Saint John Transit continues to enhance service beginning
December 27, 2022
FLEX on-demand service will replace Routes 13 and 14 Churchill/Milford on January 9, 2023
Guided by principles that considered Saint John’s people and geography, industry standards, passenger and stop data, route modelling, and a comprehensive study of the transit system conducted by Stantec. Service enhancements, new features and technology, and improved industry and system standards will make our transit service more financially and environmentally sustainable, and provide more Saint John residents with better and more accessible transportation options.
Route 1 East extension (December 27)
The Route 1 Rapid Line running between the City’s East and West Sides will extend to serve the Irving Oil Field House East. Lancaster Mall West will be the last stop on Route 1. Riders travelling between Lancaster Mall and Fairville Plaza on the Golden Mile can transfer to Route 15.
Route 15 Harbour Bridge route change (December 27)
Service on the Route 15 Harbour Bridge Community Line running between the West Side and Uptown via the Harbour Bridge will extend to serve Fairville Plaza. To accommodate this extension, Route 15 will now travel along Ludlow Street. Stops on Champlain, Charlotte, Duke Streets will close, and stops will be added on Ludlow Street. Temporary signage will be posted to announce closed stops.
FLEX is an on-demand service that goes to stops where it’s requested within a zone instead of following a fixed route. The new West FLEX zone will include all areas previously covered by Routes 13 and 14, will extend further west than the current bus service, and will offer longer hours of service.
To access FLEX, riders can use the SpareLabs app or simply call Transit to schedule a bus pickup at their nearest stop. Transit planners encourage Saint Johners with friends, family and neighbours who use Routes 13 and 14 to help them set up a Saint John Transit FLEX account and take advantage of this new transit service.
Riders can travel stop-to-stop within the West zone or transfer to Route 1 East at the Lancaster Mall or to Route 15 at the Lancaster Mall or Fairville Plaza.
Riders in the area will notice that several stops will close and new stops will be opened. Temporary signage will be posted.
Transit planners believe that FLEX will deliver better service for riders by allowing them to travel when they want. This service will be available all day from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Friday. FLEX service will be available from 10 am until 6 pm on Saturdays. The intent is to provide service within half an hour of a rider’s request.
Further information about FLEX West service will be provided on saintjohn.ca/transit and on buses in the coming weeks. “Pop up” events will also taking place to introduce riders to the service.
20-passenger electric buses
This past summer, Saint John Transit conducted a successful pilot of an electric Karzan Jest bus on various routes throughout the City. Residents can expect to see six of these late model, leased 20-passenger buses providing on-demand FLEX service and running on short community routes.
Service on Route 12 Martinon will operate as usual, including stops in the FLEX west zone.
Mid 2023 will see new technology and more enhancements
In 2023 riders will see further service enhancements. Enhancements are scheduled for early summer 2023. Enhancements will include streamlined community routes and the introduction of additional on-demand FLEX service zones.
Other service enhancements planned for 2023 include:
- Increased frequency on Rapid and Community Lines
- Electronic fares
- Automated stop announcements
- Wayfinding, signage and stop improvements
As of December 1, CNIB cardholders who present their cards to a upon boarding a bus can ride Saint John Transit for free. This is one of the service enhancements approved by the Saint John Transit Commission as part of the Transforming Transit project, and is designed to increase accessibility to the system.
This past October, service hours were also extended on Routes 9 and Routes 15. Common stops on Routes 3 and 9 now have 15-minute frequency during peak hours. Route 15 now begins two hours earlier in the morning.
To make our transit service more usable, digital displays on buses now indicate the direction in which a bus is travelling.
The Transforming Transit project is the result of a comprehensive study of the City’s transit system which was completed in 2020. Based on the results of the study, service enhancements and features were designed and developed to enable Saint John Transit to operate more sustainably, attract new riders and better serve current riders, adopt new technology, and introduce industry and system standards.