Transit system first casualty of budget crunch?

When the budget comes down later this month, one casualty of the “crunch,” as Mayor Cliff Barwick portrayed the city’s financial reality this year, is the transit system, in particular the paratransit component.
A report to council Monday advised St. Thomas Transit is shedding riders, and maintenance costs for the four newest buses in the fleet could escalate at an alarming rate once the warranties expire.
Dealing with the latter issue first, why would the city purchase these vehicles, which Dave White, supervisor of roads and transportation, admits are only used by a few other communities, with little “historical data” on them?
They are prone to major component failures and have spent a disproportionate amount of time out of service.
Continue reading