MEDIA RELEASE (May 15, 2018) On October 2, 2017, the Town of Fort Erie launched an enhanced transit system with the assistance of a newly formed Transit Advisory Committee (TAC). TAC met regularly over the past seven months and provided feedback to Staff regarding changes that were made to the transit system. The changes included:
- Expanded routes in Fort Erie, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach
- Additional route to Stevensville and Black Creek
- Connections to Niagara Falls, Brock University and Niagara College
- New main transit hub located at the Municipal Centre
- Expanded hours from 6am to 9pm on all routes
- New pre-paid smart cards available for purchase onboard
- Audio and visual pre-boarding and onboard announcements of routes and stops
- New Fort Erie Transit website (fetransit.ca), which includes real-time bus times, up-to-date transit alerts and detours, and trip planning capabilities.
Prior to making changes, multiple focus groups and a public survey were completed in order to build the framework behind new transit routes and schedules. While the changes were meant to provide greater service to a broader ridership, the new route times and schedules didn’t meet the needs of the overall ridership according to feedback received from TAC.
“The data shows that our ridership has dropped significantly over the last two quarters when compared to last year’s averages. As soon as we saw that the numbers were starting to decline, we decided to take action. The riders were quite clear with their feedback – the two-directional routes and the timing of the buses no longer worked with their schedules,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop and TAC Member.
On April 26, TAC recommended changing the bus routes from the two-way loop system back to a one-way loop system in order to put the buses back on a one-hour bus schedule. A one-way loop system is when buses run continuously in the same direction whereas a two-way loop system means buses run continuously in opposite directions. The recommendation will apply to the East, West and North routes. In addition, TAC recommended that the Town continue with the current routes (rather than go back to the old routes) with the option to modify them as needed in the future.
Changes to the transit system are expected to be finalized by August 2018. Updates will be provided onboard the bus, through social media and on www.fetransit.ca.
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Contact: Janine Tessmer, Communications Advisor