NEWS/ CITY HALL — The cost of bus service has more than doubled in the last decade and the solution might be another increase in fares or cuts in service, says a report to City council.
Development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski says in the report — which will be discussed at a council workshop Tuesday — that fuel and insurance costs are among the culprits. Operating expenses for the conventional transit system have gone up 86 per cent from $6.85 million in 2004-05 to $12.75 million in 2013-2014 while the custom service went from $1.06 million to $2.27 million, a hike of 115 per cent.
Tires and fuel went up 190 per cent while insurance costs increased 220 per cent.
One option to meet the soaring costs is to eliminate fare discounts for seniors and high-school students. However, the report estimates such a move would raise revenues by two per cent but reduce ridership by 30,200.
A second option is to raise the regular fare to $2.50 from $2.25 and the discount fare to $2.25, which would bring in 7.7 per cent more revenue but cut ridership by 137,100.
Still another option is a reduction in hours of service.
Kwiatkowski notes in the report that a 10 per cent fare increase in April 2011 temporarily reversed the trend of increasing ridership.
The report also points out that the Sustainable Kamloops Plan, adopted in 2011, was designed to reduce automobile usage and increase transit ridership by 50 per cent by 2020.
It makes no recommendations on the options.