All-day free transit for students and seniors on the agenda for Burlington
Burlington’s mayor says the City is working towards offering around-the-clock free transit for both students and seniors.
Currently, the City allows free rides for both groups during non-peak hours, but she said the goal is to provide “24/7” service.
“We’ve had free (some) transit programs for a number of years and I’m committed to doing more on that,” Marianne Meed Ward told inhalton.com.
In a video interview with publisher Khaled Iwamura, the mayor said removing barriers to transit will bring many benefits.
“The more that we can remove barriers to transit the more we can encourage people to use it,” she said, “and the more we can get people to use it will mean the roads are better and there will be less congestion for all of us.”
Burlington already offers free transit to children 12-years-old and under as well as providing subsidies for low-income users. Recently the City introduced free nights and weekends for older students but she expects that to expand.
“We are currently in discussion with the school boards on how to roll that out 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week), she said.
As for older users, the mayor said offering free rides has proven to be extremely popular.
She said free rides during off-peak hours have led to a 16 per cent increase in transit use by senior riders.
“Last term of council we brought in free seniors off-peak transit. It was first a pilot (project), then we extended the pilot, then we made it permanent. Now we are reviewing that to see if we just extend it to 24/7,” she said.
The mayor has said Burlington is a leader in promoting the use of public transit and is always considering innovative ways to get people out of their cars and onto the bus.
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