Public Transit Operational Review

image of a Metrobus, bus stop and bench

Council announces Metrobus enhancements as part of Budget 2020


We’re looking at our city’s Metrobus and GoBus (including accessible taxi) services to improve service delivery and we need your input!

The City of St. John’s has engaged Dillon Consulting Limited to assist in a review of transit services, both Metrobus and GoBus, in order to provide direction for transit that best reflects the needs, values, and priorities of the community.

The review is being funded in partnership with the Government of Canada through its Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

These directions will guide how transit is planned, implemented, and funded

Council announces Metrobus enhancements as part of Budget 2020


We’re looking at our city’s Metrobus and GoBus (including accessible taxi) services to improve service delivery and we need your input!

The City of St. John’s has engaged Dillon Consulting Limited to assist in a review of transit services, both Metrobus and GoBus, in order to provide direction for transit that best reflects the needs, values, and priorities of the community.

The review is being funded in partnership with the Government of Canada through its Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

These directions will guide how transit is planned, implemented, and funded over the next five to ten years.


What is being reviewed?

This review will evaluate conventional and specialized transit in St. John’s provided by Metrobus and GoBus respectively and will recommend improvements to the frequency of service, route design, operating hours, and passenger amenities that are the most beneficial and cost effective for the residents of St. John’s.

The project has been divided into several phases that will each include some form of engagement to ensure that there are opportunities to provide input into all facets of the project from initial vision to final recommendations.

  • Budget 2020 - Public Transit

    3 months ago

    Council announced Budget 2020 on December 2, 2019 which included an update on Public Transit Review and recommendations on conventional and para-transit systems. The following excerpts are taken from the Speaking Notes of Councillor Dave Lane, lead councillor for the Finance and Administration portfolio.

    Starting March 2, we will kick off the following Metrobus enhancements:

    ● implementation of a new pilot service to Galway;

    ● free transit for children under the age of twelve; and

    ● starting September 7, implementation of phase one of a Frequent Transit Network, ensuring all four of our “backbone” routes -- 1, 2, 3, and 10 -- have 15 and 30 minute headways and service into the evening hours.

    Thanks in part to an ongoing, 16-month trend of ridership growth to date, the operating grant to Metrobus decreases 0.6% over 2019 to $13.82 million in 2020. GoBus increases to $4.52 million, an 11.6% increase over 2019. Together they total $18.34 million in 2020.

    The City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely. The Public Transit Review is identified in the Our City, Our Future 2019 Action Plan under the goal to create a sustainable and accessible public transportation system.


    Council announced Budget 2020 on December 2, 2019 which included an update on Public Transit Review and recommendations on conventional and para-transit systems. The following excerpts are taken from the Speaking Notes of Councillor Dave Lane, lead councillor for the Finance and Administration portfolio.

    Starting March 2, we will kick off the following Metrobus enhancements:

    ● implementation of a new pilot service to Galway;

    ● free transit for children under the age of twelve; and

    ● starting September 7, implementation of phase one of a Frequent Transit Network, ensuring all four of our “backbone” routes -- 1, 2, 3, and 10 -- have 15 and 30 minute headways and service into the evening hours.

    Thanks in part to an ongoing, 16-month trend of ridership growth to date, the operating grant to Metrobus decreases 0.6% over 2019 to $13.82 million in 2020. GoBus increases to $4.52 million, an 11.6% increase over 2019. Together they total $18.34 million in 2020.

    The City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely. The Public Transit Review is identified in the Our City, Our Future 2019 Action Plan under the goal to create a sustainable and accessible public transportation system.


  • Public Transit Review: Final Report

    4 months ago

    The Public Transit Review final report by Dillon Consulting has been presented to City Council and available here.

    Before changes are implemented, the report is being referred to the Transportation Commission for its consideration and guidance on what recommendations should be prioritized.

    There were two phases of public engagement during the review. Improvements identified by respondents included shorter travel time, more reliable service, increased frequency, longer service hours, shorter walks to bus stops, lower fares, more accessible service, and greater use of technology.

    The report recommends a five-year strategic review to stay relevant to industry trends, operating environment and customer experience. Highlights of the review, including key recommendations are in the backgrounder.

    The City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely. The Public Transit Review is identified in the Our City, Our Future 2019 Action Plan under the goal to create a sustainable and accessible public transportation system.

    The Public Transit Review final report by Dillon Consulting has been presented to City Council and available here.

    Before changes are implemented, the report is being referred to the Transportation Commission for its consideration and guidance on what recommendations should be prioritized.

    There were two phases of public engagement during the review. Improvements identified by respondents included shorter travel time, more reliable service, increased frequency, longer service hours, shorter walks to bus stops, lower fares, more accessible service, and greater use of technology.

    The report recommends a five-year strategic review to stay relevant to industry trends, operating environment and customer experience. Highlights of the review, including key recommendations are in the backgrounder.

    The City of St. John’s is committed to building a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely. The Public Transit Review is identified in the Our City, Our Future 2019 Action Plan under the goal to create a sustainable and accessible public transportation system.
  • Public Transit Review Phase II: What We Heard

    4 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    A ‘What We Heard’ document from the second phase of public engagement for the Public Transit Review was released on September 6, 2019.

    During this phase, which took place in June, residents were invited to provide feedback on preliminary recommendations, some of which were based on what was heard from the first round of public engagement in fall 2018. Dillon Consulting Limited, the project consultant, held two drop-in engagement sessions and an opinion survey was available online for approximately four weeks. Approximately 50 people attended the in-person sessions and 189 people completed the survey.

    Residents were ...

    A ‘What We Heard’ document from the second phase of public engagement for the Public Transit Review was released on September 6, 2019.

    During this phase, which took place in June, residents were invited to provide feedback on preliminary recommendations, some of which were based on what was heard from the first round of public engagement in fall 2018. Dillon Consulting Limited, the project consultant, held two drop-in engagement sessions and an opinion survey was available online for approximately four weeks. Approximately 50 people attended the in-person sessions and 189 people completed the survey.

    Residents were invited to review proposed changes and indicated their preferred options on such things as: route structure, service levels, GoBus, student fare changes, and low-income transit passes. The concept of a Frequent Transit Network was introduced along with opportunities to improve directness of some routes.

    Dillon will bring a final report with recommendations to Council before the end the year.

  • Public Transit Review – Draft Plan – input

    4 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    The draft transit plan is now available for feedback. Check out the Plan and then take the survey. Your feedback will be considered as the plan is finalized.

    There are also two public drop-in sessions scheduled:

    • Wednesday, June 26 at City Hall, Foran/Greene Room from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, June 27 at 348 Water Street from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
    Preliminary recommendations for the plan include proposed route changes, service levels, GoBus, and fare strategies. Members of City Council and Dillon Consulting will be in attendance to review the proposed changes with you and take your feedback. All...

    The draft transit plan is now available for feedback. Check out the Plan and then take the survey. Your feedback will be considered as the plan is finalized.

    There are also two public drop-in sessions scheduled:

    • Wednesday, June 26 at City Hall, Foran/Greene Room from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, June 27 at 348 Water Street from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
    Preliminary recommendations for the plan include proposed route changes, service levels, GoBus, and fare strategies. Members of City Council and Dillon Consulting will be in attendance to review the proposed changes with you and take your feedback. All are welcome to attend.




  • Interim Implementation of GoBus Recommendations - March 14, 2019

    4 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
    Gobus 220 150

    As part of the ongoing review of public transit that is intended to help Council improve both conventional and paratransit services, the Transportation Commission asked for and has received preliminary recommendations to address rising costs and issues with the GoBus system.

    While all public transit systems need municipal investment to offset the difference between revenue generated from passenger fares and the cost to operate the system, our current costs for GoBus are substantial. The City of St. John’s invests $13.7 million annually towards Metrobus operating costs and $3.9 million annually towards GoBus operating costs; in 2018, the net cost per...

    As part of the ongoing review of public transit that is intended to help Council improve both conventional and paratransit services, the Transportation Commission asked for and has received preliminary recommendations to address rising costs and issues with the GoBus system.

    While all public transit systems need municipal investment to offset the difference between revenue generated from passenger fares and the cost to operate the system, our current costs for GoBus are substantial. The City of St. John’s invests $13.7 million annually towards Metrobus operating costs and $3.9 million annually towards GoBus operating costs; in 2018, the net cost per ride (operating cost minus passenger fare revenue) that the City invests in GoBus transit is $24.3 per ride, or a 90 per cent subsidy.

    To be clear, Council understands the need for and values the GoBus service and is deeply committed to ensuring that the services continues. We are also very aware of the need to provide this service in a sustainable way and to make every effort possible to manage the costs of operating this valued service. This is why we asked Dillon consulting to make some recommendations now that we can begin working on for 2019.

    The recommendations focus on two main topics – eligibility requirements and contractual matters with our service provider, MVT.

    To read the full Council Statement, click here.


  • Take our Survey

    12 months ago
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    The survey for the Public Transit Operational Review has now closed. We would like to thank you for your input and look forward to hearing from you again when key themes and initial recommendations are drawn from the information gathered from this survey.

    The survey for the Public Transit Operational Review has now closed. We would like to thank you for your input and look forward to hearing from you again when key themes and initial recommendations are drawn from the information gathered from this survey.