Ridership is up but the cost of providing transit in Kelowna has also jumped

Transit costs jump $800k

It's a good news bad new scenario for the City of Kelowna as it pertains to providing transit services across the city.

While ridership have rebounded following the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of operating the Kelowna Regional Transit system has skyrocketed.

It's expected the city's share of providing transit will increase by $816,048. Increased operating costs around fuel, fixed costs, information services and BC Transit management services.

Breakdown of the city's portion of the increase includes $690,000 for conventional transit, $48,771 for community transit and $78,022 for custom transit.

Costs for providing the regional service are shared between all regional governments within the Central Okanagan.

Kelowna, as the largest city, shoulders the largest share of expenses, while also collecting the largest percentage of revenue. That works out to 84.3 per cent.

Revenues are also significantly higher with growth projected to be in line with population growth and post secondary enrollment.

However, the report outlining the 2023-2024 operating agreement with BC Transit suggests the system is experiencing some service capacity constraints.

Overall, system revenues are expected to increase by $650,000, with Kelowna's share pegged at $548,000

The Kelowna Regional Transit system is the largest among Tier 1 systems in the province providing more than 240,000 service hours each year.

BC Transit covers 46.7 per cent of the cost of the service with the municipalities responsible for the remaining 53.3 per cent.

Kelowna council is expected to endorse the annual operating agreement Monday.

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