Transit fare hikes possible as new strategy gets go-ahead
Calgary Transit eyes switch to income-based fare discount policy
The city’s transportation and transit committee has approved a plan that could set the table for a hike in transit fares.
City council has a policy that half of Calgary Transit's revenues should come through the fare box from users.
But according to a new report, bus and train riders are currently accounting for less than 50 per cent of the costs.
Calgary Transit wants to increase fares to restore the balance, and look into basing fare discounts on riders’ income level instead of their ages.
The chair of the transit committee, Coun. Shane Keating, said it appears fares are not keeping up with costs.
“If you look at the fares across the country, we're middle of the road. Can we handle a slight increase? Probably. Should it be very drastic? Absolutely not.”
Coun. Ward Sutherland cautioned that too steep a hike could deter people from taking buses and trains.
“Ultimately we want more people using transit, but I think as we drive the prices up continually, I question whether or not the ridership is going to go up,” he said.
A report will be presented in June, outlining proposed fare adjustments for the years to come. And there will be a public consultation ahead of November's budget debate.