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Saint John Transit

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Saint John Transit

Saint John Transit
A #4 bus at King's Square North
Slogan Think transit
Founded 1979
Headquarters 55 McDonald Street Saint John
Service area Saint John, Grand Bay-Westfield, Rothesay, Quispamsis, Hampton
Service type bus service
Routes 24 local routes; 4 regional routes
Hubs King's Square North; Lancaster Mall; Place 400; Metcalf St; McAllister Place
Fleet 53 vehicles
Daily ridership 2,500,000 annually
Operator Saint John Transit Commission
Website Official website

Saint John Transit is the public transit agency serving Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Established in 1979 to provide scheduled transit service to the city, it is the largest public transit system in the province in terms of both mileage and passengers. Ridership on Saint John Transit’s system is about 2.5 million passengers per year and growing.

Saint John Transit’s ridership is approximately 50 percent higher than the average for Canadian cities with a population of between 50,000 and 150,000.


The agency's roots can be traced back to its six predecessors:

  • People's Street Railway Company (1869–1876)
  • Saint John City Railway Company (1887–1892)
  • Consolidated Electric Company (1892–1897)
  • Saint John Railway Company (1897–1917)
  • New Brunswick Power Company (1917–1948)
  • City Transit Limited (1948–1979)


Saint John Transit provides 7 day a week service, with a series of Main Line routes that provide the backbone of the system and feeder routes that connect at 4 major hubs throughout the city. Service begins as early as 5:20AM on main routes, and around 6AM for secondary and limited routes and ends as late as 12:30AM on some of the main routes and around 10PM on secondary.[1]

Route name Service type Sunday
1 Lancaster Mall via Rothesay Avenue Main Line YES
2 McAllister Place via Rothesay Avenue Main Line YES
3 Regional / UNB via Causeway Main Line YES
4 McAllister Place via Causeway Main Line YES
5 Regional / UNB via Churchill Blvd. Main Line
6 Lancaster Mall via Churchill Blvd. Main Line
10 Lorneville West-side
11 Fundy Heights West-side
12 Martinon West-side
13 Milford / Greendale West-side
14 Churchill Heights West-side
15 Harbour Bridge A/B West-side YES
20 Wright St. / Fort Howe North and South
21 South End / St. Joseph's North and South
23 Crescent Valley North and South
25 Millidgeville / North North and South
30 Champlain Heights East-side YES
31 Forest Glen East-side YES
32 Loch Lomond East-side
33 Champlain Express East-side
34 Silver Falls East-side
35 Red Head East-side
50 Grand-Bay Westfield Comex Comex
51 Hampton Comex Comex
52 Kennebecasis Valley Comex Comex
53 Quispamsis Comex Comex

Current fleet

Saint John Transit maintains an active fleet of approximately 60 buses.

  • GMDD/MCI/Nova Bus Classic
  • Nova Bus LFS Artic (Ex. NovaBUS demo 40881 and 40882)
  • Nova Bus RTS
  • Orion VII and Orion VII "Next Generation"

Past fleet


Comex is the "Community Express" bus service that provides morning and after work service to citizens in outlying areas to and from Uptown Saint John. ComeX serves residents of Grand Bay-Westfield, Rothesay, Quispamsis and Hampton from Monday to Friday. Four buses form the basis of the ComeX service. ComeX was made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and support from the Province of New Brunswick.

Grand Bay-Westfield has three runs in the morning and three in the afternoon/evening, while Rothesay and Quispamsis has six runs in the morning and six in the afternoon/evening. The last run in the morning and the last run in the evening begin at McAllister Place. Hampton has three runs in the morning and three in the afternoon/evening. The last run in the morning and the last run in the evening begins at McAllister Place.

The service uses two Nova Bus LFS Artics and numerous DaimlerChrysler Orion VII Next Generation Bus. Saint John Transit purchased the first Orion VII Next Generation bus to roll off the assembly line in Mississauga, Ontario.


In 2001 there were 92 bus drivers, mechanics and dispatchers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union locals 1182 and 1229.

Current issues and developments

  • In 2005 the ATU Local 1182 representing Saint John Transit workers tried to enter and share in the City Of Saint John pension plan. The City of Saint John has indicated that if ATU 1182 had the support of the International Association of Fire Fighter's Union 771, Saint John Police Union Local 61, Inside Workers Union 18 and Outside Workers Local 486 there would be no need to fight for a pension in court.

The City of Saint John Pension Board has claimed that the transit workers are not City employees because they belong to a "transit commission." It is, however, in the opinion of ATU that the bus drivers have been employed by the city-run commission since 1979. The issue is currently tied up in the courts.

  • The City of Saint John, along with the Federal and Provincial governments are investing in ComeX to reduce auto emissions. With the implementation of ComeX, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to drop by 1,500 metric tonnes and downtown traffic will decrease by 800 vehicles a day over the next five years.
  • Saint John City Council has asked Federal MP Paul Zed to look into consolidating Saint John City Transit with the Saint John Port Authority, Saint John Airport and Saint John Parking Commission.
  • Transit service will be downsized drastically if funding is not solidified by early December 2011. Saint John Transit needs $900,000 to maintain current service. It is not much money, but the powers at be in City Hall do not seem concerned. There are a few that do care and may see another term in Council if they choose to run again.


External links

  • Saint John Transit Official web site
  • History of Transit in Saint John
  • Moving Forward: Public Transit in Canadian Mid-sized Cities
  • Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Old Saint John Street Car Photos
  • theme song for the transit service

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