VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – TransLink is reporting more than $713 million in revenue in its second quarter, which ended June 30th. That’s 10.3 per cent more than the same period a year ago.
While ridership is up, that’s far from the only reason the books look so good.
Last month, the transit operator announced deep cuts to its ambitious expansion plans, including the elimination of three quarters of the new service hours it had planned to add to bus routes across the region.
As a result of those cuts and the increase in ridership, the company says expenditures for the year are now $25.6 million less than originally forecast.
“We will need to draw down $11 million of reserves to fund programs and services, compared to what we had previously budgeted for, and that was $38 million,” explains Derek Zabel with TransLink.
“Any time we that we can get our budget to rely less on that reserve fund, it basically puts us in better financial shape,” he adds.
The reserve fund is supposed to cover unexpected events; it had been tapped after TransLink discovered a significant drop in fuel-tax revenue. Toll revenue from the new Golden Ears Bridge has also been lower than forecast.
TransLink says ridership during the quarter increased 6.3 per cent over the same period in 2011 due to shifting buses from underused routes to busier areas. TransLink says customer satisfaction levels, at 7.7 out of a possible 10, remained at record levels for the quarter.
Expenditures for the quarter increased 2.6 per cent to $672 million, but the dollar amount is six per cent less than what had been budgeted originally.