A bus pass meant to help less fortunate Winnipeggers has passed the final hurdle.
Winnipeg city council approved the proposed low-income bus pass program Thursday.
“The project is on schedule to begin accepting applications on April 1, 2020 with the May 2020 monthly bus pass being the first low income product for sale,” reads a report on the program.
To qualify for a pass, Winnipeggers must be between 18 and 64 years old, live in the city, and either on EIA, part of a household that is below the Before-Tax Low Income Cut Off or a new permanent resident or refugee who has lived in Canada for less than a year and has yet to file a tax return.
“Youth already receive a 30% discount on monthly passes and a program to provide reduced fare for children under 12 is currently being considered by the 2020 Budget Working Group,” said the report.
The low-income bus pass program will be phased in over three years. The first year, from May 2020-April 2021, there will be a 30 per cent discount on a full fare monthly pass. The following year will be 40 per cent, and subsequent years will be 50 per cent.
The phasing-in process will give Winnipeg Transit time to absorb the costs and adjust personnel. The annual costs range from about $600,000 the first year to just over $3 million by 2024.
People will need to prove they qualify for the discount through an application process, and will need to re-apply every year.