On Thursday, city councillor Matt Allard suggested raising the age of children who can use free travel in city buses to 12 years.
At the moment, children under 6 have the right to free travel. All children over this age enjoy a reduced rate, which is $1.82 for e-ticket or $2.45 when paying in cash. Full fare for adults is $2.60 and $2.95 respectively.
Councilor Allard said that the current state of affairs does not suit families with older children. By law, children under the age of 12 cannot travel by public transport themselves. Therefore, parents who accompany them need to pay the full rate for themselves and preferential per child.
Many residents of Winnipeg believe that in this case it is easier to take a taxi and to pay $12 for the trip. This situation exacerbates the problem of urban traffic. Allard noted that by 2035 there will be a million inhabitants in Winnipeg, and the roads will not become wider. Therefore, now it is needed to think through the options of how to reduce the number of cars on the roads of the city and transplant people into public transport.
The new initiative is part of the election program of Allard, who wants to be re-elected as a city councillor in the upcoming elections. He noted that Winnipeg transit will not suffer losses if it cancels the fare for children. Now, few people ride on buses with children, and in case of cancellation of fees, many adults will accompany the children and pay the full fare.
Allard believes that this innovation should appeal to everybody. Winnipeg families will be able to save money on trips with children, Winnipeg Transit will increase the number of passengers carried, and there will be fewer cars on the roads and fewer traffic jams respectively.