Calgary

$5 transit passes are door-openers for low-income Calgarians, advocate says

A disability and anti-poverty advocate says Calgary Transit’s new sliding scale monthly pass can open a lot of doors for lower-income Calgarians.

New sliding-scale program replaces $44 one-size-fits-all pass

New program replaces one-size-fits-all $44 pass 0:29

A disability and anti-poverty advocate says Calgary Transit's new sliding-scale monthly pass can open a lot of doors for lower-income Calgarians.

"This is really going to reduce a lot of barriers for people to actually go and visit in their community," said Colleen Huston.

Huston is with Disability Action Hall, one of many groups pushing for an enhanced low-income option for transit users.

Colleen Huston of the Disability Action Hall says the new program will reduce barriers for many Calgarians. (David Bell/CBC)

"We know some people that really want to share their stories and now that they have an affordable means to get there, it's no longer a barrier," she explained.

The current low-income pass is $44 a month, compared to the full price of $101.

Passes will now cost $5.05, $35.35 or $50.50 depending on income level.

Kelsey Voykin, a student at ACAD, says people need to get around and the new program will make a difference for people on a tight budget. (David Bell/CBC)

Seniors and students have separate discount programs.

ACAD student Kelsey Voykin says the difference between the old program and the sliding-scale pass is significant.

"People have to get around and if they can't afford that, $40 can be a lot of money, if you aren't making that much," she said.

The new passes will be available for use April 1.

Called a game changer for some low-income Calgarians 1:37

About the Author

David Bell

Web Journalist

David Bell was the first graduate of Mount Royal University's Bachelor of Communication in Journalism program in June 2009. He has worked full time ever since in print, radio, television and now online. As a Video Journalist based in Moncton, N.B., his work was regularly featured on a national news channel. He brought that experience to the CBC Calgary digital team in 2015.

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