By Riley Brockington and Carol Anne Meehan, Ottawa Citizen, December 7, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the city of Ottawa.
We are two Ottawa city councillors and transit commissioners worried and frustrated that any attempt to stop hemorrhaging money from the operating side of the budget at OC Transpo is being resisted as not workable because of the long-term financial implications
Preserving the entire system for those who need it the most is quite noble, but comes at a considerable cost to taxpayers.
OC Transpo is on life support, generating a $125-million deficit in 2020. Some capital projects have been cut, and a massive bailout from the provincial and federal governments should provide relief until March 30, 2021.
Manconi recently presented the transit commission with three budget options. Plan A ambitiously estimates a return to 70 per cent of pre-COVID ridership levels, when we are hovering around 35 per cent today. Plan B would require tens of millions of dollars in cuts to the capital side of the budget if a second-round bailout was not received. And Plan C would result in drastic cuts that would leave no neighbourhood unscathed.https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/brockington-and-meehan-why-it-cant-be-business-as-usual-at-oc-transpo