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Free Transit for Youth on Weekends, Evenings in Burlington

Budget Briefs - Free Youth Transit Off-Peak - TW

Our weekly series “Budget Briefs” lets residents know how our community will be benefitting from specific investments in Burlington’s approved 2023 Operating and Capital Budget.

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During 2023 Budget deliberations, Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan brought forward a motion memo for Burlington Transit to implement a program offering free transit for youth (aged 13-19) during weekends and evenings.

Council approved the motion to include it in the 2023 Budget. A copy of the memo is available on pg. 31-32 of the 2023 Budget Appendix: F-01-23-1 App B 2023 Council Budget Motion Memorandums.

Providing free transit for youth is a Council-approved priority that was unfortunately delayed when the pandemic hit. In order to provide free transit around school hours, significant negotiations with the local school boards and potentially the Province will be required, as the costs to the City could be significant if youth ridership increases significantly as it did in Kingston, Ont. when they implemented their free program.

Providing free transit for youth on weekends and evenings is something we could do immediately, financially and technically, and it would support our local youth in their travels for work and play. In addition, this wouldn’t not have a significant impact on transit operations and would not require cost-sharing negotiations with other government entities. The program would be relatively straightforward, particularly with use of a PRESTO pass.

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