It’s a waste of money to fund empty transit buses

As I watch another two empty transit buses pass my kitchen window, I feel that I must speak out as a city of Red Deer resident and taxpayer.

In September 2017, transit Route 3 changed and now travels down our residential street 68 times a day on weekdays and 48 times a day on weekends, with an average of one rider on every second bus.

(Ridership stats provided by the City of Red Deer for Route 3 over a six-month period.)

With the cost per hour per bus provided in the 2019 operational budget of $100, this route alone is costing taxpayers $20,800 every week for one rider on every second bus.

Transit’s $200,000 shortfall, as reported in the Red Deer Advocate, is from a drop in passholder proceeds, not the amount of money lost by running full-size empty buses.

A neighbourhood petition, submitted in July 2018 with 100 per cent of all 84 signees asking for the removal of these empty buses from our street, was presented to the City of Red Deer and has received no supportive resolution.

We elect city councillors in good faith and expect them to be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

Why will no one stand up and immediately insist that our tax dollars be put to better use than throwing money at empty transit buses?

Linda Rowe, Red Deer

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