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Price of low-income bus pass could increase; new BRT route coming to SW

Last Updated Nov 19, 2019 at 6:08 am MDT

CALGARY – Low-income bus passes could be jumping up in price from $5 to $18 in Calgary–an increase the city blames on a gap in funding following provincial budget cuts.

Calgarians with incomes of about $12,960 a year or less—half of the income considered to be the poverty line–are eligible for the $5 monthly pass.

But with millions of provincial funding gone, Mayor Naheed Nenshi warns that low fee could be a thing of the past.

“I’m not sure that I feel that we can take the most vulnerable people in our community and give them that $13 whack,” said Nenshi.

“The province has come back and guaranteed provincial funding–which is great–but at a lower level than what we asked for. [That] leaves us with about a $6.5 million funding gap.”

Council says it’s doing what it can to prevent the increase in cost and the matter being discussed more next week.

Not all of Monday’s discussions regarding transit were as somber though. Bus Rapid Transit is expanding to the southwest.

The Max Yellow line will start operating before the end of the year. The BRT route will touch on Marda Loop, Mount Royal University, and Rocky View Hospital starting Dec. 23.

The route will operate seven days a week, with a bus arriving at each stop every 12 to 18 minutes during peak hours.

In the off-hours, the Max Yellow will come every 20 to 30 minutes.