Free Transit or hold the line?

There is much discussion these days on the struggle of low income residents in Ottawa. Several disability rights groups have banded together to fight for fairer financial support from provincial and federal governments.


A small number of people qualify for reduced fare passes such as the Community pass ($43.25) and the EquiPass ($58.25). However, even these reduced fare passes take a chunk out of people’s budgets. Plus the application process is complicated and cumbersome.

People who don’t qualify for reduced-fares face some of the highest transit fares in Canada. An adult pass costs $119.50 / month ($1434.00 / year) in Ottawa. Compare this to Victoria where an adult fare costs $85 per month. Or Kingston where a monthly pass is $80, London, ONT where a monthly pass is $95, or Halifax where a monthly bus pass is $82.50.

The city of Ottawa is proposing to raise transit fares by 2.5% every year starting in January 2021.

This is a huge blow to everyone who uses transit, but it is especially hard on low income residents. Transit is an essential service – to persons with disabilities, to teens, to seniors, to low income residents.

Ottawa Transit Riders is fighting to #FlattenTheFares – do you think we should be going further and advocating for Free Transit?


Here is an article from Winnipeg in 2018 about how to make cheaper fares available: Fast Facts: How to Make a Low Income Bus Pass Work 


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