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…..