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.
Spring and Summer 2018 - public engagement
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. Our next step is to ask 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 are also asking 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 as compared to 40%-60% in other communities. The remainder is funded by municipal taxes.
We are gathering feedback through public focus groups in April to June. There is also an online public survey in July 2018 that everyone is encouraged to fill out.
Fall 2018 - Council decision
We will bring a new Fare Policy to City Council for consideration this fall. If approved, the new Fare Policy could be put in place as soon as January 2019.
This transit Fare Policy will also guide how fares and discounts are set up in the Smart Fare electronic payment system rolling out in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in 2020.