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Differences in fares questioned by Edmonton transit users, city councillor
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:03PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:38PM MST
A day after the city announced transit fare increases – set to go into effect Friday, a city councillor and a number of transit users are questioning why certain fares are going up, and requirements to purchase an all-day family fare.
A number of riders CTV News spoke to, questioned why, under the new Edmonton Transit System fares, children older than 6 will have to pay $3.20 to ride the bus or train – the same fare adult riders must pay.
As of Feb. 1, the single fare will become the highest in Canada – in Calgary, adults must pay $3, and adults in Toronto must pay the same to take transit, however, in Toronto, children only pay 75 cents.
Transit officials said the flat rate makes it easier to enforce – and they said surveys show most children between the ages of 7 and 12 have a monthly pass they get at a discounted rate at school.
“We usually want people to take transit on a more regular basis,” Patricia Waisman with ETS said. “So, for the occasional user that does pay cash, we will charge them a bit more.”
However, it’s a price that doesn’t make sense to one city councillor, who said he was going to look into.
“I was surprised as well,” Councillor Amarjeet Sohi said. “Why are we charging the same for adults and the same for kids?
“I’m going to further follow up with administration.”
Another concern brought forward concerns the ETS family pass - which covers one adult, and up to four children for one day – while the definition of a family is parents and children living in the same household.
“It’s usually a two-parent system,” ETS rider Leann said Thursday. “I know there are a lot of single parents, but if you are travelling as a family you have to buy an extra pass for the other adult.”
“I think that is wrong, “ Sohi said. “The purpose of the day pass is to get families on transit, doesn’t matter, a family is a family.”
The price for an all-day family pass is going up to $9 on Friday as well.
With files from Dez Melenka
City staff are proposing a fee hike for the U-Pass transit program with fees increasing from $150 to $170 per student, per semester. The hike would affect roughly 60,000 Edmonton students.