Transit Windsor considers fare increase due to deficit

Transit Windsor riders could soon face a fare hike because it will end the year with a $500,000 deficit.

Transit Windsor riders could soon face a fare hike.

The organization expects to end the year with a deficit. The general manager of Transit Windsor, Penny Williams, said the deficit could exceed half a million dollars.

Rising fuel cost is one of the reasons for the shortfall. Williams said Transit Windsor is paying a little more than $1 per litre.

Adding to the bus company's woes are higher prices for parts and overtime costs because of increasing vacation time and other absences.

Coun. Drew Dilkens is a member of the transit board of directors. He said all options need to be considered, including raising the fares.

"We'll figure out what the net impact would be in terms of a fare increase," he said. "There may be other options on the table that we can consider that would negate the need to raise fares."

 He wants a report on the feasibility of increasing the fares.

"A fare increase is never popular, but based on the fact that we have budget pressures and costs are going up, at some point you have to pass on part of those costs on to the customers who are using the service," Dilkens said.

On top of it all is the fact city council is asking all departments, including transit, to reduce their budgets by 10 per cent.

The last significant jump in fares was in 2007.

One bit of good news is that bus ridership is up almost three per cent this year.