Number of Niagara Specialized Transit riders has doubled and they are $500,000 over budget

A regional representative is speaking out on recent issues with Niagara's Specialized Transit.

Residents are sharing their stories of being left stranded by sudden cancellations.

Niagara Region's Public Works has said that the booking system for specialized transit has changed due to an overwhelming demand.

The changes mean users can now book no more than two weeks in advance of their scheduled trip date.

Ron Tripp, Commissioner of Public Works tells CKTB's Lee Sterry services are not being cut, but there have been some recent 'gaps' in the system.

Tripp says the demand for the service has skyrocketed from 12,000 trips last year to 30,000 trips projected for 2018.

He says it is a budgetary reality that they can't accommodate all requests all the time.

He says they have tried to budget accordingly but they need to determine how many trips are feasible.

Tripp says they are recommending that 30,000 trips be the maximum.

He admits there have been some gaps in service due to the popularity and they have tried to deliver 100 percent accommodation rate but that's not realistic.

He says they need to strike a balance.

The service's budget for 2018 is $2 million, and maintaining current service will cost $2.5 million.

Niagara Specialized Transit provides transportation from one municipality to another for residents with a disability which prevents them from using conventional transit.

It costs most residents $6/per one-way trip.

To read more about what users have to say about the service click here.