Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021
The Transit Commission today adopted OC Transpo's 2022 Draft Budget.
To keep transit affordable for low-income residents and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients, OC Transpo's 2022 Draft Budget includes a continued freeze on EquiPass fares and the Community Pass at 2018 levels.
The 2022 Draft Budget includes:
- A 2.5 per cent general fare increase, to come into effect the month after RTG makes 15 trains available for full revenue service on O-Train Line 1.
- A fare freeze for customers who use the EquiPass (monthly or single-ride) or the Community Pass.
- New no-charge passes for emergency shelter clients.
- No service expansion.
- Savings of $11 million resulting from the continuation of the temporary service reductions which began in mid-2021.
- Inflation and a cost-of-living adjustment.
- $5.2 million in annualized costs to cover Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) costs, provide legislated breaks for federally regulated staff and to cover the cost of the September 30 federal holiday.
- An increase of $3.9 million for maintenance of fare control and other software supports.
The Transit Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, General Manager of Transit Services and General Manager of Community and Social Services to review the Transit Fare Working Group's recommendation that the next Council consider a fare freeze for the Community Pass, the Access Pass, and the EquiPass for the entire Term of Council, and that staff report back as part of the 2018-2022 Term of Council Governance Review.
Additionally, the Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Mayor and Transit Commission Chair to write to the Federal government requesting operational funding through the federal gas tax or other channels to reduce the user share of the cost of public transit, in order to reduce or eliminate user fees and encourage transit use.
The 2022 Draft Budget will be tabled for consideration and approval by City Council on December 8.
The Transit Commission also received an update on O-Train Line 1, which returned to partial service on November 12.
Staff confirmed that Line 1 service will gradually increase as RTG continues to increase the number of trains available for service, with full service expected to be in place by the end of November. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 11 trains are required for full service to meet current demand.
Staff also confirmed that in October, bus ridership was at 41% and Para Transpo ridership was at 59% of pre-pandemic levels. Para Transpo service levels continue to be sufficient to meet current ridership demand. In October, all trips were fulfilled, and 9.1% of trips in minibuses were shared.
Source : City of Ottawa
Audio Recording from the O-Train and Bus Service Update portion of the meeting (with English interpretation).
Audio Recording from Media Availability
O-Train Confederation Line 1 Update