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Transit removing surcharge for online pass purchases

Last Updated Jan 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm MDT

A passenger gets on a Ctrain at Saddletowne station in NE Calgary. (PHOTO: Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — After some criticism about how it would affect low-income passengers, Calgary Transit has removed a surcharge added to online purchases.

Transit launched their web store at the beginning of 2020 so people could buy passes and ticket books online and have them shipped to their home, rather than going to a store to buy them in person.

But also, to balance out administrative and shipping costs, a $2.50 fee was added on to any online purchase.

This caused concern for low-income Calgarians, who in some cases would face an increase of about 50 per cent on their monthly pass.

“If you buy something online and you have to pay a 50 per cent handling fee, especially if you are a low income person, that’s not fair,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “It didn’t make any sense to buy a $5 pass and have a $2.50 fee tacked on to it. So I’m very pleased that’s been sorted.”

After a question posed by Councillor Druh Farrell during Monday’s meeting at City Hall, Transit officials relayed the message that the fee had been removed.

In the memo sent to Council, Transit said it had introduced the fee to help offset an estimated $40,000 annual expense on shipping the tickets and passes.

But moving forward, Transit anticipates they will make back some of those costs in 2020 with the introduction of the My Fare mobile payment app, that would eliminate the need for some people to use physical tickets or passes.

Anyone who was charged this extra fee on Transit’s eStore will receive a credit within the next two months that can then be put towards future purchases on the website.