Halifax is asking residents to trade in guns for bus tickets.

The municipality launched a promotion Monday that encourages people to turn in unwanted and unregistered firearms in exchange for Halifax Transit tickets.

"If this campaign keeps even one gun out of the wrong hands, then we have taken a step forward in improving public safety within our communities," Mayor Mike Savage said in a statement.

Halifax Transit said it will provide 50 bus tickets in return for each firearm turned in during the campaign, up to a maximum of $5,000.

The Fares for Firearms gun amnesty offers people who hand in weapons the ticket payback on a first-come, first-served basis over the next two weeks.

"Lack of personal transportation or money to buy transit tickets is a real struggle for some members of our community," said Ted Upshaw, the municipality's public safety adviser.

The city says people who receive, but don't need the tickets should give them to someone who can use them or a community group. People who want to surrender a gun can call police to have it picked up.

Municipal officials say 194 firearms were turned in to police for disposal last year, adding that guns and ammunition can be handed in throughout the year.

The initiative comes after a string of shootings in the city, with five of nine recent homicides involving firearms.