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CARP Fights Transit Fare Increase

CARP NS Took Great Exception to the Suggestion that Transit Fares in Halifax be Raised 64%

Bill VanGorder

CARP NS wrote the following letter to the Mayor, Transportation Committee and Councillors. If you agree, we urge you to contact your local councillor by phone or email and seek their support when this report comes before the entire Council on Tuesday August 13th.

To Mayor Savage and Councillors:

On behalf of the members of CARP Nova Scotia, we want to take this opportunity to express our concern and disagreement with the recommendations being put forward by staff to eliminate the Transit Fare discount for seniors.

We have a number of concerns:

  1. To increase the Fare for seniors from $1.75 to $2.75 would be a whopping 64% increase for our seniors.
  2. Just because some other jurisdictions are not offering a special fare for seniors is not a sufficient reason to withdraw it from older citizens in our community.
  3. The other programs offered by Halifax Transit are not sufficient to protect vulnerable seniors. The low-income transit pass program, and the ESIA pass program are only effective for those households earning less the $30,000 per year.
  4. Many seniors are on fixed incomes of just over the so called “low-income” threshold amount and such an increase will be very detrimental to all of them.
  5. The free pass for a few hours on Tuesdays is of no help to seniors who much travel regularly, often daily, to appointments, part time jobs to supplement their low income or other commitments.
  6. We are very disturbed that we only learned yesterday that this topic would be discussed by the Transportation Committee tomorrow giving us no time (as a totally volunteer organization with no staff) to prepare a response or make arrangements to appear before the Transportation Committee.
  7. We understand the need to increase transit fees from time to time as costs rise, but a 64% increase to seniors is totally unfair and unacceptable.

CARP Nova Scotia strongly requests that the Transportation Committee amend the staff recommendation by retaining the Senior’s Transit Fare and increase it only by the same amount as the regular fare.

We regret that we were not given more time to react to the Transit Fare recommendations and would also ask that, in the future, concerned organizations such as CARP NS be giving sufficient notice of proposals that will impact our approximately 4000 members in HRM so that we can make appropriate representation on those topics.