The Transit Commission today approved OC Transpo’s 2024 draft budget. The estimated gross operating budget is $767.8 million.
The 2024 transit budget will align with the Transit Service Department’s goal to make strategic investments in the transit system, including improving service reliability, launching on-demand transit, and growing the fleet of zero-emission buses that will advance greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and the City’s Climate Change Master Plan. The budget also invests in the opening and operation of O-Train Lines 2 and 4 to deliver an extended light rail service.
The Commission received an update on service performance for the month of October. O-Train Line 1 service delivery was 98.7 per cent, and bus service delivery was 97.2 per cent. Para Transpo ridership was at 63,400 customer trips in October, about four per cent higher than forecasted.
Transit staff presented the results of the Bus Route Review, which was launched in early 2023 as part of OC Transpo’s Five-Year Roadmap. The review looked at transit service planning principles, preparing for the opening of O-Train extensions, and changes in customers’ travel patterns following the pandemic.
The proposed new bus network is part of the work to improve service reliability and will meet anticipated bus ridership levels, which are forecasted to be 25 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels. OC Transpo is continuing with its recruitment of frontline workers, including bus operators, and implementing a bus maintenance action plan. Together these are key components to achieving OC Transpo’s target of 99.5 per cent service delivery.
Customers across the city will see a range of improvements and changes to routes when the new bus network is rolled out in 2024. Changes will include improved connectivity to community hubs, recalibration of routes connecting customers from neighbourhoods to downtown, and faster travel times that will take advantage of O-Train Lines 2 and 4. OC Transpo will communicate information about changes to bus routes and schedules using multiple communication channels over several months to increase customer awareness.
The 2024 Draft Budget will rise to Council on Wednesday, December 6.
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