Moncton introduces Codiac Transpo passes for low-income residents
Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe launch 5-year affordable transit program as part of social inclusion plan
A new pilot program in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe is offering half-price or in some cases free bus rides to low-income residents.
Kayla BreeLove Carter, a community development officer with the City of Moncton, says the idea came up out of a social inclusion summit held last year.
"So whether it be employment, whether it would be getting some mental health supports, even medical care ... this is really just an opportunity to break down those barriers when it comes to transportation."
BreeLove Carter says many residents, particularly those on social assistance, struggle to afford public transit passes.
"Transportation tends to be at the end when it comes to all the expenses but it becomes a really crucial point when it comes to whether you're going to be able to get to the grocery store, or get to your employment."
Rather than have city staff hand out transit passes, BreeLove Carter says Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe are offering subsidized tickets to three community agencies in this pilot project.
United Way, YMCA, Food Depot distribute passes
"As a municipality, we provide a subsidy of 50 per cent to community agencies that work with individuals that may have those barriers so that in turn they can go and they can provide these tickets affordably or even free to the residents."
Breelove Carter says these agencies have all been purchasing transit passes for their clients at full price.
I'm pretty confident that it will continue.- Kayla BreeLove Carter
"So this allows them to actually double the quantity of tickets that they're distributing to individuals," she said.
The three communities have invested a total of $22,000 to offer half-price transit passes to the United Way, the YMCA of Greater Moncton and the Food Depot.
"The approach of the program is to support agencies already working with citizens — we want to empower agencies and community groups. They have built those relationships. They make their own decisions."
BreeLove Carter says other benefits of having the agencies give out the one ride and ten ride passes is that it will allow residents to hopefully receive other services that are being offered by those community agencies, and increase ridership on Codiac Transpo.
The goal of the project is to eventually allow all agencies to apply directly through Codiac Transpo to be able to distribute bus passes.
So far 20,000 tickets have been made available and approximately 8,000 of those have been handed out.
"I'm pretty confident that it will continue."