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Transit in Sudbury celebrates 50 years of service with free rides

To celebrate half a century of municipal transit service, residents in Greater Sudbury can ride the buses free of charge Sept. 28. (Lyndsay Aelick/CTV News) To celebrate half a century of municipal transit service, residents in Greater Sudbury can ride the buses free of charge Sept. 28. (Lyndsay Aelick/CTV News)
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To celebrate half a century of municipal transit service, residents in Greater Sudbury can ride the buses free of charge Sept. 28.

Brendan Adair, the city's director of transit services, said the goal is to get more people using the bus.

“I really am hopeful that people will see transit as something that they can use on a regular basis and that automobile traffic will decrease," Adair said.

"It will benefit us by reducing traffic, reducing pollution,” added Tracy Gour, member of the Friends of Sudbury Transit group.

Getting more people using the bus will help reduce greenhouse gases, as is the city's hope to convert its fleet from diesel to electric. A feasibility study will provide many answers, Adair said.

"It looks at things like ridership, topography and our temperature -- and that’s a big thing here in Sudbury," he said.

The goal is to come up with "a plan that we can then bring to council for a recommendation to eventually transfer through to battery electric buses and that aligns with our seat plan that envisions us being fully electric by 2035.”

Adair said about 14,000 people a day currently ride the bus every day, about 80 per cent of ridership before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That means people have come back and people trust the system," he said.

"We understand that there is now people who work from home and travel patterns have changed since the pandemic, so we’re looking to engage those new riders and help them in the new system.”

While ridership numbers are improving, Adair said staff is always looking at ways to improve the service.

“I’d love to be able to get on and connect to Wi-Fi," he said.

"I’d love to be able to get on and not have to carry money.”

The transit service is looking into the possibility of an app that would it make it easier for riders to better understand the bus service as a whole.

For more information on Free Transit Day click here.

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