A city committee has authorized investing surplus money, from the city’s Fiscal Stability and Operating Budget Savings Account to help upgrade the services and cover revenue losses.
The funding was voted by the city’s executive committee on Wednesday, as part of a discussion on service investment and improvement. However, the money still needs to get final approval at the regular meeting of council.
The Calgary Transit said this year’s revenue shortfall is anticipated to be between $40-50 million dollars, but is expected to improve, reports Global News. In 2020, the transit experienced a decline in ridership due to the pandemic and recorded a revenue shortfall of $93 million, jumping the following year to $106 million. Last year, it declined to $67 million.
Report says the revenue losses were previously counterbalanced by matching emergency relief funding between the federal and provincial government, but such funding isn’t expected this year.
Calgary Mayor, Jyoti Gondek, said in Global News report “a different kind of partnership, a different kind of funding opportunity would certainly be beneficial for those who use public transit.”
“it would also drive up the use of public transit, which allows us to accomplish a lot of goals around the environment, and it also creates a type of social equity that all three orders of government are committed to”, said Gondek in the report.
Although, data from Calgary Transit showed that in January, CTrain usage and bus boarding has increased, the transit is still in recovery mode. Calgary Transit is attempting to improve service and are making efforts to hire more operators by the end of the year.
Part of the efforts made to improve service is lighting up its downtown transit stations between City Hall and Downtown West/Kirby stations. The purpose is to reduce crime and improve safety.
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