The chair of the City's transit committee, Alex Cullen, told the Ottawa Citizen that people might be in for a "shock" when they hear how expensive it will be to get OC Transpo's services running at full capacity.
The cost might soak up a lot of the City's "savings" earned during the strike -- reportedly about $3 million every week -- due to the demands of "mitigation measures such as free parking and advertising to keep Ottawans informed, as well as plans to attract riders back to the system."
As the strike neared an end, some observers wondered about those "savings". At least one group -- the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa -- has suggested that the City is now in a good position to absorb some of the costs of a $125 universal bus pass and sent a letter saying as much.
That the city is not exactly flush despite the millions in weekly savings could be a sign that groups hoping to capitalize on that money might be out of luck.
It is also worth noting that those 'savings' during the month of December have been used to pay down the OC Transpo budget deficit from 2008.
Wow, big surprise! The City is telling us that they don't have enough cash... this is new. I was personally VERY pleased with the advertising that kept us informed. Well worth the money. The radio ads telling me what I already knew were superb.
Plans to attract riders back should maybe be put on the back-burner until they have the service full up and running again. I'm so sick of the incompetence of these councillors! How are they so out of touch?!
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