Council members urge OC Transpo . tariff increase to be rejected

Council Members Urge Oc Transpo . Tariff Increase To Be Rejected

With OC Transpo’s budget under discussion in the transit committee today, lawyers are urging members to reject a proposed rate increase.

The transit budget draft includes a proposed 2.5 percent fare increase, bringing the cost of a one-way ticket with a Presto card to $3.70 and a monthly pass to $125.50.

“If our city’s goal is to get transit riders back to the system after the pandemic, they’re failing,” Ottawa Transit Riders’ Kari Glynes Elliott said in a press release Tuesday.

“We already have some of the highest rates in all of North America. Does our transit commission really think making it more unaffordable will pull more people out?”

When the city’s draft budget was unveiled two weeks ago, Mayor Jim Watson said the rate hike was justified given rising inflation.

“If we want to improve the system and increase the capacity of bus services and train services, we have to keep up with inflation,” he said. “The 2.5 percent is below the inflation rate.”

And count. Allan Hubley, chairman of the transit committee, says the tariff increase is necessary to improve the transit system.

“What we use it for is to invest in systems, to make it more reliable and easier to use,” he said.

“That’s what higher rates do. If we want to move away from higher rates, we need to find other sources of funding to realize our long-term plan,” he said.

The city is offering free transportation in December in light of the LRT’s nearly two-month shutdown this fall. But transit proponents say supply sounds hollow and fares will rise next month.

“We’re not supporting just one month of free transportation, we’re supporting all 12,” said Donald Swartz of Free Transit Ottawa. “For people who use public transportation every day, free transportation is not only a cynical gimmick, but they may find that they have to choose between paying for groceries or paying rent.”

Rate increase may be delayed

Even if the rate increase gets through the commission on Wednesday, it could be delayed.

count. Allan Hubley, the chairman of the Transit Commission, says there are plans to file a motion delaying a planned fare increase after Jan. 1.

It would instead come into effect a month after the LRT has started operating the full complement of 15 trains.

City officials say they hope the full service will be in effect by mid-December.

That would mean that the rate hike could be delayed until at least mid-January.

Commission votes on providing free transit passes to reception clients

The committee will also discuss a Council motion. Catherine McKenney, to approve a plan that would provide weekly or monthly transit passes to local shelters to distribute to customers at their discretion.

The motion was brought about by a working group within the transit committee to discuss the tariff structure of OC Transpo with the aim of reducing the financial barriers to access the transit system.

“The working group members agree that better access to transit services for emergency shelter clients will not only benefit people who are homeless, but also the city as a whole,” the motion said.

Some delays on LRT Tuesday

The committee meeting also comes a day after the first hiccup for LRT since partial service returned on Friday.

A stopped train at Bayview Station caused some delay for commuters on Tuesday afternoon. Normal service will resume just after 4.30 pm

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