The City of Edmonton is expanding a program that offers free transit to homeless Edmontonians and those at risk of homelessness.
The Providing Accessible Transit Here (PATH) program will now offer free monthly transit passes to vulnerable adults. Before now, the program was only offered to homeless youth in Edmonton.
PATH, which is sponsored by the City of Edmonton, will partner with various social agencies to provide the transit passes.
“The City of Edmonton, through End Poverty Edmonton, is committed to breaking the unintentional consequences of poverty, namely, for being fined for not being able to afford a bus ticket,” said Mayor Don Iveson.
“Making transit reliable, accessible and affordable for all Edmontonians is critical.”
The passes will allow the city’s homeless community a chance to access transit to get food, go to school, travel to find work and housing, and attend medical appointments, the city said in a media release on Tuesday afternoon.
“Seeing other people getting fines is scary, and it makes me feel glad I have a pass,” said Trent Pierre with Native Counselling Services of Alberta. “I can now see my friends and family more and get to places on time.”
The program expanded in early January and already, social agencies have been able to distribute up to 600 transit passes to eligible adults and youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The project is currently funded until December 2018. The city said if demand exceeds the number of passes available, a review of the program will be required.
While each pass is valued at $91.50, the city said the Edmonton Transit System is not losing any revenue by providing the passes.