The HSR is expecting to see a $1.6-million shortfall in 2016 with the majority of the shortfall due to lower than expected fare revenues.
Public works, in the first quarter variance report (pg 6), says there is a projected shortfall of $1.1-million in fare collection, that sick and overtime is projected to be $582,000 over budget, and a projected increase in parts will cost another $496,000.
The HSR is expected to save $367,000 in staff vacancies, and $171,000 in fuel.
City communications manager Jen Rescine says the HSR is experiencing lower than expected ridership growth. "Ridership has not increased as forecast. A Fare Task Force is reviewing the model and what the driving factors are for the variance. Council approved the Transit By-law report in April 2016, which will assist staff in addressing the regulation of fares and the use of fare media ie. PRESTO."
Rescine says parts costs are increasing because "the unit cost replacement of parts for buses is increasing significantly as there is a need to purchase an 'assembly unit' versus a specific part, ie. previously, if a light bulb burned out, you would replace the bulb. Now, the entire 'assembly unit' is required."