Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
Take the bus

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Oct 28/02) - The people of Iqaluit have one month to prove to city hall how much they need a public transit system.

If enough residents use the trial service, which began operating on Oct. 21, it will become a permanent feature in the city.

"That's what I'm telling people -- if they want a bus, use it now. Stand up and be counted," said Iqaluit Mayor John Matthews.

The city budgeted $100,000 for the trial run this year after almost two years of discussions and debates.

The service is $2 per person. Children under five ride for free.

A cab ride in Iqaluit costs $4.50 per person. Though the new public transit system will be competing with taxis, Matthews believes there's room for both in the capital.

"Each has their own niche in the market. People in a rush won't want to wait for the bus. People who want to save a bit of money might," said Matthews.

The city will begin with two bus routes. Both start at the four corners in the downtown core. Loop A covers the city's core and Loop B goes down towards Apex.

The bus, which will cover both routes in the city, is on loan from R.L. Hanson Construction Ltd.

It is a small converted yellow school bus with green, red and blue strips on it. It seats 24 passengers.

Matthews said the cost and route will be revisited if council decides to proceed with the transit system.