THUNDER BAY — The city transit division hopes to increase adult ridership over the long run by making it easier for children and youths to ride the bus.
Starting Friday, it's expanding the age range for children to ride free from the current five years old and under to 12 and under.
In addition, the discounted monthly pass for youths will now be available to anyone from 13 to 24 instead of six to 18.
Transit manager Brad Loroff says that during a review of the fare schedule, an attempt was made to make public transportation more accessible to young adults and families.
"There's also a lot of evidence we've come across through our research that says Thunder Bay teens and young adults are looking for affordable ways to travel throughout the city to pursue jobs, and so on," Loroff said in an interview.
He added that in the long run this will create opportunities to increase adult ridership by reducing the total cost of transit for families.
Loroff said transit officials will be closely monitoring the impact of the changes.
Thunder Bay Transit is implementing a fare increase on April 1, but only for adult monthly passes.
The cost will rise from $77.50 to $80.
As of Friday, it will also be easier for all riders to use a transfer, as the window for getting another bus will expand from 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
More information is available on the transit website.