Council approves 25 cent transit fare hikeThursday, March 21, 2013 by: Jamie LyleCity council announced that residents have to dig deeper into their pockets if they want to ride North Bay’s modern and convenient transit bus system.
Councillor George Maroosis made a point of reminiscing about North Bay transit on Monday evening to make people understand just how far the system has come over the years.
From free rides to seniors, even competing private bus lines, the city has tried numerous ad hoc and well-studied plans to enhance the quality and value of North Bay transit.
The current transport fleet, it was pointed out, is in the best shape it has ever been in when it comes to the age of the vehicles as well as numerous advances in mechanical and fuel savings that have been passed onto help the subsidised city bus service.
For the past number of weeks, council has been playing with numerous proposals and weighing the pros and cons of increasing the fare for bus riders and in the end, decided that the 25 cent increase was the most prudent and fair way to continue to ensure the system works best with its 45 to 55 percent cost recovery from riders.
While councillors on both sides of the issue were concerned that the cost may be a detriment to keeping many people using the service, the majority felt that it was necessary to maintain regular fare increases in order to help facilitate and finance the ongoing operation in a way that would be responsible in the long term to the residents of the city.
Interestingly, the North Bay Rate Payers Association again made their presence known at City Hall and spoke of their concerns that council not forget that city transit should be in the essential category of service in the city and not become sidelined by less important sport entertainment endeavours.
The new fare price of $2.75 multiplied against and average family of 4 and travelling in two directions, can easily become a costly service when encountered frequently, however council did point out that monthly passes and reduced costs for those in lower family income thresholds are available for individuals who require them.
The increase is to take effect April 1st 2013