Thank you to Gazette writer Jack Farrell for reporting “Transit to bump proposed tax increase to 5.8 per cent.”
In defending another 1.2 per cent increase on top of an already 4.6 per cent tax increase this year, just to participate in the Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Services Commission (EMTSC), Councillor Brodhead admitted that the business case doesn't exist today. He’s also said “we need to be agile”. He’s right.
Councillor Hughes is quoted to say "I was very concerned that this (EMTSC) was going to become a money pit that we had no control over." She’s right too.
I’ve been comfortably and conveniently using St. Albert Transit for my daily commute to and from work into downtown Edmonton, during rush hours, for more that 15 years. I’ve loved that.
Times have changed. I’ve observed that in the post-COVID world, most downtown Edmonton workers, have moved to hybrid work arrangements, like me, if not to 100 per cent remote work arrangements. It will be a long, long time, if ever for ridership to return, let alone to meet pre-COVID assumptions. I’m typically riding a bus that’s 25 per cent full during rush hour. I love that too.
St. Albert contributes its fair share to attracting people to the Edmonton economic region. We are clearly ranked among the top cities to live in in Canada. But, our relatively high property taxes are a detractor.
Council, there is no business case for EMTSC today. Please save our tax money.
Ed Metera, St. Albert