An update report seeking direction on changes to the Lodging House and Two-Unity House by-law is coming to the Community Design and Environmental Service committee on Monday, December 14 12:30 pm.
The report can be found on page 67 of the CDES committee agenda. Download the agenda package at:
City staff have posted answers to all of Council’s various questions from the November 30th budget presentation. Of particular interest to those following the University of Guelph bus pass rate discussion is a comparison chart of municipal transit fares and university bus pass rates in Ontario.
The chart starts on Page 34 of the attached PDF package.
From Chief Rob Davis to members of Council:
December 7, 2009
Hello to All:
At the council meeting of November 30th when budget cost cutting measures were being discussed, one of the proposals put forward by transit staff was to eliminate the U. of G. student buss pass and implement a new city-wide bus pass for all students with a different fee structure applied across the board.
In thinking about this proposal over the past week, I wonder if this proposal to eliminate the reduced fare bus pass for the U. of G. students may come with a few more negative points that may not have been considered. As I understand it, every student at the U. of G. currently pays a set amount as part of their tuition for a discounted bus pass whether they use the bus or not. So, a large number of bus passes are purchased on behalf of the students from Guelph Transit but many of them never get used. The City gets all the revenue whether the students use the bus or not. I would submit that many U. of G. students that do have the passes, are using them on the week-ends when getting home from downtown on the city busses. We have found that having the extra busses to transport students between 12:00 midnight and 3:00 A/M has been extremely successful. I’m afraid that if the passes for the U. of G. students are eliminated or the costs go up substantially, it would negatively affect the U. of G. ridership. I’m not sure the student body would continue to support the student pass program as part of their tuition which in turn may end up being a loss of revenue to the city. But more importantly, it could mean less students using the busses to get downtown and getting home again after a night out downtown because of the increased costs. More of them may revert to driving their cars downtown and home again after a night out drinking which is counter-productive to all of the attempts to keep them from behind the wheel. And, those that don’t take their own cars will now be walking back up the hill to the U. of G. increasing the pedestrian traffic along Gordon St. and the U. of G. Neighbourhoods along with the likelihood of more noise, damage etc. that goes along with the trek back up the hill. We get many complaints now from irate citizens that contend with this every week-end and I’m confident they would go up.
I know that you all have some very difficult decisions to make but I think some caution needs to be exercised with this issue. I thought it important to share my thoughts for your consideration. Thank you and good luck with your deliberations.
Rob Davis – Chief of Police
Guelph Police Service
Oh my! What a day. 1600 emails and counting. There has been a great deal of confusion building between Monday night’s Council budget meeting and today about the alleged termination of the University of Guelph universal bus pass system. Although there was discussion about increasing fares and making transit more affordable for high school students, I maintain that there is not a specific recommendation to Council to cancel/eliminate/terminate the U of G bus pass. Here’s the official word from the General Manager, Community Connectivity and Transit, Michael Anders:
Potential Changes to Fares for 2010
On November 30, Transit
staff outlined to Council three potential options for
changing/increasing fares in 2010. Each option is summarized below.
a) Standard Fare Increase
Option – Staff discussed the potential impact of an overall 7% increase
in fare revenue. The methodology used to calculate the incremental
revenue including the impact of fare elasticities was described.
Council asked that a 3% and 5% increase also be assessed by staff. This
material will be included in the response back to Council for the
December 8th meeting.
b) Inclusive Student Fare Program Option
– The intent of this option is to assess the feasibility of
implementing an inclusive pricing structure for all full-time students
in an accredited learning stream and would encompass elementary,
secondary, college, post-secondary and other eligible institutions. As
part of the exercise Transit staff needs to review the existing model
for the University of Guelph U-Pass program and will be working with
the Student Union who we have a contractual relationship. If Council
embraces this idea, staff will return to Council in early 2010 to
propose various models that will address the issue of transit price
equality for all students in a learning stream. Further details are to
be provided in the response back to Council for the December 8th meeting.
c) Combination Option
– This is option is a combination of a) and b) where a percentage
increase is applied to adult and senior fares and the inclusive student
fare program is implemented. Staff was requested to provide further
details at the December 8th meeting reflecting a 5% increase on adult and senior fares.
To conclude, Council has not directed staff to pursue any of these options. They are being considered as part of a much larger budget process.
Feedback always welcome…..
Over the next two weeks, we invite public comment on the proposed 2010 City of Guelph budget. As we contemplate efficiencies and possible changes to services, we need your input more than ever. The budget vote will occur on December 14 (user pay budget) and December 15 (operating and capital budgets).
By letter: mail or drop off to 1 Carden Street.
By email: email your ward councillor or send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org for circulation to all members of Council.
By phone: call your councillor on the telephone
In person: register as a delegation to address Council on the evening of Monday, December 8. Register by contacting email@example.com
To download a copy of the proposed 2010 City of Guelph budget documents, go to: