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December 07, 2012

City council expands low-income transit pass to youth


United Way of Calgary and Area is celebrating another public policy win.

On December 17, Calgary's city council unanimously approved a pilot project that will make youth eligible for Calgary Transit's low-income monthly pass. United Way has worked closely with city council and administration on this issue, as our research consistently shows that transit costs are a barrier for low-income Calgarians.

"This will connect low-income youth with more opportunities and brighter futures, making it easier for them to access school, employment and services in our city," says United Way president and CEO Dr. Lucy Miller.

Council's decision could benefit up to 17,000 youth living in poverty. Previously, eligible low-income parents could buy the low-income monthly transit pass for $44, but youth in that same family had to pay $57.50 for a youth pass. Now everyone in that family will be eligible for the lower rate.

United Way estimates that this will benefit approximately 740 low-income youth who are already purchasing a monthly youth pass, and estimates that over 1,000 more youth will apply for a low-income monthly pass now that it's available to them.

Miller congratulated the City of Calgary for its leadership in ensuring that transit is affordable to all. This move builds on council's decision earlier this month to expand Calgary Transit's low-income pass to include more adults living below the low-income cutoff.

"United Way is proud to partner with the City of Calgary in making this a great city for everyone," says Miller.

(Photo from Flickr, by Chealion.)