A year ago, Council approved a trial of on-demand transit and although we have not yet seen a staff report on its success or otherwise, the public are being asked to provide feedback. There’s an online survey (see link below) plus more information on it on the Town’s web site plus Cobourg Internet’s page. Other changes this year include an increase in fares, the re-introduction of passes plus the introduction of Smart cards. But Council had another idea: why not offer transit free to children under 12? A motion by Council on 6 December 2021 asked staff to investigate the idea and see what can be learned from Guelph who have implemented this. The thought was that ridership may be encouraged among more parents if their children can ride for free. Currently Cobourg Transit is free for children aged 5 and under.
The deadline for the staff report was 14 February so at the CoW meeting on 14 February, staff will present their report – but it’s a “nothing to report” report!
Staff report that:
The program was brought forward and approved by [Guelph] Council and there is no available Staff report or analysis related to the intended purpose or projected outcome of the pilot.
Cobourg Transit ridership age statistics are not available and Staff cannot predict the revenue loss or gain should Council choose to implement free transit for children under age 12. Student passes are available for any and all ages with proof of enrollment. The 3 year average of student pass sales is 31 passes annually with an average of $1,550 in annual revenue.
A comparison with Guelph Transit is not an apples and apples thing – they have 70 busses. But their fares are more than Cobourg and it’s not “on-demand”. Also children 5 to 12 need a special card (Smart card?) to get their free ride.
It remains to be seen what Council will do. Making children ridership free or not will likely not make much financial difference.
Previous Posts on Cobourg News Blog
- Transit Page
- SmartCard Page
- On-Demand Announcement – March 29, 2021
- Survey – closes 28 February 2022