Peterborough Transit operates the conventional public transit system, which is designed to provide service within 450 metres of 90% of the residents of the city as well as specialized transit service to ensure equity and access to residents with mobility requirements.

Ridership levels are showing steady increases in 2023, post-secondary ridership has recovered to almost 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels, however other transit customers are still showing a more gradual return. Revenue is expected to approach 2019 levels by the end of 2024. Higher fuel, insurance cost and inflation are contributing to increased net operating costs for 2024. 

Implementation of the Transit Intelligent Transportation Systems Program is still underway, onboard cameras should be active by early 2024. Work will continue in 2024 to advance the new Transit Garage project and complete the necessary Environmental Assessment study and design work with the support from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). 

The On-Demand pilot which service began in 2022, was discontinued the end of October 2023. The alternative fuel study for transit vehicles will provide recommendations in 2024. However, due to limitations of the current garage facility, vehicle procurement and new fuel dispensing infrastructure will likely be deferred until construction of the new garage facility. ICIP funding will enable the accessible bus stops and bus shelter projects to continue in 2024, in addition, ICIP funding has been secured for conventional bus refurbishments and for conventional bus replacements (up to 3 in 2024/25). 

The Peterborough Transit Liaison Committee had its first meeting in May of 2023 and met bi-weekly through June and into July. As a summary of those meetings, staff presented a report (IPSTR23-004) to Council in September 2023 with the modifications to transit service and 2023 operating budget considerations with short- and long-term recommendations. Key improvements include hiring four full-time drivers (the committee suggested eight), to increase frequency on routes to half hour service on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., adding two on-street supervisors, the return of paper maps and improved communication methods of transit information. Council voted to accept all the recommendations of the report. 

The 2024 budget includes the increased costs for the additional staffing and other recommendations of the report.

Provincial Gas Tax

In October 2004, the Province of Ontario announced the Gas Tax Rebate Program, which provides 2 cents/litre of gas tax to assist in funding improvements to service delivery that supports transit ridership growth. The program generates funds for public transportation, which is subject to change annually based on annual sales of gasoline.

The total allocation is based on 70% transit ridership and 30% municipal population. Public transportation ridership will include the totals of both conventional and specialized public transportation services. The funds are placed in a Provincial Gas Tax Reserve Fund when received and then transferred from the reserve fund to finance authorized expenditures. 

The authorized expenditures include:

  • Public transportation capital expenditures that promote increased transit ridership and are above a municipality's baseline spending.
  • Public transportation operating expenditures that are above a municipality’s baseline spending.
  • Capital expenditures that provide improvements to transit security and passenger safety and are above a municipality’s baseline spending.
  • Major bus refurbishment on any fully accessible, or to be made fully accessible, public transportation vehicle.

Provincial gas tax funds cannot be used to offset expenditures in other municipal departments.

For 2024, an amount of $1.815 million will be drawn from the Provincial Gas Tax Reserve Fund to offset expected costs in
Conventional and Specialized Transit operations.

2024 Budget Overview

Description2024 recommended
Expenditures $20,968,272
Revenues $7,447,802
Net requirement $13,520,470

Capital projects

The Draft 2024 Budget for Transit includes the following projects: Transit Garage Replacement; Conventional Bus Refurbishment; Transit Stops and Shelters (with funding through ICIP); Phase 2 of Transit ITS Program; Accessible Transit Stops (with ICIP funding); Conventional Bus Replacement (with ICIP funding).

Full details are available in the Draft 2024 Budget Book.