I'm not sure where that number is sourced from, but the one I've seen was a $9M/year net saving by switching to LRT.However, it has been published repeatedly that maintenance payments are $5M per month for the Confederation Line, which exceeds the $50M per year saving that was claimed as a result of eliminating downtown bus service.
OC Transpo has always been constrained by a tight budget. The LRT didn't change that.I have spoken with OC Transpo planners who explained how bus operations were constrained by a tight budget. So, why were service cuts implemented on many non-downtown routes when the Confederation Line opened? To pay for Route 15 that you mentioned? Or did the city slash the transit budget when the Confederation line opened? Or was there another explanation?
I don't know exactly why which cuts were made where and for what reason. The budget was certainly cut following the launch, supposedly to shed the extra operators that had been hired to manage the construction detours, but perhaps they snuck a further cut in, or perhaps other costs went up (think: fuel, labour).
In the end, my main point still stands. OC Transpo, or rather the city, has been penny pinching transit operations since at least 2004, and to blame any of this on the LRT is to completely overlook the more systemic funding issue with OC Transpo.
As I think I've said in the past, we don't need major capital expenses to solve that in the near term.All I want is reliable transfers. There is no indication that Phase 2 addresses this.