All-day free transit for Burlington seniors is in the works

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Published June 20, 2023 at 1:02 pm

Burlington transit bus forum

Burlington is preparing to offer around-the-clock free transit on its system for those 65 years of age and older.

Free bus transit has also increased for students.

A report that will be put before local politicians in the coming weeks recommends the free rides on Burlington Transit buses “all day, every day” for seniors as soon as August 1 of this year.

“Free transit programs have demonstrated that they increase ridership and provide the ability for all residents to participate fully in society,” the report states. “Offering free transit for seniors is another opportunity to build transit ridership and to provide mobility options for seniors.”

Those who qualify will have to do so with the use of a PRESTO card.

Since 2019 seniors have been able to ride for free Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. which has proved to be successful with increased ridership. The report states that senior ridership is currently at 91 percent of pre-pandemic levels and was 22 percent higher in the fall of 2022 compared to the fall of 2018.

The program for youth ages 13 to 19 has free bus service after 6 p.m. during the week and all day on the weekends.

In a recent interview with insauga.com, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said the goal of the City is to reduce transit barriers.

“The more that we can remove barriers to transit the more we can encourage people to use it,” she said, “and the more we can get people to use it will mean the roads are better and there will be less congestion for all of us.”

Burlington already offers free transit to children 12 years old and under as well as providing subsidies for low-income users.

The financial impact of the senior service will be a loss of about $160,000 a year.

 

 

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