Children, 12 and under, can ride the buses for free starting Nov. 1

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This week, city council passed a motion providing free Barrie Transit bus rides to seniors, 65 and older, on Thursdays. Bridging the age gap, children 12 and under can also ride for free, starting Nov. 1.
“We’re very excited to offer free transit for children 12 and under,” said Brent Forsyth, director of transit. “We want to get more young people on the bus—if they get comfortable with the service, they are more likely to become lifelong transit users.” 
Free transit for children 12 and under was approved by council in April as part of the Barrie Transit Fare Strategy. The strategy also includes a small increase to some transit rates.
“In order to be financially responsible with taxpayer money, we need to slightly increase some fares to offset the rising costs of operation,” added Forsyth.
The City has not increased transit student/adult cash fares since 2013. Since that time, Barrie Transit has added more than 25,000 service hours, expanding coverage to areas of the city that didn’t previously have transit service (Route 11), and providing more frequent and direct services through the City’s first express route (Route 100).
Also starting on Nov. 1, transfers will be valid for 75 minutes compared to the current 60 minutes, and seniors 65 and older can ride Barrie Transit for free on Thursdays. This past June, free transit was offered to seniors for the entire month. At that time, the City consulted with seniors to see if they preferred having an entire month free or one day per week. The consultation results showed seniors preferred one free day per week.