The Transit Commission today approved the 2018 Draft Budget for OC Transpo that includes the introduction of the new EquiFare. The Transit Commission also approved the new multi-day transit pass. The 2018 draft budget will be considered at City Council on Wednesday, December 13.
This budget introduces the new EquiFare Single-Ride Fare, which provides low-income residents (with a household income below the low-income cut-off, as defined by Statistics Canada) with a new affordable single-ride fare option. The EquiFare complements the EquiPass discounted monthly pass, which started in 2017. Should Council approve the EquiFare as part of the 2018 Budget, it is anticipated that the new fare would be available to eligible customers before the end of June 2018.
The Transit Commission also approved for Council’s consideration a motion tabled by Chair Blais to provide a $6 credit on the accounts of all existing EquiPass holders and waive the $6 Presto card fee for all new EquiPass and EquiFare customers. This additional discount for low-income transit customers will be absorbed within the existing EquiPass program funding.
Enhancing transit service
Public transit investments for 2018 include funding to continue operations of expanded transit service for growing areas of the city using the 17 new buses purchased in 2017 and $9.8 million in additional funding. The Draft Budget includes the replacement of 80 OC Transpo buses that have reached the end of their life-cycle, refurbishment of 85 more buses, road and signal projects to improve transit speed and reliability, and improvements to transit stops and stations.
The 2018 Draft Budget recommends a 2.5-per-cent increase to transit fares starting January 1, 2018, excluding the U-Pass, which will increase by 2.5 per cent in September 2018.
Multi-day transit pass
The budget also introduces the new multi-day transit pass targeted for visitors to Ottawa and residents who need unlimited transit travel for a defined period. The new Multi-Day passes will be available at ticket machines at O-Train stations for three, five or seven days, and will be available later in 2018.