News / Calgary

Calgary Transit seeks new ways to fund low income passes

The subsidy ends up costing Calgary Transit $20 million every year

Metro File Photo

Calgary Transit is looking for compensation to help keep up their low income pass program.

According to Neil McKendrick, coordinator of Strategic Transit Planning, Calgary Transit doles out over $20 million to the program and has no way to recover costs. This was one of the many qualms raised during a transportation committee meeting on Wednesday.

"Our transit fares are not keeping pace with our operating costs," McKendrick said. "There's about an eight per cent gap per year, in terms of revenues."

McKendrick added that subsidies for low income passes is money Calgary Transit can't spend on service improvement – Calgary Transit's primary goal.

"We think those are very beneficial and have great benefits in terms of getting people participating in jobs and social activities," McKendrick said. "We're suggesting that some work be done to explore how low income fares could be financed without affecting our ability to provide service."

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