A city bus picks up riders outside city hall on Feb. 4, 2013.
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THUNDER BAY -- The price of a bus ride is about to go up.
City council approved recommendations at Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting to increase transit fares by April 1. Cash fares will go up five cents to $2.65, 20-ride punch pass will go up by $5 to $40, family day pass by $4.50 to $10.50 and ticket sheets up $4 to $24. Monthly passes also saw an increase; adult increased to $74 and discount adult to $63.50.
Youth and senior passes will not go up.
The higher fares are expected to increase transit revenue by about $235,000.
City transit manager Brad Loroff said there’s a one-time realignment cost that’s required to move the pricing structure to the new fare table.
“The whole purpose of the fare table is to ensure a consistent way to manage the discount structure when compared to the cash fare,” Loroff told council.
Passenger classifications were also changed. A child is under five years old; a youth between the ages of six to 17, adult 18 to 59 and senior is 60 years old and up.
At-Large Coun. Rebecca Johnson questions why the youth fee was much higher than the ones offered to Confederation College and Lakehead University. She wondered if it would be possible for administration to offer a version of the U-Pass to secondary students.
“It’s still a fair amount of money for some of our youth to move around on a bus,” she said. “It is still $636 for 12 months for students that are teenagers primarily.”
Loroff said that the U-Pass is based on volume and aren’t at a point yet where the city could offer that deal for youth because they couldn’t guarantee the ridership. He added that few municipalities offer those programs for youth.
Administration also plans to have the option for passengers to buy passes online through the city’s website with the goal of having monthly passes available for up to three months at one time.
Council also approved the recommendation for the city to enter into an agreement with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario in order to secure $250,000 in funding. The funding will go toward improving bus shelters across the city.
In other business, council approved the CIMA report on the assessment of the flooding at the Atlantic Avenue Water Treatment Plant.
The report had a number of long and short term solutions in order to fix the plant that cost more than $1.4 million.
One of the suggestions included removing the number 4 screen from the channel and create an emergency bypass. The report states that removing the screen will reduce screening capacity but will significantly increase overall hydraulic capacity.
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