*NOTE: Please click the link for the full minutes from the May 25, 2020 Burlington City Council Meeting — Post-Meeting Minutes – Regular Meeting of Council_May25_2020.
Burlington City Council unanimously endorsed, at the May 25 meeting, a declaration to urge the Government of Canada to provide urgent funding to assure the viability of public transit during the COVID-19 pandemic and to aid transit operators in rebuilding ridership.
The resolution (scroll further down this post to read it in full) was moved by Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman, and seconded by Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna.
BURLINGTON CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION:
Whereas, the situation of an unprecedented drop in public transit ridership provoked by the COVID-19 outbreak accompanied by massive revenue losses is affecting public transit agencies right across Canada putting in jeopardy their financial viability and future ability to operate; and
Whereas, the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Canada’s largest public transport lobby, the membership of which includes most Canadian transit agencies including Oakville Transit, has called for urgent emergency funding to address the immediate liquidity issues of transit operators while providing financial stability while ridership rebuilds; and
Whereas, CUTA estimates as many as 40 per cent of systems may require bridge funding over the coming months requiring some $1.2 billion to help them keep the buses and trains running; and
Whereas, CUTA is seeking $400 million a month to keep services running as fare box and other revenue drop by up to 100 per cent; and
Whereas CUTA notes that it will likely take some time for transit operators to rebuild ridership to February 2020 levels during a gradually return to more normal economic activity; and
Whereas, Burlington Transit was experiencing a 14.2% increase in ridership from September 2019 to February 2020, due to the introduction of new service, schedules and a grid network, prior to the impact COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas, Burlington Transit is losing an average of $475 000 in farebox revenue every month as a direct result of the pandemic; and
Whereas, without a quick infusion of funds by the Government of Canada it is impossible to assure that the gains made over the past decade in growing the modal share of all rides taken via collective transit will not be lost;
Therefore, be it resolved, that Burlington City Council endorses CUTA’s request to the Government of Canada for emergency funding to provide immediate liquidity to transit operators and on-going funding to alleviate revenue loss as ridership rebuilds; and
That a copy of this motion be sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Transport of Canada and the Minister of Finance of Canada.
We have offered free fares to protect the health and safety of both our drivers and our riders, as well as allowing rear-door boarding and no contact in exchange of fares. With less revenue, we still have the costs of running our needed Burlington Transit service to take essential workers, employees and residents to where they need to go. As a result, we need our upper levels of government to help to maintain this service, while ensuring health of all of our drivers and passengers.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 903-335-7777, by email at email@example.com or online.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca