Wednesday, February 16, 2011

InsideHalton Article: Wrong time to raise transit fares

InsideHalton Article: Wrong time to raise transit fares: "It is socially irresponsible for the Town’s budget committee to consider raising transit fares.
Raising fares or cutting transit service would effectively balance the budget on the backs of seniors, youths, new immigrants and low-income families who rely on this public service for work, shopping, school, healthcare and more.
The price of an adult pass has already jumped over 50 per cent in the past decade; an even higher price for passes really hurts riders on fixed incomes who are trying to save that extra little bit.
Unfortunately, inadequate federal and provincial transit funding in Canada has created a situation where the average rider pays 53 per cent of the costs of transit.
Many European cities have low or free fares to encourage ridership, given the many benefits of public transit.
Last year’s fare freeze and service improvements in Oakville resulted in a seven per cent increase in ridership, which should be seen as a success to build on.
Focusing solely on revenues ignores the other positive effects, such as improving air quality, decreasing congestion and making Oakville a more affordable and livable community for all its residents.
As the cost of such necessities as food, rent and heating continues to increase (and we are being hit with the HST to boot) why would the Town seek to make living here even less affordable for its residents?
James Ede, Oakville Federal NDP Candidate "

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