Transit: Numbers don’t add up

Empty buses don't support increased ridership numbers

The following is an open letter to city hall filed for publication in the Mirror.

 

We recently enjoyed reading some encouraging numbers on the success of Campbell River Transit over the past years.

Apparently Campbell River residents are using Campbell River’s transit system like never before, and we are well ahead of usage and costs of others in our peer group, such as Vernon and Penticton.

The figures provided imply that every resident of Campbell River uses Campbell River Transit with 17.92 rides per person. I know quite a few residents, including myself, have never used local buses (I prefer my bike).

Now, whenever a Transit bus cruises by, I can’t help but notice one to four people on board.

How are the usage numbers calculated?

Let’s compare the numbers provided by Campbell River Transit. (Population figures from the 2011 census).

Campbell River: 558,855 riders / population 31,186 = 17.92 rides per resident

Revenue $602,059 / 558,855 riders = $1.07 per ride

Operating Expense $2,120,000 / 558,855 riders = $3.60 per ride

Vernon:

37,600 riders / population 38,150 = 0.986 rides per resident

Revenue $613,564 / 37,600 riders = $ 16.32 per ride

Operating Expense $2,460,000 / 37,600 riders = $65.42 per ride

Penticton:

29,200 riders / population 42,360 = 0.689 rides per resident

Revenue $521,152 / 29,200 riders = $17.85 per ride

Operating Expenses $2,370,000 / 29,200 riders = $81.16 per ride

 

I hope all of the BC Transit providers report their statistics in the same manner. If these cities can learn from each other, maybe Campbell River could enjoy the revenue success enjoyed by Penticton and see revenues of $9.975 million instead?

In turn, Penticton could look at reducing their operating expenses by following Campbell River’s example. With growth like this, city hall really wouldn’t need to subsidize this surface in the future. With Councillor (Andy) Adams planning a service review, this might be a good area to look at as well.

 

Rob Erickson