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Politics

London Transit Commission delays fare increase as ridership levels remain flat

File photo.
File photo. Marty Thompson / 980 CFPL

Despite a revenue shortfall, the London Transit Commission (LTC) is once again postponing a planned fare increase.

It was one of several recommendations included in a new report, which suggested ridership levels have remained flat year over year.

LTC committee members gathered Wednesday to review the report, which highlighted a revenue shortfall of just over $1.1 million.

But the Commission is looking to delay a planned fare increase until at least 2018, as their research suggests a fare hike at this time could result in a greater loss in ridership than the normal expected rate due to the ridership trends being experienced nationally.

The fare increase has already been delayed by a year.

READ MORE: London Transit tracking free bus rides for children 12 and under

Ridership has remained static over the past year. It stood at roughly 12.5 million in July 2016, and 12.6 million this past July.

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While that has some committee members concerned, officials insist their five-year plan is beginning to shift gears from having a greater focus on improving service overall to increasing ridership.

They plan to boost those efforts going forward by exploring other initiatives including new marketing campaigns, and the introduction of new programs.

That could include a new long-awaited tracking system that will provide riders real-time updates on their buses through their smartphone including text messages or emails if their bus is delayed or there’s a route change.

READ MORE: London Transit Commission to consider new safety app

It has a cost of $278,773 and is expected to be rolled out this December.

Changes will also take effect this Sunday that will add 20,000 hours of service to various routes in the city.

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