Thursday, March 04, 2010

Transit use in the CRD, how to boost it


The people that commute at the moment are the firm base for BC Transit in this region. What BC Transit needs to do is bring more people onto the buses that are not using it at the moment. Here are some ideas:

  • Sell day passes on the buses. With the sort of fare boxes that are used by Translink, this would be a very easy task to do. Even without, it would mean selling a dated day pass in manner similar to transfers.
  • Drop the price for a day pass to $5 for adults and have just one price for them.
  • Drop the rate to $2 a ride - the extra money generated by the extra 25 cents now (50 cents as of April 1st) does not strike me as worth it when compared to a simple $2 fare one could advertise to attract riders. If this is too much, offer Sundays and Tuesdays as $2 ride days. The idea is ease of use and a sense of value for money.
  • Distribute free day passes for one Saturday each month. If you give them out to everyone in the region, there are people who may choose to try the bus. If there is a worry that too many people would get free rides that would pay, it could be tied to the name on the bill that is paying the transit levy. The coupon for the free ride could be in the bill envelope.
  • Have as many bus stops as possible have real time information on when the next bus is coming. Casual users avoid buses because they do not know when the bus will come. The easier it is to see when the next bus is coming, the more casual users will board the bus.
  • Developing a smart phone ap that allows people to know access information on buses. Translink has a good one that could be emulated So many people have smart phones now that it does not make sense not to make use of them. This will help the casual user make use of the buses. It will also feel like more value for money to the public.
  • Offer to sell permanent bus passes. have the cost deducted from an account or credit card each month or allow payment for up to a year at a time. Essentially this is the sort of bus pass that is available for youth, though they have to buy if for at least six months at a time.
The people most easily convinced to use transit are already on the buses. It is important to get people to try the buses that do not use them and to make it easier for people to be casual users of the bus.
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