News / Calgary

Calgary Transit fares set to rise since frozen 2015 levels

Taking the bus or CTrain is going to cost more in the New Year

It makes cents, but dollars aren’t the best thing to have to spend during an economic downturn, especially in Calgary.

Jennifer Friesen/ for Metro

It makes cents, but dollars aren’t the best thing to have to spend during an economic downturn, especially in Calgary.

As the freeze thaws for transit fares, here’s your friendly reminder: Calgary Transit is going to be a little pricier in the New Year.

Although council opted to keep fares for 2016 at the 2015 levels, your tickets and passes will be going up again in 2017 and 2018 – as they’ve done every year.

But the blow isn’t as hard as it could have been. Instead of rising from $99 a month in 2015, to $103 in 2016 and $105 in 2018, Calgarians are spared two toonies with passes landing at a cool $101 per month this year with the various fares up a dime, or so, depending.

Mary George, an avid Transit user, said these increases are hurting a lot of people who struggle to make ends meet, but don’t qualify for a subsidized pass. She said raising transit fares means making hard choices.

“Two dollars extra for a pass doesn't sound like a lot when you have money,” George said. “But if you are poor, that can be two boxes of KD or a few packages of Ichiban and that translates to a few days of food for some folks.”

It cost the city $8.8 million in 2015 to freeze fares, and next year, they’re launching the first iteration of a sliding scale for low-income Calgarians, which could see more people qualifying for low-income passes.

“Regardless of the economy the way it is, the city still has expenses to pay,” said Coun. Shane Keating. “This is looking after both aspects, the taxpayer not footing the bill for everything and the fare rider paying a little more for their transportation.”

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