Today, the Transit Commission learned that ridership in July was 3.3 million customer trips, a steady annual increase compared to 2 million trips in July 2021. Overall, on-time performance and bus service availability remain high. The Commission was also advised that OC Transpo distributed 2,300 emergency shelter passes since the program launched in March. Approved by Council in December 2021, the emergency shelter pass program provides no-charge weekly and monthly transit passes to participating shelters.
OC Transpo continues to make progress on its bus operator recruitment campaign: 90 new bus operators are hired and on the road, with another 67 currently in training. Para Transpo ridership continues to increase, with more than 47,000 customer-trips per month in July and August, and on-time performance is sitting high at 93 per cent.
On September 12, OC Transpo expanded its We’re Here to Take You There ridership marketing campaign. Approved by Council as part of Budget 2022, the objectives of the campaign are to rebuild positive attitudes toward public transit in Ottawa and to increase ridership.
The Commission also heard that OC Transpo’s Community Pass will now automatically renew every two years. The Community Pass offers customers registered in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) a reduced price for both single-ride fares and monthly passes. Community Passes will only expire when a customer reaches the age of 65 or when they are no longer eligible for ODSP.
OC Transpo’s second quarter operating budget saw a year-to-date deficit of $42.57 million. This gap can be attributed to lower ridership due to the emergence of the Omicron variants, as well as the convoy occupation. The City continues discussions with the federal and provincial governments to determine its funding allocation of the Safe Restart Agreement to help offset lost fare revenue. The City also continues discussions with the Ottawa Police Service and the federal government to recover lost revenue and operational costs because of the convoy occupation.
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