Fredericton Para Transit Service Improvements Grows Ridership, Fixed-Route Accessibility Plan Update Provided

Fredericton Para Transit service improvement policies have significantly increased ridership and trips booked for the service since their implementation in 2016.  The latest improvement numbers were reported as part of a broader Para Transit and Accessible Fixed-Route service update given to members of the City’s Transportation Committee today.

New service policies for Para Transit introduced in 2016 included plans to reduce no-shows and last minute cancellations, the inclusion of persons with cognitive challenges, and established 15-minute passenger pick-up window to ensure on-time pick-ups.  The 2017 expansion of supplemental taxi service for semi-ambulatory passengers (passengers who are able to get into and out of standard-sized vehicles), to include service vans for non-ambulatory passengers (passengers who are unable to walk and require wheelchairs of other mobility-aid devices), allowed for expanded service capacity.

Two years later, numbers indicate these policies have resulted in significant service improvements.  Trips booked and provided, and clients served have increased; and trip cancellations have decreased, allowing Para Transit to regularly service 135 new clients.

Specifically, Para Transit clients have increased from 288 in 2016 to 423 clients served in 2018; Para Transit trips provided increased from 12,515 in 2016 to 15, 556 trips provided in 2018; and Para Transit cancellations decreased from 3,657 in 2016 to 3,022 trips cancelled in 2018.  

Accessibility service improvements were also completed to the Fixed-Route Transit Service.  Deployment ramps were installed on the entire fixed-route fleet, allowing these buses to service passengers using mobility aids. As of 2019, 10 out of 12 transit routes meet the minimum accessibility requirement of being 50% accessible and/or ramp deployable. Twenty-seven of Fredericton’s 683 transit stops also received accessibility upgrades between 2017 and 2018, by either adding accessible waiting areas, shifting stop locations to be accessible to nearby trail connections, or installing sidewalk extensions.

As a next step in the improvement process, Fredericton Transit has announced a spring / summer 2019 pilot project with Ability NB to begin allowing semi and non-ambulatory passengers who previously could not use the Fixed-Route system to take transit.  City staff will work with Ability NB during the coming months to develop policies, procedures, training, and education for Transit Operators, current and prospective passengers, and the general public, about these beneficial changes to Fredericton’s transit service.  Additional accessible curb and shelter installations will follow in summer 2019.  An official launch of the City’s accessible fixed-route Transit service is expected in the Fall of 2019.  Details on the upcoming collaboration and official launch will be released as they become available.

These accessibility improvements provide greater independence, allow for better access to employment and education services, and enhance social inclusion and opportunities for people with disabilities and limited mobility.  Improvements will allow more passengers to use Fredericton’s Fixed-route Transit Service, leaving more capacity for Para Transit to service those with more limited mobility.

For more information on the City’s Para Transit Services and Fixed-Route Transit Services please contact Fredericton Transit at 506-460-2200 or visit www.frederictontransit.ca.

About Fredericton’s Para Transit Service

Para Transit operates to serve any person who resides within the city of Fredericton whose mobility of cognitive ability prevents them from using regular fixed-route transit service.  Pre-registration is required and trips are prioritized for employment, medical and education purposes, and must be within city limits.  Neither age or financial need is considered when assessing eligibility for use.