Brampton Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon says new Peel transit subsidy insufficient

Gurpreet Dhillon

AT its February 28 Committee of Council meeting, Brampton City Council approved a partnership with the Region of Peel to provide the city a 50% subsidy for each eligible adult and senior monthly transit pass rider, provided the rider meets the region’s ‘low income’ criteria.

Currently adults pay $124 and seniors $52 for a monthly pass, and with the subsidy they will see a 50% reduction in the cost of the pass if their annual income is $22,134 or less. City staff estimates that out of a 600,000 population, between 400-640 adults and 100-140 seniors are currently eligible.

Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon, whose December 2017 motion to reduce the senior’s monthly transit pass to $15 was unsuccessful, felt that this new discount unfairly excludes the majority of seniors.

“Though I am pleased there is at least some progress being made, it doesn’t go far enough,” said Dhillon. “My previous plan for a $15 monthly transit pass would have had no tax impact and would have helped all seniors immediately – not just a few.”

Dhillon also stated that if his original motion had passed, Council “could have also been potentially discussing a $0 regionally subsidized seniors’ monthly transit pass instead of a reduced one.”

As per the staff report, a total of $1 million has been allocated by the region for the initiative, with the city required to submit a one-time $85,000 payment for an electronic database, plus additional ongoing operating and staffing costs.

Any residents interested in checking their eligibility can visit the Region of Peel’s website at  peelregion.ca for further information.

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