In 2005, the City of Charlottetown partnered with a private bus operator to manage and run a small, local transit system. The system serves Charlottetown’s 32,000 residents on five routes six days a week. In a departure from more conventional transit systems, Charlottetown Transit uses heritage style diesel trolley buses that are considered more in keeping with the City’s heritage values.
As a public-private partnership, the system operator keeps the $2 transit fares and receives support from the City of Charlottetown in the form of an annual operating subsidy that is set up on a declining scale. The current subsidy is worth over $600,000, but will decline to $375,000 at the end of the five-year contract term at which point it is anticipated that the service will have grown to seven routes and an annual ridership of 250,000. The operator, Trius Tours, is fully responsible for all management of the system, including marketing, operations and all system maintenance. In 2006, Charlottetown’s transit services represented just over 1.5% of the City’s $37 million operating budget.