It has now been a week since London Transit Committee has released the youth transit passes. Over the course of the week, about one hundred passes have been sold to teens between ages thirteen and seventeen. The bus passes are fifty two dollars per month and allow the teen to ride unlimited.
“It gives youth a bit more independence. They can get around the city. They can travel further if they need to apply for a job that’s further away. Then they don’t have to have a car, borrow their parents car, or have to have a drivers licence even,” says ward 4 Councillor Jesse Helmer
“The passes are also helping parents because when kids can’t get around affordably, a lot of times what happens is parents are asked to drive them places and pick them up. So we hope that it provides more options and more flexibility for the students who are using it and their parents.”
And when there are benefits, there are always drawbacks. Changes had to be made in the city budget to pay for the discounted bus passes. Helmer explains that change is always hard but figuring out the costs was the main priority for these passes to be a success.
“Change of any kind is difficult and I think on this one in particular, it was a matter of figuring out the financial side so that it wasn’t gonna be too expensive for the city to provide the lower cost pass.”
Helmer says that the first week is only the beginning for these passes and he thinks the numbers will increase more next week as people start to catch on about these passes and the benefits that come with them.
Youth transit passes can be bought at city hall or on the city’s website . Cards are reusable and reloadable on a month to month basis.