Council approves increase to LIMO hours, additional drivers and a new bus to address increasing ridership needs; all will be funded through the provincial Gas Tax Reserve Kawartha Lakes This Week
By Mary Riley
LINDSAY – Lindsay’s LIMO transit service will serve its ridership better after City of Kawartha Lakes council approved an additional driver for this year and two more drivers and a new bus next year.
All of the improvements will be funded by the provincial Gas Tax reserve. Council approved the request at the July 12 meeting.
LIMO is the specialized transit that provides curbside service to people with disabilities. The LIMO ridership in 2015 was 12,385.
Transit staff asked that an additional 585 hours be added to the organizational chart and corresponding budget for an additional transit driver be funded for a maximum of $11,580, for the 2016 calendar year.
Staff will also begin the process to purchase an additional Specialized Transit vehicle to be in service effective Jan. 1, 2017 for an upset limit of $180,000; and requested an additional 2,288 hours be included in the 2017 operating budget for additional transit drivers be funded from the Transit Dedicated Gas Tax Reserve.
The report notes there is a need to increase LIMO services due to lack of available appointment times to accommodate existing ridership.
At the Transit Advisory Board Meeting of Jan. 14 a discussion took place regarding the lack of availability to customers to book rides on the LIMO Service. Because of this concern, staff started the process to gather data specific to the ridership and its availability.
The report notes the information gathered was presented to the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee on June 16. Although the committee accepted that Transit Operations are doing everything possible to address the ridership situation, they acknowledge that many riders have given up trying to obtain a ride on the LIMO Service and that the number of customers not being accommodated has increased “because they have given up trying to book appointments through this service.”
The solution was:
- the addition of one part-time driver effective immediately to address customer’s needs between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Currently, Transit services has capacity to add service at these times without the purchase of additional equipment
- the immediate approval for the purchase of an additional LIMO bus as the build for a bus takes approximately seven months to construct, receive and commission into service. The bus will help to alleviate the wait times for specialized transportation services by accommodating the customers not currently being serviced.
- the approval for two additional transit drivers to operate from 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. on weekdays, to satisfy provincial accessibility legislation by providing same day service to the extent that it is available and where same day service is not available.
The cost of the additional drivers in the 2017 operating budget for salary and benefits is estimated at $46,000 and the 2017 budget will reflect the funding from the Transit Dedicated Gas Tax Reserve. The total cost in 2017 will be $58,200 to include the 585 hours added in 2016 as well as the 2,288 hours to be added in 2017. This will address the need to increase service between 9 .m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Mary Riley is the city hall reporter at Kawartha Lakes This Week. She can be reached at email@example.com