City approves new sliding scale for transit pass based on income
By Bigoa Machar
Starting in 2017, a new sliding-scale price for monthly transit passes will be introduced benefitting low-income earners.
According to the city, low-income transit passes will now range anywhere between $5.15 and $51.50 per month, based on how much one earns in relation to the poverty line. This new model will replace the current price scale of transit passes, which sees adult monthly passes costing $99 per month and low-income monthly passes costing $44.
“This is a big deal,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It means that people who are living in real, extreme poverty in our city will now pay just over $5 a month to be able to have a transit pass. And this makes a huge difference in people’s lives. It gets them to medical appointments, to school, to job interviews.”
In addition to easier access to transit for the city’s low income individuals, the mayor adds that the new price point allows people to ride transit without having to worry about any other charges.
“It also means that all of those folks who find themselves in trouble because they’ve just got to use transit and they can’t afford the fare, they get a ticket, the ticket becomes an insurmountable thing keeping them in poverty,” said Nenshi. “This is a very, very big deal.”
While this is a huge step forward in making Calgary’s transit more accessible for everyone, Nenshi says the city isn’t done tuning the system and hopes to expand it in the years to come.