Low income bus pass coming to Winnipeg Transit

A Winnipeg Transit Peggo card.
A Winnipeg Transit Peggo card. Elisha Dacey/Global News

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.

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“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.

Source: City of Winnipeg
Source: City of Winnipeg.

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.

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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.

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Winnipeg councilors debating future of low income bus pass