Canmore’s local Roam service will be free for all riders starting on May 18. The fare-free program will run until the end of the year, and the meantime, administration will be working on recommendations aimed at making the service free beyond 2019.
Making local transit fare-free is a recommendation in the pdf Integrated Parking Management Plan (2.24 MB) . By encouraging alternative travel modes, including transit, parking demand can be reduced 10-30% in the medium term. In addition to being a low-cost alternative to adding parking; encouraging alternative travel like taking the bus, is effective at reducing congestion. The fare-free local transit pilot in the summer of 2018 was successful in increasing transit ridership significantly. A briefing provided in October, 2018 indicated a direct correlation between the start and end of the pilot and ridership. It is expected that a 40% - 60% increase in ridership or greater can be expected if fare-free transit were to be made permanent.
The total cost of the program is $72,500, to be funded by the Transit Commission operating reserves.