In July 2014, Administration proposed to Council a new fare structure for July 1, 2015. Council rejected the new fare structure, then directed Administration to maintain the current senior fare discounts for 2015 and return with a fare strategy (with a possible tier structure), based on a sliding scale of fares relative to incomes and to report back to Council no later than October 2014.
Transit’s proposal for a new fare structure responds to the need to be financially sustainable, so that investment in service levels is sufficient to encourage transit use. Customer feedback indicates that quality of service is more of a barrier to riders than cost. Having said this, Councillor Druh Farrell realizes that cost is a significant barrier for low income Calgarians of all ages.
Within the next ten years, over 100,000 Calgarians will turn 65. In 30 years, that number will increase to 300,000. With the growing senior population, many who will continue to work beyond the age of 65, it’s important that we develop a subsidy system that is financially sustainable. Councillor Farrell believes in creating a transit fare structure that provides for discounts based on need rather than age. She is supportive of the following:
- Differentiation for low income Calgarians, regardless of age, to ensure that they are offered a subsidized fare. Druh is supportive of the concept of a sliding scale of fares relative to incomes.
- More fare options for low income Calgarians, i.e. monthly, daily and single ride rather than only annual passes.
- Easier renewal of passes, with the introduction of smart cards that can be renewed without physically visiting a transit office.
The chart below demonstrates how deep the discounts are for seniors and low income seniors, even in comparison to low income Calgarians and youth. Druh will support a fare structure going forward that balances financial sustainability with fare discounts for those who need it, with more flexible fare options for all seniors.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.