City Staff will be reporting to the Public Works Committee on Monday with a report to recommend the city construct up to 56 new bus shelters around the city. According to the report there hasn’t been a new bus shelter constructed around the city in nearly three years.
In the past the city had a contract with CBS Outdoor Canada, who are responsible for the advertising on bus shelters, to construct fifteen new shelters per year. In 2010 when the contract between CBS and the city was renegotiated CBS demonstrated that they had “experienced successive years of losses due to declining sales and rising maintenance costs.” CBS opted not to renew that part of their contract with the city in 2010 and as such no new shelters have been constructed.
CBS is still responsible to maintain existing bus shelters including repairs, cleaning, electrical usage fees for the advertisements as well as the removal of graffiti and shelter replacement due to vandalism. The city incurs the cost for shelter additions, removals or relocation of any existing shelters.
While there have been no new shelters installed since 2010 the list of requests for new installations has grown substantively.
The process to get a requested shelter installed is also a long and arduous process. Every requested location must be analyzed, evaluated and investigated to determine if a shelter is warranted. There are several factors that are looked at, including space available, passenger usage and route stability. For example if a stop is underused or if a route is in the process of being modified, which could relocate the stop, a shelter may not be warranted. Some locations also may require an agreement between the city and property owners if there isn’t enough space on public property.
The report also recommends setting up a process to be used to determine placement of new shelters with a goal of three to four new shelters per ward being provided in consultation with the Ward Councillor.
If the report passes committee and council up to 56 new shelters could be constructed in 2013. The budgeted cost for each shelter would be approximately $10,000 per shelter with a maximum expenditure for the year limited to $560,000. The project would be fully funded from the Transit Provincial Gas Tax Reserve.
The report will go before the Public Works Committee on Monday morning.
Update: Councillor McHattie requested that the report be tabled until the next Public Works meeting in two weeks to get clarification on the funding source. The Provincial Gas Tax Reserve is used for service funding and not capital expenditures, which is what bus shelter purchase and installations would be. Staff clarified that the funds are unused remnants of service expansion from previous years and it able to be used. Don Hull, director of Transportation, was away and will attempt to clarify further upon his return later in the week. If the report remains tabled it will miss the next meeting of council.
Full Report: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonly…PW13005.pdf