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Transit fare hike, new pickleball fees on public meeting agenda

The public meeting will cover the proposed transit increase — the first since 2015, according to the City of North Bay — impacting fares and passes across the board, while organized pickleball bookings would have a fee introduced

The City of North Bay is holding a public meeting to consider proposed amendments to its user fees when it comes to transit fares and pickleball fees.

You can attend in person this evening, Monday, May 13 at 5:15 p.m. in the council chambers at North Bay City Hall to make a presentation.

A rental fee is being proposed following a review by staff for the fast-growing sport of pickleball. For organized pickleball bookings at the Bourke Playground, for both community and league play, a rental fee of $16 for a three-hour block on two courts is recommended. Of the $16, $4 will go to operating costs and $12 to the C.R.F. (Community Reinvestment Fund).

A proposed City of North Bay transit fare increase would see the cash fare rise from $3 to $3.25, with 10-trip cards rising from $27 to $29.25. A monthly adult pass would cost $93, up from $86. A student's monthly pass would go up $6 to $77. See the full fare increase breakdown below:

From the proposed 2024 Operating Budget. Courtesy of the City of North Bay

Based on North Bay Transit's projections, if the service level change is approved an estimated increase in transit revenue of $55,351 would be realized from its July 1 implementation date to the end of the year, with an annual increase in full subsequent years of $110,696.

Drew Poeta, the City of North Bay's transit manager broke down the proposal during a March budget meeting.

"The last transit fare increase was in 2015. Since that time, we've seen substantial increases in our operating costs, material costs, and fuel costs," Poeta said. "The cash fare average across the province was $3.75. Currently, we are at $3 and the proposal is a $3.25 fare and, basically, an 8 per cent increase across all categories to match that."

A fare in Sault Ste. Marie is $3.25 and in Greater Sudbury, an adult fare costs $4 although Coun. Tanya Vrebosch pointed out that Peterborough and Orillia both charge $3, on par with the present fare in North Bay.

Only Vrebosch did not support the proposal, saying she worried about how the hike would affect "people below the poverty line or people who are working poor, and if it's their means to get to work ... the monthly pass is almost $100 ... we are the highest per capita of ODSP recipients."

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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