Transit Cost per User

Using the 2022 Transit budget we can calculate the cost to the taxpayer of each trip taken by bus riders. Knowing the total revenue from fares and that a regular ride costs the rider $3.00 we can calculate the number of trips taken. As shown in Table 2 the number of rides was 128,083 in 2021. We know from figure 20 the Gross Cost for transit was $1,908,225 in 2021. When we divide this by the number of trips we get the cost per trip to be $14.90 in 2021.  Given the reduced revenues from fares in 2022 we find that we are expecting only 67,900 rides. This results in a dramatic increase in the cost per trip that the taxpayer has to cover - $23.49.  When you add the $3 fare to this each trip is costing $26.49. For this price you could take a taxi to anywhere in Owen Sound. Also in 2021 the riderís $3 fare represented 20.1% of the Gross Costs of providing this service. In 2022 the riderís fare covers only 12.8% of the Gross Costs.  This shows that as ridership declines the taxpayerís share of the cost of providing transit services increases.   How high does the taxpayerís cost per trip need to get before Council finds the courage to cancel this service?

 

2021

2022

Fares

$384,250

$203,700

Fare per Trip

$3.00

$3.00

No. of Trips

128083

67900

Gross Costs

$1,908,374

$1,594,676

Taxpayer Cost per Ride

$14.90

$23.49

We know from figure 20 the Gross Cost for transit was $1,908,225 in 2021. When we divide this by the number of trips we get the cost per trip to be $14.90 in 2021.  Given the reduced revenues from fares in 2022 we find that we are expecting only 67,900 rides. This results in a dramatic increase in the cost per trip that the taxpayer has to cover - $23.49.  When you add the $3 fare to this each trip is costing $26.49. For this price you could take a taxi to anywhere in Owen Sound. Also in 2021 the riderís $3 fare represented 20.1% of the Gross Costs of providing this service. In 2022 the riderís fare covers only 12.8% of the Gross Costs.  This shows that as ridership declines the taxpayerís share of the cost of providing transit services increases.   How high does the taxpayerís cost per trip need to get before Council finds the courage to either fix or cancel this service?   

 

Taxpayer burden per trip went from $14.90 in 2021 to $23.49 in 2022.
When you add the $3 fare to this each trip is costing $26.49.

 

Council was further informed by the Community Satisfaction Survey that showed that the average of phone and computer respondents on the question of Transit was that only 6.5% of the population uses the service frequently and an average of 72.5% said that they never used public transit.  Six and a half percent of Owen Soundís population is 1,400. This figure is likely higher than the actual number of users which could have been have confirmed by Council with an independent study. When we divide 1400 into the Transit budget we find that the cost per rider is $1,110 which is what taxpayers pay to keep this service going. .

So Council voted to sign a five year contract for $6.16 million over the next five years or about $5,000 for each person that currently use this service on a regular basis. Council could have shown their compassion for seniors by authorizing seniors over 65 to use the on-demand Mobility Transit. Then they could have cancelled the regular bus service and saved taxpayers a million dollars. Had they done that, seniors would actually have been better served with the door to door service. Instead they just kicked the can down the road for a future Council to deal with.  In doing so, we are committed for the next five years. this leaves only one solution for this poorly subscribed service; that is increase ridership.