Canada Seniors dodge transit fare increase for one more year
Manconi apologizes to council for maintenance payment confusion
City transportation boss John Manconi apologized to council Wednesday for failing to tell members about a September maintenance payment to the LRT contractor. “We thought we fully informed council but obviously we did not and for that I sincerely apologize,” Manconi said during a council meeting. “Make no mistake about it. There’s no deceit. There’s no lies. That’s not who I am, that’s not who my team is. We’re all human and we make mistakes. I apologize.” The city paid for maintenance in September and paid to have strap hangers installed on trains, but all other monthly maintenance payments haven’t been made, he said.
Edmonton seniors who use city buses and trains to get around are getting a temporary reprieve from a steep hike to transit pass costs.
On Friday, city council members approved a motion that delays bumping up the cost of an annual transit pass for seniors from $136.50 to $374, but only for people who purchased a pass last year as well.
Seniors who haven't purchased their 2020 pass yet will now be able to buy one at the 2019 price. However, a number of passes at the new price were already sold: refunds will be issued to those who paid the increase.
Transit boss explains payment to LRT contractor
A week after CBC reported the city paid LRT contractor Rideau Transit Maintenance $4.5 million for September 2019, John Manconi has issued a memo explaining why the payment was required under the contract. In a memo released late Friday afternoon, OC Transpo boss John Manconi laid out exactly what the city has paid since taking over the Confederation Line on Aug. 30, 2019.On Nov. 15, 2019, the city cut a cheque to RTM for a total of $5,155,164,33 — a figure somewhat higher than $4,562,000 figure quoted to CBC by OC Transpo's director of operations, Troy Charter, last Friday. There are two key reasons for this.First, the $4.
Ward 1 Coun. Andrew Knack made the motion to freeze the increase for a year after hearing from constituents frustrated by the change.
"Good to know that there were some folks who were able to handle that increase, but we heard from quite a number of seniors who were unable to handle that increase and who weren't going to be buying it," Knack said in an interview following the vote by council.
To help Edmonton Transit make up for any revenue shortfall that results from not going through with the increase, council approved one-time funding of $400,000.
In a statement Friday, transit spokesperson Rowan Anderson said that, to date, the number of passes purchased in 2020 is on track with 2019 sales from the same time last year. However, Knack is sceptical that reducing the cost and issuing refunds will create a shortfall.
Edmonton city council to revisit hike to seniors annual transit pass
Councillor Andrew Knack plans to bring a motion before council on Wednesday that, if passed, would put a one-year freeze to a planned threefold increase to the annual seniors transit pass, but only for seniors who purchased the annual pass last year. Knack said he received dozens of calls and emails from concerned constituents labouring to retool their budgets in the wake of the increase. "If you're not eligible for any benefit right now and you're being asked to spend $240 more when you're on a fixed, lower income — it's tough to manage that," Knack said in an interview Saturday.
"I'll be shocked if there's actually a net cost to us because just the sheer number of people who said, 'I can't afford it this year,'" he said. "I think we would have seen a revenue decrease overall."
The $237.50 increase for seniors passes was approved by city council in late 2019 as part of a new fare policy.
The changes also included increasing the number of low-income seniors who qualify for a free transit pass: previously, a free pass was available to seniors with an annual income of about $17,000 or less, and now that threshold has increased to $28,513.
Council is considering another motion that would create a sliding scale price for seniors who have an income that is 11 to 25 per cent higher than the low-income free pass cut-off, Knack said.
10-cent TTC fare increase takes effect .
The increase was initially revealed in the 2020 operating budget and applies to all fares, except for the adult cash fare which will remain the same at $3.25. It will now cost $3.20 for an adult Presto fare, up from $3.10, and $2.25 for a youth or senior Presto fare. READ MORE: 10-cent fare hike proposed in TTC 2020 operating budget A youth or senior cash fare is now $2.30. The cost of monthly passes also increased across all fare types, with an adult monthly pass now sitting at $156. According to a letter from TTC CEO Rick Leary in December, the fare increase is expected to generate $31.4 million.
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