At their Monday night meeting, Thunder Bay city councillors will consider the first step toward taking over bus service for passengers with mobility issues.

While an administration report calls for the city to ride out its contract with HAGI to provide para-transit service until the contract ends in December of next year, transit manager Brad Loroff said most other cities operate their own similar services.

He noted the report "makes the recommendation that the city move away from the contract model that has historically been used, and move into an in-house model."

By doing so, the city expects to save money on insurance, maintenance and fuel.

But there are costs associated with the takeover, such as more than $1 million in renovations to the transit garage on Fort William Road. The city would also have to acquire the HAGI bus fleet.

The para-transit service is for anyone who has difficulty using regular transit services, including those confined to wheelchairs.

The transit master plan — which puts the acquisition of HAGI as a top priority — will come to council again in January of 2013 for another approval.