Last week, Winnipeg City Council’s Public Work’s committee recommended moving ahead with the first phase of a discounted bus pass. The proposed reduced fare would apply to full monthly adult passes, starting at a 30 percent discount in April increasing to 50 percent by 2022.
Community groups working in environmental sustainability and social justice have been calling for a reduced fare bus pass for low income people for many years. While the city’s proposal is a positive first step, we know that for many low income households it does not go far enough. At $70 dollars per month next year, it will still be out of reach to far too many. Discount single fares would be more accessible for those who cannot afford a full month pass. As well, a true low income pass would be available to all age groups including seniors and youth.
Other cities like Calgary have gone much further in making truly affordable low income bus passes. To achieve these objectives Winnipeg will need greater provincial support, including re-establishing a 50/50 funding arrangement for transit. The Province already pays out over $4 million annually in bus fares for people on EIA and other provincial programs, so they have a clear financial responsibility.
Community members will have an opportunity to have their voices heard at Winnipeg City Hall on October 24th at 9:30 am when the low income transit pass goes to City Council for a vote. Social Planning Council of Winnipeg is encouraging everyone to come out and have your say.
In preparation for this meeting, SPCW is holding an information and organizing meeting where we will help get people ready for presenting so that we can share messages and support each other.
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
Time: 10 am – noon
Venue: Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, 432 Ellice Avenue
Please contact Josh Brandon at: firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or if you have questions on the event.