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City asked to consider postponing ETS fee increase for 1 year
EDMONTON -- Edmonton council will consider postponing a senior transit pass price increase, after it was learned last month the cost would nearly triple.
Ward 1 Coun. Andrew Knack filed a motion last week for council on Wednesday to discuss freezing the fare for one year.
"Let those who bought the pass last year buy it at that same price they bought it in years past," he said. "Then spend the next year and they can budget accordingly for years going forward."
The senior (65+) annual pass was set to jump from $136.50 to $374 to enable the city to give people in need access to lower-cost or free transit.
The pass is valid from April to April, giving about 3,400 seniors who use it little time to come up with the extra money, one Edmontonian explained.
"I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the increase," Deborah Green told CTV News Edmonton. "I thought maybe it’s a mistake because everybody else’s went up a couple of dollars."
She said she expects to pay for the pass, but didn't know how to budget for the unexpected expense.
"I thought maybe I could put it on a credit card but I’m trying to get out of debt so I can retire, and what really breaks my heart is I want to retire," Green said.
Among the other Edmonton Transit Service fee changes, several packages saw single-dollar increases, while the annual pass for seniors with an income of less than $28,513 will become free. The youth age was also reclassified as 24 years and younger, as opposed to 17.
"In order to expand a discount in one area you have to reduce the discount in another area," Knack said.
Green said postponing the fee increase will help – in the short term.
"There's got to be more middle people like me that it's hard."
With a report from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson