Posted: Feb 10, 2012, 12:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Gatineau, QC
We might be blasting the city of Ottawa for rising their fares fast and cutting a lot of service, look at Clarence-Rockland's fare increases lately.
Rising bus fares anger commuters east of Ottawa
Posted: Feb 9, 2012 6:52 AM ET
Last Updated: Feb 9, 2012 11:54 AM ET
Read 56 comments56
Commuters east of Ottawa are angry over a third straight year of hikes to the cost of using a necessary private bus service.
Some residents of Rockland, Ont., who use Leduc buses staged a protest Wednesday evening saying they are being gouged at the fare box.
But Leduc, which is the only bus service for those who work in Ottawa, said they are not responsible for fare hikes. One spokesman said the city and the mayor decide when to raise the fares.
"They're the ones who decide and dictate [the fares]," said Marc Savage, a manager at Leduc Bus Lines Ltd, "All the money [made from bus fares] goes to the city."
Clarence-Rockland bus fares
2010 2011 2012
Regular Monthly pass $180 $216 $245
Leduc has signed a contract with the city of Clarence-Rockland and Savage said they have no say on any fare hike decision.
The city will raise the regular monthly pass by $29 this year after a $36 hike in April 2011. That means a $180 pass in early 2011 now will cost $245.
But when the CBC's Cory O'Kelly asked the mayor about fare hikes, he did not clarify who was responsible.
"We are going to look into that contract to see if we do have some leverage, somehow," said Mayor Marcel Guibord.
City responsible for fare hike, not Leduc Bus Lines
Guibord also said he agreed the fares were high when commuters blamed Leduc for the fares, which have risen over the past two years.
Residents said they did not raise concerns after two straight years of hikes. But after a third year, they said they had enough.
"People are angry. There's families here that just cannot bear that cost," said Patrick Gilligan, who organized the protest.
Leduc Bus Lines Ltd. tabs itself as the most trusted people carrier in eastern Ontario and features lines from Clarence-Rockland and Hawkesbury to Ottawa.Leduc Bus Lines Ltd. tabs itself as the most trusted people carrier in eastern Ontario and features lines from Clarence-Rockland and Hawkesbury to Ottawa. (CBC)
"We moved here from Montreal three years ago. Everything seemed reasonable. For a bus service to increase 52 per cent in three years, that's very upsetting," he said.
Gilligan is one new resident who was attracted by the city's marketing, which called itself a bedroom community where homes and commuting are affordable.
The city subsidizes Leduc users 22 per cent of a total cost of a bus pass. The mayor said the only options for residents are paying more or the city would have to provide a larger subsidy to commuters.
That would mean those same residents, plus many others, would see a rise in property taxes.
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