CCC Latest News‎ > ‎

OC Transpo Cost Reduction Plan

posted Feb 16, 2011, 12:04 PM by John Verbaas
Today at Transit Commission, OC Transpo provided an initial view of how they plan to achieve annual operational cost savings of 22m$ per year starting from 2012.  This will come from 4 different sources.
  1. $2.5m - Buying 75 more double decker buses and using them on express routes
  2. $1.8m - Lowering Peak hour coverage commitment from 98.6% to 95% of customers to be within a 5-minute walk (400m) of a transit stop
  3. $17.7m - Lowering off peak coverage commitment from 99.9% to 95% of customers to  be within a 10-minute walk (800m)  of a transit stop
  4. $.7m in other operational cost efficiencies
Route Changes:  In other words, 80% of the cost savings come from reducing service in off-peak hours in lower density areas where transit ridership tends to be lower.

The details of which routes will be adjusted as part of item #2 and #3 above will  be presented to the transit commission and for public comment on Mar 23.

The following points were made regarding the upcoming route changes:
  • 90% of riders would see no changes
  • others would see changes involving a slightly longer walk to get to a bus stop, partially offset by the fact that these new fewer/farther bus stops would see slightly more frequent service compared to those stops proposed for elimination
  • some routes will be modified where 2 or more routes overlap too closely

Double Decker Buses: The second major item in today's announcement is the proposal to purchase 75 new double decker buses and put them into operation as soon as possible as express buses.   OC Transpo was planning to add another 118 buses to it's fleet by 2016 as this was going to be necessary to cope with route detours that will happen while the LRT is under construction.  Todays' proposal basically asks to buy more buses now four years sooner and to buy double deckers rather than articulated buses.  This will result in annual operating costs savings of 2.5m$ in 2012 and 10m$ in each of 2013 to 2016.  The 2013 to 2016 savings will be offset by 4m$ per year of financing costs to buy these buses (resulting in a bottom line annual savings of 10-4=6m$ per year).  Following are some points which were noted regarding double decker buses:
  • carry 90 riders rather than 70 for an articulated bus
  • have seating for 82 vs 55 for an articulated bus
  • uses 11% less fuel per km than an articulated bus (while carrying more passengers)
  • performs better on slippery roads in winter than an articulated bus
  • has less headroom (esp on 2nd level compared to an articulated bus)
  • takes longer for passengers to load and unload vs an articulated bus
  • is slightly slower than an articulated bus
  • there is only 1 supplier in North America of double decker buses
This last point is the reason why it is proposed to use them only on express routes where there will be less stops.  It was also noted that they anticipate with a double decker bus overall end-end trip times on the express routes to be on average 6% longer than today (because of longer loading/unloading times).

More information on the business case behind the double decker bus proposals will be provided at the Mar 23 Transit Commission meeting.