Red Deer transit fees to go up for RDC student pass holders and some other users

Bus fees, frozen since 2016, will go up 3 per cent overall in September

A transit fee increase was approved by Red Deer city council on Wednesday amid discussions about empty buses, subsidies and the need for more provincial support.

Red Deer’s transit fees, frozen since 2016, will go up three per cent overall. But fares will be affected differently.

Action Bus fees will not increase at all. But Red Deer College student semester passes will increase to $150 from $140.

Monthly student passes will increase to $62 from $60, and monthly bulk school passes for students will cost $56 rather than $55.

Seniors will also pay a little more —$62 for a monthly pass compared to $60.

But cash fares for students, youths and seniors will remain the same. And adults fare will actually be reduced to $2.50 from $2.55, since coming up with an extra nickel was considered cumbersome for users.

The changes will kick in in September.

Councillors generally agreed that a fee increase was needed, but differed which efficiencies could be attempted to bring costs down.

Coun. Vesna Higham expressed frustration about the “empty buses“ that can often be seen driving at night. She said this was an issue the last time she sat on council 14 years ago, and was still the second most frequent complaint from residents during the last election, after beefs about crime.

Coun. Lawrence Lee balked at the amount the city subsidizes the service, and suggested the transit department look at changing routes, making some call-on-demand night buses, and other innovative measures to avoid running empty buses.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes cautioned that efficiencies are only good as long as the buses are still convenient enough for people to want to ride them. “We are still providing a public service.”

Mayor Tara Veer expressed frustration about an inequity in provincial government funding. Unlike mid-sized cities such as Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary get provincial subsidies for their transit services — even though they already have a bigger tax base to draw from.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month