Armstrong transit costs could be tweaked

Service review recommendation calls for cost adjustments

The City of Armstrong is a step closer to having its payment share for regional transit adjusted.

A transit service review committee voted Wednesday to recommend the Regional District of North Okanagan Board adjust the current cost sharing arrangement on routes 60 and 61 (Vernon north to Enderby and Vernon east to Lumby) for which Armstrong pays the most.

“It was a really positive meeting,” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper, who filled in for Coun. Shirley Fowler, the city’s regional district representative, while she is on vacation.

“We want to take a look at the service and have equity for everyone.”

Armstrong council requested a formal service review in August 2017. The city, over the years, has voiced concerns regarding the inequitable apportionment of costs allocated to Armstrong. Fowler said in August that Armstrong pays more than 28 per cent of the costs of the routes, and that goes back to the days when transit was originally set up.

“A lot of things have changed and we just feel that a review of the cost allocation is really prudent to our taxpayers,” said Fowler at the time.

Coun. Paul Britton said in August Armstrong has been “paying way more than anybody else for years and years.”

Regional district board chair Bob Fleming agreed that over time, the transit service has changed but not the apportionment of costs. The board will now vote on the recommendation.

“This can’t happen without full agreement,” said Fleming. Should the board pass the recommendation, the matter will then go before member councils for final ratification.

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