Kids can ride transit buses for free in Mississauga starting next week


Published April 28, 2023 at 1:10 pm

Mississauga’s younger residents can ride public transit buses in the city for free starting Monday (May 1) with the launch of a year-long pilot project.

As part of the trial run, kids ages six-to-12 can travel on MiWay buses free of charge (with a Presto card).

Meanwhile, seniors in Mississauga will benefit from the initiative as well. The existing $1 seniors’ fare pass (for riders age 65-older) will be extended to provide rides at that rate around the clock for the system’s older passengers.

Currently, kids ages six-to-12 pay a $4 cash fare (or $1.75 via Presto card) while those under six ride free of charge already.

And until May 1, the $1 seniors’ passes can be used only on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in addition to 7 p.m. onwards and all day on weekends/holidays. All other times, seniors pay a $4 cash fare ($2.10 via Presto card).

The changes come courtesy of a City of Mississauga/MiWay one-year pilot project, which is expected to inform future transit decisions in the city while also encouraging more ridership, officials say.

Transit officials say MiWay ridership, after nearly three years of dramatically declining numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has in recent months returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“We hope through this program, more families and seniors will ride MiWay and experience the benefits that affordable, accessible and convenient transit offers,” Geoff Marinoff, Mississauga’s director of transit, said earlier. “To access these pilot programs, children and seniors will need a Presto card with the correct fare type set based on their age. Seniors can also pay a $1 cash fare.”

Also effective May 1:

  • all customers can ride free on MiWay after paying for 11 trips in one calendar week, rather than 12 trips, using their Presto card
  • MiWay will introduce its first fare increases since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020–adult Presto single fare (will rise 10 cents to $3.20) and youth Presto single fare (will rise 10 cents to $2.45)

The revised fares and pilot program were introduced earlier this year during City budget deliberations and on the heels of MiWay service improvements in other areas that took effect at the start of 2023.

City staff estimate the bus fare pilot program will cost $4.2 million a year in lost revenue.

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