Fredericton — Bus patrons will have to pay a little more to be able to ride in luxury in the capital city now. It was reported Friday morning that the city is increasing its bus fares from $2.50 to $5.20 for single rides, and the monthly passes will be up by $25. Passengers can get a discounted rate if they “like” and “share” the Fredericton Transit Facebook page and invite all of their Facebook friends to do the same at least once a day.
Jennifer Graves, a Fredericton resident who relies on the transit system, was disappointed to learn of the increases. “I take the bus to and from work every day and this increase is insanely steep,” said Graves, explaining why she wouldn’t be partaking in the offered discounted rate. “I’m not going to be bothering all of my Facebook friends with these stupid invites. If I start doing that then no one will respond my Candy Crush requests. I already have a bunch of my friends threatening to block me for the game requests and my daily complaints – I can’t risk adding another thing for my friends to be annoyed with.”
The price hike comes as a surprise to the people of Fredericton. The Manatee spoke to Kevin Ward from the city’s transit division about the sudden changes. “Well, we didn’t want to announce the increase early because we were really just hoping no one would notice and then they wouldn’t get upset with us,” he explained. “We were thinking if we kept the numbers the same, people wouldn’t really pay attention — that’s why we decided to move from $2.50 to $5.20.”
Ward claims the increase may have benefits for the city. “It probably won’t be that beneficial to the people who take the bus; it will mostly be helpful for the people who don’t take the bus at all. It puts more money into the city without them having to pay anything extra. It’s kind of like what the government does with taxing cigarettes. We didn’t want to increase taxes because again, we don’t want everyone to get angry with us. We can handle the dozen or so people that take the bus getting angry though.”
The change comes just as the city is entering its coldest temperatures of the year, making it difficult for angry customers to protest the increases by walking instead of paying the heightened fare. “We know what we’re doing,” grinned Ward. “They need us.”