Transit Windsor looking for a 9.7% funding increase in 2019

Transit Windsor is hoping for a 9.7 per cent funding increase in next year's city budget in order to maintain its same level of services.

Transit Windsor is also seeking public input on its services

Transit Windsor has been getting hit by high fuel costs, according to executive director Patrick Delmore. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Transit Windsor is hoping for a 9.7 per cent funding increase in the city's operating budget for next year in order to maintain its level of service.

That would mean a property tax levy contribution of $14,558,244, which is $1,286,725 more than the 2018 contribution. 

On Wednesday, the Environment, Transportation and Public Safety Standing Committee recommended the budget be referred to city council for consideration during its 2019 budget deliberations.

There are "a number of things that have come up that are increasing our costs for Transit Windsor," said Patrick Delmore, executive director of Transit Windsor.

"The largest of such is the fuel price," which he described as extremely high.

This year, Transit Windsor is running a deficit of over $600,000, he said.

Furthermore, among other budgetary considerations, there are service enhancements that have been implemented to accommodate the increase in ridership from St. Clair College, the costs of which are included in the 2019 budget.

A service review

Transit Windsor has also launched a year-long service review.

Delmore says he's excited about the service review initiative. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

The work started in June, which looks at ridership data, revenue data, and how Windsor's system compares to other municipalities. Delmore said the system is being looked at to see what has changed and how that affects ridership and residents in the city.

"We're really excited about this project."

Now, Transit Windsor is seeking public consultation through various avenues, including an online survey that runs until the end of December.

The last time a similar review was done was when they did a full comprehensive review in 2007. 

Delmore said ridership is up, overall, and that a lot has been changing with the addition of technologies, like real-time information for riders and an app.

"Now comes the time for the community to tell us what they want."

West-end bus terminal talks deferred

On Wednesday, the standing committee was also expected to discuss the west-end transit terminal relocation project. 

However, Coun. Chris Holt was sick and absent, Coun. Fred Francis was unable to attend because of a family funeral, and Coun. Bill Marra declared a conflict on the item. As a result, there was a lack of quorum at the meeting in order to proceed with the discussion.

It has been deferred until the next meeting.

The proposed location of the new terminal has caused some concern among neighbouring residents. It would be built on the northwest corner of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare on Prince Road.

With files from Katerina Georgieva