Thanks to the Welland Tribune for the following.
A recent report to Port Colborne council on the merits of a free transit system has now been shelved. As much as we support transit in the city, we're not sure a free transit system was something worth pursuing. free bus rides sounds like a great idea and all, but we feel it under values the importance of public transit.
The cost of a bus ride is a bargain for people who need to get across the city to do business. Most people can afford the fare and don't expect it to be free. What perhaps would be better than a free service is to offer vouchers or coupons to those who truly cannot afford the price of a ride.
It is in keeping with the idea that those who can pay should and those who can't pay shouldn't have to. Offering the service for free may have helped to increase ridership but it might have opened up the doors to other problems - such as the need for more buses to handle the growth. That would have increased costs on a free system and put the burden on the taxpayer. That might have made transit less popular come budget time.
Better in the long run to grow the system slowly and steadily based on true ridership numbers.