Mark MacKinnon
With the upcoming reloadable transit cards coming soon, what would be the anticipated ridership, operational, and budgetary impact of:

1. Raising the cash fare from $3 to $4, while maintaining all other fares (including a $3 fare on the reloadable card since it's not cash). This will help disincentivise the use of cash on busses, which will result in operational efficiencies.

2. Eliminating the $5 transit card activation fee completely, instead of just waiving the fee during a multi-month promotional period.

2b. Alternatively, only charging $5 for replacement cards -- the first one is always free.

Thank you.
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wmcquade
The proposed 2020 operating budget has a R/C ratio that is within the council approved range of 40-45%. Guelph Transit will be undertaking a fare strategy in 2020 which may include fare increases.
The transit price elasticity equation for fare increases proves for every one per cent in fare increases, ridership decreases by approximately 0.5 per cent. The proposed cash fare increase would result in an annual net revenue increase of $158,616 with a decrease in annual cash fare ridership of 79,308. The net revenue number is also inclusive of a drop in gas tax funding for capital projects of $21,000 as the gas tax funding model is based on ridership numbers.

In 2020, Guelph Transit will be implementing new fareboxes on the buses which includes a reloadable fare card helping to reduce the amount of cash fares received. The operational savings of counting less cash would be minimal.

The $5 fee for a reloadable card is a standard practice across Transit agencies.

After this time, affordable bus pass customers would continue to receive their first reloadable card at no cost.
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Mark MacKinnon
I have been told that the reloadable transit fare card will be priced at the discounted ticket rates and not the $3 cash rate. Will these new rates vary according to the user (adult, youth, senior, affordable) as they do for monthly passes and tickets now? Are the drivers responsible for ensuring the reasonable category use of such cards -- ie. ensuring an adult isn't accessing the youth rate while using the reloadable cards? Thank you.
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Mark MacKinnon
wmcquade wrote:

The $5 fee for a reloadable card is a standard practice across Transit agencies.


Thank you for that, though I would still appreciate knowing the anticipated budgetary impact of removing the $5 fee for everyone’s first reloadable transit card (the $5 fee would apply to subsequent cards, due to loss). Thank you.
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wmcquade
While customers are encouraged to register their reloadable farecard, it is not a requirement unless they are an affordable bus pass client. If a customer opts to not register their card, there is no way to determine if a customer is purchasing a card for the first time. Due to this, we are not able to anticipate the budgetary impact of removing the $5 fee for everyone’s first reloadable transit card.
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wmcquade
In response to the Councillor's question posted above:
Q."I have been told that the reloadable transit fare card will be priced at the discounted ticket rates and not the $3 cash rate. Will these new rates vary according to the user (adult, youth, senior, affordable) as they do for monthly passes and tickets now? Are the drivers responsible for ensuring the reasonable category use of such cards -- ie. ensuring an adult isn't accessing the youth rate while using the reloadable cards?"


Please see the following answer:
Customers have the ability to load various types of fare media onto their card which includes cash, tickets and monthly passes. The cost of the fare media is not changing from its current council approved fare structure (see chart below).

The reloadable fare cards are identified as adult, youth and senior. The current criteria and procedure for adult, youth and senior transit fare media is not changing with the implementation of the reloadable fare card. For example, for youth to be eligible for youth fare, passengers must be between five years and 17 years old, or those age 18 and older must be in full-time attendance at high school; a valid high-school student card must be shown upon request to the operator.

The current fare structure is provided below for reference.


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