Durham Region Transit is launching a new pilot fare program for low-income individuals.
The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) launched Nov. 1, and is a PRESTO-based initiative that will provide customers currently receiving social assistance with pay-as-you-go and unlimited DRT rides for a monthly price of $44.80.
The TAP program is available immediately to recipients of Ontario Works, while Ontario Disability Support Program recipients will be phased-in over the next several months.
In a media statement, transit officials believe the TAP program will “eliminate the stigma that some customers have about displaying a separate low-income pass when boarding the bus.”
To support the launch of the pilot program, approximately 6,000 free PRESTO cards will be made available to eligible customers.
Bill Holmes, acting general manager of Durham Region Transit, says the TAP program provides “increased flexibility and additional convenience for customers.”
“Because the monthly TAP amount can be carried over if the full amount isn’t used, we’re helping our residents and customers have access to the transit service they need, when they need it.”
Ajax Mayor and chair of the region’s transit executive committee Shaun Collier notes the TAP program is an “excellent example” of various regional departments partnering to help residents.
“We are very pleased to have been working closely with Durham Region Transit to improve the affordability of transit services for social assistance recipients in the region,” says commissioner of social services Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou. “The TAP program will help more Ontario Works clients stay connected to essential job, education and healthcare opportunities.”
The pilot will run through March 31, 2021, and will be considered for full implementation in the 2021 budget process. The budget for the pilot program is $30,000. For more information,, visit durhamregiontransit.com.