Manitoba

Winnipeg councillor gives $3K to bus ticket program

A Winnipeg city councillor is donating $3,000 from his own transportation budget to an inner-city program that loans transit fare to people who cannot afford it.

A Winnipeg city councillor is donating $3,000 from his own transportation budget to an inner-city program that loans transit fare to people who cannot afford it.

Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie presented an "IOU" of the donation on Wednesday morning to the North Point Douglas Women's Centre, which runs a bus ticket loan program.

Those who use the centre's program are expected to pay back the borrowed transit fare once they find employment.

But Eadie says the program, and the people who rely on it, will be hurt when a 20-cent transit fare hike takes effect later this year.

"Their money's not going to go nearly as far," Eadie told CBC News late Tuesday.

"I just thought, well, I'll make a grant and maybe they can find more money from their other sources to help them offset this huge cost."

Transit fares already went up by five cents this week. The 20-cent increase is scheduled to begin in June.

Eadie said Winnipeg Transit is under "huge pressure and increasing costs" due to the city's growing population and outward expansion.

"Growth taxes should be able to pay for some of this stuff," he said, arguing that the city is going after the wrong people by imposing a fare increase.

Eadie added that transit users who ride the bus for free should not be to blame for the increased costs, since that doesn't cost the transit system anything.