It's wrong and misleading.I was able to reassemble the numbers provided in the article.This takes $16.6M in lost revenues, plus $1.2M in mitigation measures, plus $1.3M in tax delays, then subtracts $5.7M in savings from not running buses in January = $13.4MBUT! It doesn't include the $6M in savings from not running buses in December. The City has already spent those savings on its own operating losses from January 1 to December 9, 2008. The real cost, according to these numbers, would be $16.6M + $1.2M + $1.3M - $5.7M - $6M = $7.4M.That operating deficit was an OC Transpo management problem, and the City is trying to blame it on the strike to make the damages look worse.Don't buy it, guys!- RG>
The City has spun the issue of strike savings as part of their PR efforts to make impressive sound bites during the strike. The City never had any intention to let people know what they knew to be the real costs to taxpayers of this strike. This will come out in spits and spurts in advance of a new OC Transpo operating budget next month. A budget likely to have fewer buses in service, lower revenue projections and higher deficits. Watch Council reverse itself on its policy to have no more than 50% of OC Transpo costs subsidized through transit levies. The rural park and ride levy is just the tip of the iceberg of adding new layers of "user transit levies".And do not count on there being any layoffs of staff or any reduction in bus purchases. Just the opposite.The City sees us the taxpayer as having very deep pockets to pay for all of their mistakes and excesses.Can't wait for the next elections.
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