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RSS FeedsHalf of new discount TTC passes for low-income residents are going unused
(The Star Food)


15 august 2018 17:14:08

Half of new discount TTC passes for low-income residents are going unused
(The Star Food)

Thousands of Torontonians have signed up for the city’s new discounted transit pass for low-income riders. But four months after the Fair Pass program launched, only about half of the cards are actually in use, which has advocates questioning whether the program is presenting too many hurdles for those in need.The Fair Pass program began in April. Under its first phase, people who receive Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program payments but aren’t receiving a monthly transportation allowance of $100 or more are eligible for the concession. It’s expected to cost the city $4.6 million this year.At sign-up clinics the organization held this spring, potential clients identified financial and technical challenges to using the pass, said Sharon Anderson, a member of the transit advocacy group Fair Fare Coalition.“They’re not making it easy to actually use,” Anderson said. The concession, which is administered and paid for by the city, not the TTC, is preprogrammed onto a Presto fare card, which participants can then load money onto. Read more: Toronto launches discounts for low-income TTC ridersPresto to cost TTC millions more than current fare systemOntario budget proposes reduced GO fares for short trips and the province taking over the subwayThey can choose to use either the single ride option, which lowers the cost of a TTC trip using Presto from $3 to $2, or the pass option, which costs $115.50 for unlimited rides in one month. A regular monthly Metropass costs $146.25.The city set a target of enrolling 36,000 people in the program by the end of 2018, and it’s well on the way to meeting that goal. According to the city as of July 31, roughly 22,000 people had been issued Fair Pass concessions. But the TTC said only 51 per cent of the passes had ever been used to pay for a ride.A city spokesperson couldn’t immediately explain the high number of unused cards. She said the city is conducting a “robust ...
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