Fort Saskatchewan city council has unanimously agreed to a plan to provide discounted transit fare to residents with low incomes.
Under the new program, qualifying residents will receive a 50 per cent discount on monthly transit passes for both local buses and commuter service to Edmonton.
"I think it's a great win for our community and I know that the community groups and nonprofits in Fort Saskatchewan who deal with a lot of low-income issues will be very happy with this," said Fort Transit supervisor Anthony Dionigi.
Dionigi was at Tuesday’s council meeting to share details of the new fare program; council first heard about the idea in February, when they asked staff to prepare a report on the feasibility of subsidizing bus fares.
Dionigi estimates that about 100 users per month could potentially use the program. According to the city, about 1550 residents are eligible for the subsidy. The city will use its Everyone Plays program to determine qualifying income levels. Everyone Plays provides reduced recreation fees to people with limited incomes.
The city doesn’t expect to see any increased operating costs from the new program but does anticipate lost revenue of between $5000 and $36,000.
"We're hoping to receive applications for the end of 2018 so that we can start selling passes beginning in early 2019," Dionigi said.