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Yarmouth’s transit service seeing upward trend in passenger numbers

The Town of Yarmouth’s public transit bus on Thursday, Jan. 3, during one of its regular stops.
The Town of Yarmouth’s public transit bus on Thursday, Jan. 3, during one of its regular stops. - Eric Bourque

Service has new bus; town would have liked first one to last a bit longer, mayor says

It’s coming up on three years since the Town of Yarmouth launched its new public transit service and the passenger numbers are climbing, which is good news, says Mayor Pam Mood.

Ridership for 2018 was 1,500 passengers per month on average, she said.

The service also has a new bus, the mayor saying they had hoped the first vehicle would have lasted a little longer.

The mayor said she didn’t have a figure for the amount of time the service’s first bus was off the road due to mechanical issues.

“We don’t have accurate information for the down time on the old bus, but I’ll just say that it was far more than anybody would have preferred,” she said.

She acknowledged that transit vehicles tend not to have great lifespans anyway, given the amount of work they do and the kilometres they rack up.

“The buses don’t last long because they’re on the road so many hours, carrying heavy loads, starts and stops,” she said.

The new vehicle cost $130,991, plus HST.

As for the number of people using the transit service, the mayor says the town is pleased.

“Yes, absolutely,” she said. “It’s just a tremendous addition to the town and the services that we offer our citizens. It is getting a lot of people out of their homes that wouldn’t normally get out and about, especially in the winter. People are really happy with the service.”

Feb. 1 will be the third anniversary of the service, which was launched on that date in 2016. The town had been without a transit service since the spring of 2014, when the previous operator had ceased operating.

Mayor Mood says she hears from people who are thankful for the service.

The bus regularly stops at key locations throughout the town.

“We do the seniors homes and all the main stops, (including) the hospital, the mall, the downtown,” the mayor said. “All those things are important.”

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