Transit Services Financial Audit
We saw a huge growth in the cost Transit Services this year. We also saw in figure 6 that Transportation Services grew by 79.9% during the study period 2011 to 2020. We donít know how Transit Service contributed to this growth but we do know from figure 8 that Owen Sound taxpayers are paying much more for Transit Services than similarly sized municipalities. The question that an independent financial audit will answer for taxpayers is: where has our money been going? How can Brockville, an almost identically sized municipality, provide Transit Services for only 40% of what we are paying? This doesnít seem plausible. Taxpayers deserve to know how the generous budget that Transit Services has been given over the years has been spent.
As well, Transit requested and received a $504,000 budget increase in 2022. They based the need for this increase on anticipated increase in contract costs and that revenue from the fare box would be down by $194,000 due to an anticipated reduction of ridership by 50%. We learned just a few weeks after the budget was approved that the new contract cost was actually less than the previous cost and recently we learned that ridership is actually up so far this year. The impact of this is that Transit received in the order of $500,000 more than it actually needs and should end the fiscal year with at least a $500,000 surplus. A Financial Audit of transit will verify the above.