Subsidized YRT/Viva fares for eligible low income residents improves quality of life
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today approved a Transit Fare Subsidy Pilot Program designed to help eligible low income residents travel to and from work and other important day-to-day activities.
Under the pilot program, eligible Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) clients will receive a 50-per cent discount on York Region Transit (YRT)/Viva adult monthly passes. Local community agencies will receive funding to purchase individual ride tickets for low income residents.
“The York Region Transit Subsidy Pilot Program will help eligible residents access employment, further their education and improve their overall quality of life,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “The pilot project is a response to community requests, consultations and research and is a welcome addition to the social assistance programs offered by York Region.”
The pilot program offered in partnership with YRT/Viva will provide up to 1,400 subsidized passes each month for OW and ODSP clients who are employed and will help offset the cost of travelling to and from work. OW and ODSP clients will work directly with their caseworkers to determine eligibility.
The program also earmarks up to $250,000 for the purchase of individual YRT/Viva tickets. Community and Health Services and United Way of York Region funded agencies will be invited to apply for up to $2,500 per year to purchase tickets to help low income residents gain access to employment, housing, education and urgent basic needs.
“Improved access to transportation can have a tremendous impact in the life of a resident on a low income,” said Town of Markham Deputy Mayor Jack Heath, Chair of the Region’s Community and Health Services Committee. “Many stand to benefit from the transit subsidy pilot in 2012 and we look forward to reviewing the results.”
Implementation of the pilot program is expected to begin in 2012. The $1.3-million pilot program will be financed through the York Region Social Assistance Reserve Fund. Findings from the 2012 pilot program will be evaluated by York Regional Council in 2013.
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Media Contact: Kim MacGillivray, Corporate Communications, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 1209 • Cell: 905-251-6412 • firstname.lastname@example.org