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OC Transpo driving in the red in the first three months of 2024

OC Transpo’s fare box was short $6.2 million in the first three months of the year, as fewer passengers ride buses and the O-Train.

A report for the Transit Commission meeting on June 13 shows OC Transpo posted a $6.2 million deficit in the January to March period.

Staff say revenue was $10.7 million below budget in the first quarter, primarily due to lower-than-budgeted fare revenue, resulting from lower ridership and more passengers riding at a discounted fare.

The transit service missed ridership targets in the first three months of the year. OC Transpo provided 18.3 million passenger trips in the first three months of the year, short of the 19.4 million ridership target.

The report says OC Transpo did find $4.4 million in savings in the first quarter, mainly due to the delayed opening of the O-Train Trillium Line, lower debt costs and lower compensation costs.

“The lower compensation costs are due to the net results of positions being held vacant to reduce costs, being partially offset by a delay in implementation of the workforce adjustment savings that were part of the administrative process review and approved by Council as part of the 2024 operating budget,” staff say.

The report shows OC Transpo saved $906,000 through reductions in payments to Rideau Transit Group for O-Train Confederation Line operations.

Staff say the second quarter status report will provide a “better indication” on the overall year-end financial position for the transit service.

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