Kids will ride buses for free until end of year if plan is approved in Mississauga

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Published April 8, 2024 at 3:06 pm

Mississauga public transit pilot project extended.

A pilot program that lets kids ride public transit buses for free in Mississauga and older adults to get on board at a significantly reduced rate could be extended through the end of the year.

Mississauga city councillors will on Wednesday consider a recommendation from senior municipal staff to allow the MiWay pilot study to continue until Dec. 31. The year-long program, launched last May 1, is scheduled to conclude at the end of this month.

Under the pilot study, kids ages six-to-12 travel on MiWay buses free of charge (with a Presto card).

Older adults, meanwhile, benefit from the initiative as well. The $1 fare pass for passengers ages 65-older is extended under the pilot to provide rides at that rate around the clock.

Prior to the launch of the pilot program, kids ages six-to-12 paid a $4 cash fare (or $1.75 via Presto card) while those under six already rode free of charge.

The test-run is expected to inform future transit decisions in the city while also encouraging more ridership, officials said earlier.

In a report to be tabled at Wednesday’s meeting of general committee, Geoff Wright, the city’s transportation and works commissioner, said MiWay recommends the program continue until Dec. 31, 2024.

‘Extending this program will enable MiWay to gather and analyze additional data, aiding in making informed decisions for future program delivery,” the report reads.

In an update to Mississauga councillors late last fall, Wright wrote in a report that overall MiWay ridership during the first six months of the pilot (May 2023 through October 2023) was up 12 per cent from the same time period in 2019, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting.

However, despite the overall increase, the report also noted that “MiWay continues to carry fewer senior and child riders.”

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