In June 2014, Calgary Transit presented a new fare strategy intended to equitably distribute transit discounts for all users. Transit recommended tying future discounts more closely to income rather than ages, stating most seniors in Calgary are not low income, and in fact are more financially well-off than young adults.
Transit proposed replacing the annual rate for low-income seniors with a single rate for people of all ages who qualify as low-income and phasing out the annual discount passes for seniors. Transit also proposed the $95 annual pass for regular-income seniors be replaced by a discounted monthly and single-trip passes. The discount would be the same rate offered to youth, currently $2 for a single-trip ticket and $60 for a monthly pass. However, these prices are set to increase under the new fare structure.
I have significant concerns about the restructuring of fees to a more income-based system. While seniors may not qualify as low income, they are on fixed-income. Furthermore, seniors are a large part of Calgary’s volunteer force. By providing discounted fares for seniors, it benefits the entire community by encouraging a healthier, social and more active senior population.
Council voted to defer a new Calgary Transit fare schedule back to administration for further study. City staff will amend the report and present it for discussion at the July 18 committee meeting. I will continue to endeavour in my mandate to serve the senior population in Ward 1 with the respect you deserve, by listening and paying attention to your concerns and needs.
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