Project Description

Slow ride: The wait for affordable bus passes is almost over from, June 2016

Bylaw U-100 unanimously passed its second reading today, meaning Halifax will soon start the low income transit pass pilot project first proposed in 2013.

A 2014 staff report described a six-month pilot program offering 500 passes available for $39 each, which is in line with similar programs in other cities. Participants would be HRM residents who don’t receive transportation funds from the Department of Community Services (DCS), and have an annual household income below $31,000.

To put that in perspective, in 2013, 34,000 Halifax residents fell under Statistics Canada’s low income cut-off measure, which is $30,871 after tax for a family of four.

That same year, 13,000 HRM residents received Employment Support and Income Assistance from DCS. About 7,500 received some transit funding. Of those, 6,320 received exactly $78.

Regional Council supported the pilot proposal in theory, but couldn’t introduce a new fare price without a bylaw setting the rate. Enacting a new bylaw is easier said than done.

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