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Refund plan up in air

The December refund plan for transit riders has been left in limbo after city councillors were unable to find agreement on the price to be paid for the incentive program.

The December refund plan for transit riders has been left in limbo after city councillors were unable to find agreement on the price to be paid for the incentive program.

Unable to reach an agreement on the $11.35 million bill for the proposed transit ridership plan, city council has delayed its decision for at least two weeks, but a special meeting may be called sooner.

The proposed plan, as advertised on the OC Transpo website, offered December pass holders a free ride until the end of March and EcoPass holders would not receive paycheque deductions until the end of April.

For the time being, that is no longer the plan.

In the absence of a plan, OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier said they would resort to a default refund program, where December passes would no longer be valid as of the end of February.

Mercier said they would essentially commence the refunding of December passes or provide a service exchange.

“The likelihood would be that we would then communicate to passengers that their December fare would be valid to the end of February to use up some of that refund and the balance of the refund would be applied to a March pass,” said Mercier.

On March 4, OC Transpo will table a new 2009 transit budget. City treasurer Marion Simulik promised they would not be bringing back recommendations that would increase the tax rate.

“We would either look at ways to reduce some of the expenditures or bring in one-time sources of revenue to make sure that envelope does not alter,” she said.

 
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