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Kelowna  

The cost of the regional transit service to Kelowna taxpayers has risen more than $900,000

Transit cost jumps $900k

It's going to cost a lot more to run the regional transit service over the next 12 months.

Year-over-year, factoring in increases in revenue with increased costs, revenue supervisor Patrick Gramiak says transit will cost the city just over $900,000 more than it did a year ago.

However, that increase will be absorbed by the city's portion of the safe restart transit funding the overall system received.

Half of the city's share of the restart grant, $5.9 million, was used to help offset additional costs and a loss in ridership during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, while the other half will be put towards the 2021-2022 budget.

"By receiving this funding, the City of Kelowna is working with BC Transit to maintain the targeted essential transit service levels as outlined in the annual operating agreement, as well as limiting the average annual public fares increase to 2.3 per cent in each of the transit three fiscal years ending in 2024," Gramiak told council.

The biggest cost is the conventional service, which has a cost increase of just over $1 million before factoring in revenue increases.

Much of the additional cost for conventional, community and custom services include increases in hourly service costs, fleet maintenance and a full year of lease fees.

COVID-19 contingency costs for incremental cleaning and sanitizing are also factored in, as is the BC Transit management service fee of eight per cent of costs, which also went up as costs went up.

Each of the other jurisdictions across the Central Okanagan will also be paying more through their pro-rated share.

Many of those increases will also be covered through their portion of the safe restart funds.



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