Children under the age of 13 will soon be able to ride Edmonton transit for free — if they are with a fare-paying adult.
Edmonton’s mayor said the push for free bus and LRT will be made during spring budget talks; a move Don Iveson said would come at a minimal cost.
“The impact is a couple hundred thousand bucks, which I think we can absorb.”
Right now, children under the age of six ride for free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
The cost of a single cash fare is $3.25.
In an effort to make Edmonton more family friendly, city administrators were asked to look at a number of free-fare options.
Riding for free unaccompanied was quickly ruled out.
“If they were unaccompanied and we were to invite every six to 12-year-old to ride transit whenever they wanted, there was a concern that might have significant cost implications and take people off the yellow bus system,” Iveson said.
Iveson said the free fare would encourage families to use transit and help single parents drop off kids at school while on their way to work.
As a parent of two young children, Iveson said he’s looking forward to not “fumbling around for tickets,” and using transit to head to Oil Kings games and the art gallery.
The mayor doesn’t expect any hesitation from the rest of city council and said implementation would be straightforward and in time for the summer festival season.
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