The Transit Commission today approved the 2019 Draft Budget for OC Transpo. The draft budget includes investments in bus service enhancements and new additions to the bus fleet. The 2019 draft budget will be considered at City Council on Wednesday, March 6.
Enhancing transit service
Highlights of the draft budget include:
- $5.1M per year in additional funding for investments to enhance transit service in communities across the city;
- Funding to purchase 12 new buses and replace 79 buses that have reached the end of their life-cycle;
- Refurbishment of existing buses to keep them in good condition for customers;
- Bus stops, shelters and customer improvements at Transitway and O-Train stations;
- Traffic studies to improve the reliability of transit services and reduce operating costs;
- Increasing call centre staffing for Para Transpo to improve customer experience;
- A fare freeze until July 1, 2019, at which point a proposed 2.5 percent increase to transit fares would take effect; and
- Seniors 65 and over travel for free on Sundays in addition to Wednesdays, beginning on July 1, 2019.
The upcoming opening of O-Train Line 1, the Confederation Line, represents the most significant change in the history of OC Transpo, with the service transitioning to a multimodal transit system involving both bus and light rail operations. The budgeted service enhancements would be implemented after Line 1 opens.
The proposed enhancements respond to customers’ travel needs by adding 45,000 additional hours of service per year and by providing new travel options, such as new and faster connections, shorter waiting times, and more capacity, following the launch of O-Train Line 1.
The Transit Commission also heard that OC Transpo carried 1 million additional customers in 2018, representing a 1 percent increase in ridership from the previous year.