Transit, recreation and even burial fees, are set to go up in Red Deer in 2023.
An operating budget approved by city council on Monday includes hikes in bus fees for Red Deer Transit.
As of next September, an adult ticket will cost $3 per bus ride instead of $2.50. Student/youth tickets will cost $2.50 instead of $2.25. A monthly adult pass will cost $75 rather than $72.50. Twelve-ride passes will cost $33 per adult instead of 27.50 and $27 for students/seniors instead of $23.
Council heard these cost increases are necessary to help support the operational requirements of delivering bus service, which is already mostly subsidized by taxes.
Administrators explained ridership is now only at 55 per cent of pre-COVID days, and that revenues would have to increase substantially before they could explore adding new routes or more Sunday service.
Recreational costs are also increasing starting Sept. 1, 2023. Council was told the city’s recreation facilities are generally at, or below, average in the admission fees charged, compared with other mid-sized municipalities.
Fees for the Collicutt Centre and the newly renovated and expanded G.H. Dawe Centre will be $9.90 for adults (instead of $9.25 now for the Collicutt Centre). Youths will pay $6.90 instead of $6.45.
Council was told there are more public amenities at these facilities, hence the higher charge, compared to the Red Deer Recreation Centre.
Entry for adults to the Red Deer Recreation Centre will be $5.80 instead of $5.40. Youths will pay $4.10 instead of $3.85.
Arena and pool rentals are also going up — as are the cost of burials.
Red Deer’s Cemetery fees were adjusted to more closely align with other comparable municipalities. Increases will be phased in over three years. A traditional burial will cost 4,047 starting in 2025, compared to $3,355 today. As of April 1. 2023, it will cost $3,672.