The City of St. John's and Metrobus are boasting about some big numbers during the two-week free ride period that followed the state of emergency in the capital city.
From Saturday, Jan. 25 to Friday, Feb. 7, there were estimated 172,560 Metrobus rides, compared with an average of 125,012 for the same time period in 2019.
Overall, average ridership was 38 per cent higher than the same period in 2019.
- 14,650 rides during weekdays, up 38.3 per cent
- 8,972 rides on Saturdays, up 44.7 per cent
- 4,056 rides on Sundays, up 21 per cent
On Jan 24, the City of St. John’s announced a two-week free ride period for Metrobus and GoBus following the State of Emergency.— City of St. John's (@CityofStJohns) February 19, 2020
During the free ride period, ridership for Metrobus was up 38%* over avg ridership in 2019.
Details: https://t.co/lZtZWVJBoI pic.twitter.com/HOslssKZpu
“We are pleased to see that individuals took advantage of the free ride period and used public transit following the State of Emergency, which we hope also reflects a reduction of vehicles and pedestrians on our roads as the clean-up continued,” coun. Ian Froude, council lead for public works and Chair of the St. John’s Transportation Commission, stated in a press release.
“We certainly hope that availing of Metrobus was a positive experience for any new riders as we would like to see this trend continue throughout the winter and all of 2020. Public transit is an economical, environmentally sustainable and easy way to get around St. John’s and we are pleased that people took advantage of the opportunity to ride for free.”
In total, the two-week free ride program cost the City of St. John’s an additional $250,000.
The city the recent Public Transit Review has led to other improvements on the way, including free transit for children under the age of twelve starting March 1; implementation of a new pilot service to Galway starting March 2; and, starting this September, the implementation of a ‘Frequent Transit Network’ that will see an increase in frequency and extended service into the evening hours on five major routes.