Trius bus. FILE PHOTO
STRATFORD — Buses in Stratford could be free to the public for a day or even a week in September.
Those are a couple of the ideas two Stratford councillors have come up with to boost the town’s transit service.
Steve Ogden and Emile Gallant were asked by Mayor David Dunphy to develop some ideas to raise the awareness about the system in order to increase ridership.
Ogden and Gallant enlisted the help of staff and transit users to come up with the following suggestions:
- Have a take transit free week in September to allow people an opportunity to try the system.
- Have a take the transit free day on the system’s anniversary.
- Establish a buddy system to have someone available to help residents learn and become comfortable with the bus and, possibly, a reduced rate for current users who bring a friend.
- Identify areas for signage to help explain the routes better.
- Use social media and the town newsletter to promote the cost savings of taking the bus.
- Create a campaign to set and track a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by taking the bus.
Ogden and Gallant also recommended routes be reviewed with the operator to see if any of them can be tweaked to increase ridership.
At present, ridership is approximately 85 people per day although Dunphy would like to see an average of 125 riders a day.
“I am pleased to see progress in making residents more aware of this valuable service,’’ Dunphy said. “I hope that this will encourage more residents to use the service to reduce their cost and their environmental footprint.’’
There will also be an investigation, with the operator, into trial runs to service areas of town that aren’t covered now.
Residents who would like to see transit in their area are invited to contact the town and let staff know where they are going, when they need to be there and when they would be returning.