Taxpayers Tapped Out For Transit: MULVIHILL

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How could anyone not see this coming?

Funded through fares and a transit levy on property-tax bills, OC Transpo is facing a $49.8-million deficit this year. The transit service reported a $29.3 million deficit in 2023. Of course, decreased transit ridership is said to be the cause because it certainly couldn’t possibly be financial mismanagement. Could it?

Because of the dismal bottom line, it was only a matter of time before the mention of an additional transit tax is mentioned.

Leading Mobility, a public transit strategy group, released a report called This is the End of the Line with the dire warning that transit agencies across Canada will have to implement other revenue tools to maintain existing transit service. Increased funding from provincial and federal governments should not be expected.

“Without new revenue, there is a real risk of service cuts and stalled service expansion that would weaken public transit systems across the country.”

Let’s just hold on a sec, shall we? Let’s all remember how unconcerned council and OC Transpo general manager Renée Amilcar recently were about low ridership and also remember how this city did absolutely nothing about transit schedules preferring status quo when the entire country was shut down for two years.  But now, the city is encouraged to look at implementing a vehicle levy on all licence plates registered to help fund public transit and, as a caution, warning of considerable political risk. No kidding.

“Based on the operating revenue shortfall identified in this study, a vehicle levy would likely generate moderate revenue for OC Transpo,” the report says.

“Vehicle levies would present the City of Ottawa with an opportunity to work toward climate action goals and objectives by discouraging high levels of automobile ownership and potentially influence Ottawans to take transit, walk or cycle.” A vehicle levy would be charged when licence plates registered in Ottawa are renewed. As this is a provincial responsibility, the province would have to be on board.

The City of Ottawa continues to experience massive financial mismanagement in terms of public transit. LRT is a running joke and buses are not far behind. Before this council looks yet again to the taxpayer, perhaps this mayor and his minions should get their own backyard in order first.

Donna Mulvihill is a community activist and former hospital coordinator.


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2 Responses

  1. GGInnes says:

    I think is not a bad idea, but at the same time we need to stop expanding the city and start intensifying the already developed suburbs where public transport is already offered. There is no point in building more roads and expanding…we cannot have both..

  2. Diane Zarnke says:

    Cut off all city money (wages, benefits , pensions, payouts….everything) to anyone involved in bringing this disaster to Ottawa……..till taxpayers’ money has been recouped……….then once thus disaster is up and running profitably for 1 year their payments restart.

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