New transit routes, fares and hours in place

Changes could be coming to Prince Albert’s bus service after the city’s transportation department head presented her findings and recommendations from the public transit consultation. Formal approval will have to wait until the next council meeting in August. -- Herald file photo.

Prince Albert residents can now ride the bus later in the evening.

New routes, longer hours and $25 monthly passes for seniors, students and children took effect Tuesday.

Transit will not run until 11:15 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Previously, the bus only ran until 7 p.m. The extended hours are a part of a four-month pilot project designed to increase use of the transit system.

The new $25 monthly passes for seniors, students and children are also in effect, making “transit a more affordable option for residents,” a media release from the city said.

Tuesday also marked the introduction of new transit routes. There are 140 stops along the six routes, which are streamlined to go to high traffic areas. The new routes were based on public consultations and were approved by city council.

“Areas such as major malls and shopping districts and express routes along 15th Avenue make going to work, school, shopping or your next medical appointment easy with P.A. transit,” transportation manager Keri Sapsford said.

Whether the extended hours will be continued beyond the pilot project depends on how many people take advantage of the evening buses.

“We’ll look at it and see whether people are riding it,” Sapsford said.

“If they are, we will try to get it in the budget for next year.”

The public consultations began back in January.

“We knew we needed to change some thing. People were asking for different thins so we wanted to take a look at the whole system, and see whether there was anything we could do better,” Sapsford said.