First proposed in September, it went through a number of citizen panels and presentations before being fine tuned and presented to council.
Things must have gone well because the City of Brandon has just announced that effective January 1, 2012, the adult cash fare will decrease by 47%, from its current $2.15 to $1.15 and ticket prices will drop by 41%. Youth and Senior fares will decrease by 45% for both cash fares and tickets. (Here's the 2012 fee schedule.)
Now compare that to Winnipeg's strategy: 20 cent additional increase that Councillor Swandel pulled out of his fare box just before the EPC meeting. The expectation here is that ridership would remain the same or continue to grow, resulting in Transit raking in additional cash.
I'm interested to see how the competing fare strategies work out.
That's it, I'm buying my own pirate bus !
As someone who has lived in, or just outside, downtown for 20 years I have often wondered what effect a lower fare would have. It's rarely worth it, (at least in my mind), to take a $4.90 round trip when going downtown to meet someone for lunch or doing other short-term errands when my gas use is minimal any my parking, at worst, will be $3 or $4. (Winnipeg Girl sums up the same idea in this post post from earlier this year.)
We'll get to see how Brandon's riders react.
P.S. - it's been pointed out to me on Twitter of this post that doing away with the free transfer may prove a hard pill to swallow due to the hub an spoke system BT uses. (Note, though, the fare reduction is almost in half so for single transfer users the fare remains essentially the same.)
Brandon Transit system stats Canadian Transit Systems