Feb 14, 2008

Kingston Transit bus fares hold steady

I am truly amazed at the success of Kingston Transit. The following has been taken from The Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper. It's interesting what can happen when your councillors are in favour of public transit.

In an effort to encourage more transit use, city councillors decided not to raise transit rates this year.

Instead, drivers looking for parking are likely to see parking rates increase.

At last night's budget meeting, city council voted down a more than six-per-cent increase in transit fares, instead dipping into a reserve fund for parking investments to avoid having a further tax increase.

That same reserve fund is being used to cover the costs for enhanced bus service to the downtown sports and entertainment centre on event nights.

The move means that riders won't cover $195,000 in costs to enhance bus service around the city.

The majority of councillors agreed that in the future, parking rates should be greater than the cost to ride the bus. Parking fees would end up subsidizing the transit system more so than they do now.

"We've got to move and the first step, I believe, is not to increase bus fares," said councillor Bill Glover.

"How do we pay for that? ... I'm looking at raising parking rates." Councillors also reversed an earlier decision to provide free transit on smog days, saving taxpayers $50,000.

A hike in transit fares usually will result in a drop in ridership. The bad part about not raising fares is that sometime down the road you have to play catch up. That will result in a one large increase. People are willing to accept small increases over time rather than one large increase.The present Kingston Transit fares... adult $2.25, Youth and Senior $2.00.

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