Sep 11, 2007

DRT - $2-million deficit

The local transit system is facing a potential deficit of $2 million and if things don’t turn around it could mean cutbacks.

“The size of this deficit was a surprise to me and a wake up to all of us on (Regional) council about trying to expand programs after the budget in which we haven’t budgeted for that expansion,” said Scugog Mayor Marilyn Pearce, the chairwoman of the Region’s finance and administration committee.

Read full report here... Regional transit faces $2-million deficit.

It seems strange that the timing of this announcement has been made on the first official day of the start of the provincial election. Has someone at Region been taking pointers from the City of Toronto and the TTC?


Karem Allen said...

No this is all my fault!

I have been demanding to much.

My apologies for wanting to help have a decent system out here.

David Harrison said...

Actually, I view this as a sign of success. People are using the disability passes, they are using the GO fare arrangement (NOT the co-fare as the article refers to it), and they are using the system.

The challenge now is to ensure that Council realizes these are the costs of running the system, and budgets for them. Certainly, there is room for improvement in route efficiency - e.g. route 10 Ajax doesn't seem to have much reason for existance any more.

Maintenance costs should go down as DRT's average bus age goes down. We'll see another improvement this year when another 21 new buses come into service.

But ultimately, this comes down to being realistic about the costs of running a transit system, and accepting that it's an essential service that needs to grow, not shrink.

I'll have more on this on my blog later.

Andy said...

David you have hit the nail right on the head. The integration with Go buses within Durham has proved a great success. More people are using the 915 to travel to and from Pickering. The Route 10 needs to be taken off or revised. At peak times the 915 is having to leave people going to Durham College UOIT because of over crowding.