Calgary senior transit passes will jump to $95 in 2013
The transit changes come into effect in 2013
Calgary city council members voted Tuesday to raise the cost of senior transit passes from $55 to $95 a year.
Council also voted to allow more people to qualify for the low-income monthly transit pass.
Right now, Calgarians who earn up to 75 per cent of the federally-set poverty line are eligible for the low-income pass.
By raising that amount, Ald. Brian Pincott estimates about 10,000 more people will qualify next year for a $44 a month low income pass.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says this will make a big difference in their lives.
"These are the working poor. These are people who have income higher than the previous threshold but who are still living below the poverty line. So we've done that, we've also expanded the low income seniors transit pass to thousands more seniors by increasing the income level at which you are eligible for it," Nenshi said.
A low-income seniors passes cost just $10 a year.
Ald. Peter Demong says he likes helping low-income Calgarians, but predicts the change for seniors will hurt others on fixed incomes.
"There's no question it is low but at the same time if you're going to increase it, you increase it in stages so it's doesn't hit somebody so dramatically all at once," Demong said.
All Calgarians will also pay a bit more to finance these changes — adding 0.2 of a percentage point to the proposed property tax hike for next year, which now sits at 5.5 per cent.
The transit changes will take effect in 2013.