Huntsville town staff is recommending council approve an increase to the transit budget. In a report to council, staff recommends a $1146.20 monthly increase to its current transit contract, for a total of $13,754 for the year. Staff says the increase is needed due to the increase in minimum wage. The existing contract has a yearly increase of two per cent, according to the report, but the transit operator is asking for the extra funds to offset their wage increase.

The report says staff has reviewed the costs and thinks they are reasonable.

In the draft budget for this year, which hasn’t been approved by council yet, there are funds set aside to hire a consultant for a full transit review. Once that’s done, and council decides on what upgrades it wants to see for the bus line, a request for proposal will be issued for a transit operator.

Council has two options to consider on Monday night; one is to approve the requested increase until the review is complete and a new RFP is issued. The second is to deny the request. But, town staff says the operator could then end the contract and stop providing transit services, which is allowed in the existing agreement. If that happens, staff would have to issue an RFP to find another operator until the transit review is complete.