Free bus pass program now permanent for Halifax income assistance recipients

·1 min read
Recipients of income assistance and employment support in Halifax are now eligible for a free buss pass for Halifax Transit. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Recipients of income assistance and employment support in Halifax are now eligible for a free buss pass for Halifax Transit. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

A pilot program that offers free annual Halifax Transit passes to people on employment support and income assistance is now permanent.

The pass is provided to employment support and income assistance recipients, their spouse and dependents, and the cost is covered by the provincial Community Services Department. Recipients do not have to provide proof of their transportation needs.

Participants in the pilot program said the transit pass reduced social isolation, gave them freedom to travel and participate in community activities, according to a news release from the province.

"In some of our situations, life happened to us. It's not our fault," one pass recipient said in the news release, which does not name clients due to privacy reasons.

"Circumstances happen, so why do we have to keep being penalized? But by having a bus pass, it's like you're free. I feel free."

Another recipient was quoted in the press release saying they take a minimum of eight buses a day to get their daughter to and from school and activities.

"So, it's helped me. [My daughter] wouldn't be living with me and having the situation we have right now if it wasn't for the bus pass."

More than 8,500 bus passes are now in use.

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