Budget Results - 2020
The City of Calgary has agreed to keep the Low-Income Transit Bus passes at 2019 levels.
There will be a reduction of approximately 138 full-time transit positions eliminated - mostly through layoffs. However, there will a less severe reduction in transit hours of service then anticipated in the original budget scenarios.
An amended motion on November 29th from councillors Diane Colley-Urquhart and Jyoti Gondek provided for funding in the following areas: $13 million to police, $6.5 million to low-income transit and $4 million to restore funding cut to Calgary Transit hours last July.
Sliding Scale - What we asked for
The City of Calgary's Low Income Transit Pass sliding scale fare structure helps eliminate financial barriers for low income Calgarians so they can more fully participate in the community. The less an applicant earns, the less they will have to pay, but all who qualify will receive a minimum 50% discount.
The sliding scale transit pass has been incredibly successful. It mobilized more than 62,000 people who were living in extreme poverty to purchase a reliable, predictable pass so they could secure work and remain employed, access much needed programs and services, visit family and friends and attend places of worship.
#KeepCalgaryStrong believes that the recommended fare increase to Band A (the highest level of subsidy) will cause harm to people struggling to live on less than $13,000.00 per year. This 250% increase will once again put a transit pass out of reach for most people living in extreme poverty. When we shared the proposed increases to the sliding scale with the community, there was concern that they could not afford the pass any longer.
#KeepCalgaryStrong is very pleased that the Province of Alberta has renewed its funding partnership with the City of Calgary by providing $4.5 million for the Sliding Scale. In addition, we are encouraged that City Council has adopted the principle of “do the least harm” for its 2019-2022 budget adjustments and as such we call on the City to:
Match the Province's 4.5 million contribution to the sliding scale.
Invest an additional 2.0 million to make up the shortfall in the program
to avoid unaffordable increases to the sliding scale.
For additional information on research behind the impact of the low income transit pass in Calgary please see this link.
Reduction in Transit Services
Presently 330,000 Calgarians utilize the City of Calgary Transit Service. For many it is a life-line to get to work, school and services. #KeepCalgaryStrong is asking that no further decreases in service hours be made. The elimination of feeder bus routes and reduction in service hours makes getting to and from work for low income workers more difficult and sometimes impossible.
If you would like to support us please consider joining our City Hall Action on November 25th and/or signing our Petition.