Frequency: An important failing in St Catharines

Why are the buses in St Catharines full of students and the elderly? Because they have a lot of free time on their hands. Steve Munro:

Frequent services attract riders simply by existing, whereas infrequent services get only those customers who can afford to make an appointment for their transit trip and suffer the impact of off-schedule service and missed connections.

It is small comfort that when non-students and non-retirees get what is likely their first experience riding modern buses in St Catharines, it will be the best service the city has ever seen – and will likely not see again for another year.

PEN CENTRE PARADE SHUTTLE
Saturday, September 27, 2008

Forget about the hassle of parking on parade day. Catch a free shuttle bus from the Pen Centre to the Pen Centre Grande Parade. Each rider will receive one ballot for a chance to win some great Pen Centre prizes!
Buses will run from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Every 10 minutes depending on traffic.)

I mean, I’m pleased they’ll be exposed to the new, clean, air-conditioned, accessible buses, but the shuttle service is three times more frequent than most other bus routes in the city.

Even I, a student with plenty of free time, don’t venture far from route 16 and its glorious 15-minute headway. I can’t imagine anyone with a job and children choosing to ride the bus if they can afford to drive.

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