Memo for fiscal year 2019, updated 2018-03-30

[Archived] Question #52: Provide a budget memo on staff’s perspective on DASH’s requests.


Provide a budget memo on staff's perspective on DASH's requests


The purpose of this memo is to provide City Council with Staff’s perspective on DASH’s request for either additional funding or assurance that DASH will be made whole at the end of FY19.  

City staff is supportive of the additional programs that DASH has proposed for FY19 – expansion of the high school student pass pilot and introduction of an off-peak senior fare. The new fare programs are not expected to increase DASH’s expenses. It is hoped that they will increase DASH ridership without increasing costs by taking advantage of unused capacity during off-peak hours, which may increase revenue from new senior riders in the off-peak and introduce the bus system to new seniors who may also start riding during peak hours and high school students who may become regular customers in adulthood. At the same time staff recognizes some revenue may be lost from seniors who currently ride during off-peak hours at full cost and would now receive a discount. The exact impact on revenue cannot be estimated at this time as impacts are realized upon the completion of the first year of the program. 

DASH implemented two new fare programs in FY18 (TC Williams Student Pass and DOT Paratransit Rides Free). Since these programs are still in the first year, a total program cost and impact on revenues has not yet been established.  Similarly, the total revenue impact of the two new proposed fare programs will not be known until the end of FY19.  

As always, City staff will work with DASH to monitor revenues, expenditures and participation throughout the course of the fiscal year and be prepared to make adjustments during the course of the fiscal year if necessary, demonstrating the City’s commitment to DASH and to providing high quality transit for residents, employees, and visitors.

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