January 7, 2019 1:47 pm

Winnipeg Transit surplus $5 million higher than first predicted

Winnipeg Transit is projecting a $12.9 million surplus for 2018.

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Winnipeg Transit’s already-high surplus is expected to come in even bigger surplus than first predicted.

September estimates saw Transit with an extra $7.9 million at the end of 2018, but the city’s latest projections put that number closer to $12.8 million.

The increase in savings, according to Winnipeg Transit, is because parts needed to fix buses came in under budget, and salaries and benefits cost less than expected.

The 25-cent fare increase and stable ridership compared to 2017 are also factors.

READ MORE: Mayor says 2019 will be Winnipeg’s ‘year of transit’

The city’s overall operating budget is expected to wrap 2018 with a $14.2 million surplus – itself higher than the September estimate of $9.5 million.

The transit surplus is calculated separately and doesn’t impact the $14.2 million General Revenue Fund surplus.

Coun. Scott Gillingham.

City of Winnipeg / Twitter

“Current indications are that December snow clearing costs should not have a significant impact on the projected surplus, which leaves the City in a positive fiscal position to end the year,” said Coun. Scott Gillingham (St. James), the chair of council’s finance committee.

The city also cites other factors – including increased police revenues, departmental improvements from Planning, Property and Development, and an improvement in salary and benefit expenses for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service – as contributing to the higher projected surplus.

WATCH: Council votes in favour of freezing Winnipeg Transit fares

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