Statistics reveal a nearly five per cent boost in transit ridership in Kamloops in 2017-2018.
During that time, more than 3.6-million riders hopped aboard public transportation, compared to 3.5-million riders in 2016-2017.
City of Kamloops development director Marvin Kwiatkowski noted a direct link between ridership and additional hours. He said it was the strongest increase in ridership since 2010-2011, which saw an eight per cent bump as a result of increased hours.
In the past decade, the city has seen a 21 per cent increase in transit passengers overall. The numbers, however, fall short of the city’s sustainability plan, which calls for a 50 per cent ridership boost by 2020.
“We’re obviously not going to get close to that number, but I think a 21 per cent increase in ridership isn’t all that bad,” Kwiatkowski said.
Some years in the past decade saw a decline in ridership, possibly due to increased fares, tweaks in routes or how affordable it is to own and operate a vehicle.
Council will decide in March whether to approve an additional 3,000 hours, at a cost of $37,400 in the first year from taxation and $112,250 per year thereafter, as recommended by staff during supplemental budget talks.
The city had a 39 per cent cost recovery in 2017-2018. Other B.C. communities typically recover about 34 per cent of the costs to operate the public transportation service. The city is also at its highest cost-recovery rate in the past decade, and has recovered as little as 32.5 per cent in 2014-2015.
Kamloops transit rides in the past decade:
• 2017-2018: 3,665,000 (4.6 per cent growth);
• 2016-2017: 3,503,000 (2.3 per cent growth);
• 2015-2016: 3,423,000 (2.1 per cent growth);
• 2014-2015: 3,354,248 (2 per cent decline);
• 2013-2014: 3,421,960 (2.1 per cent decline);
• 2012-2013: 3,496,318 (2.8 per cent growth);
• 2011-2012: 3,400,122 (2 per cent decline);
• 2010-2011: 3,470,000 (8.2 per cent growth);
• 2009-2010: 3,205,275 (2.1 per cent decline)