Edmonton’s Transit Strategy recommends creating a new Fare Policy to provide guidance on fares, discounts and how best to recover transit costs.
What this means to customers:
A new fare structure that:
- Sets discounts in a consistent manner
- Works with a Smart Fare electronic payment system
A target for cost recovery that:
- Balances how much of transit operating costs are covered by riders fares versus municipal taxes
- Offers fare rates that are fair for all users
- Is affordable for people who most depend on transit
- Encourages more transit use by rewarding frequent riders with discounted fares
Fares Reflect Our Values and Goals for Transit
A Fare Policy must balance individual and social benefits. Lower fares make the service more affordable and increase transit use, but higher fares may allow the City to improve transit service or reduce taxes. Fares can include discounts to support certain groups of people or promote long term transit use. After the fares and the discounts are taken into account, the remainder of the costs are funded by municipal taxes because transit provides environmental and social benefits to the entire community.
The new draft Fare Policy is underpinned by a commitment to fairness and affordability. Public feedback will help refine the recommended fare discount levels and cost recovery target in the coming years.
Earlier public engagement results show strong support for providing transit fare discounts to Edmontonians in financial need. From April to July 2018, we asked citizens about setting discounts for various types of customers, such as seniors, youth and low income. Should these groups each receive the same amount of discount or should discounts vary by age or income level?
We also asked the public whether our City should recover transit operating costs in the same range as other similar cities? In Edmonton, 40%-45% of costs are covered by customer fares and other non-fare revenues as compared to 40%-60% in other communities. The remainder is funded by municipal taxes.
A new Fare Policy will be considered by City Council in 2019. If approved, the new Fare Policy will likely be implemented in 2020.
This transit Fare Policy will also guide how fares and discounts are set up in the future Smart Fare electronic payment system for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.