can make this a reality, unless you work for metrobus, then you can not work and get paid, as well as do taxi jobs on the side to supplement your income.

  • Denise
    January 14, 2011 - 15:12

    Is this a joke? If Metrobus cared for one second about their passengers, they would have ended this strike a long time ago. Let me guess, they must be soon coming to a agreement with the strike, and are trying to get back into the good graces of the public!