Re: "Prices cut for senior, student bus passes," Dec. 5.
The article highlights price cuts for bus passes and concludes with the B.C. Transit statement: "We are expecting we will increase ridership."
The information given by B.C. Transit staff to members of the transit commission was that the overall effect of all the fare changes will be to bring in an extra $500,000 per year. A resulting loss of 200,000 transit riders per year can be expected.
Next year, transit-system costs will rise by $4.2 million with no increase in service. Local funding will require an extra $2.1 million in property taxes. With the planned transit expansion program, property-tax contributions will be 50 per cent higher in three years' time unless ridership levels increase significantly.
Total annual ridership on the transit system has remained static for the last four years, while the local tax subsidy for carrying each passenger continues to rise by 10 to 15 per cent every year. Transit-commission members should ask some serious questions about the cost and revenue structure of the vital $100-millionper-year transit services to the region.
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