Durham Region Transit has introduced a pilot program that aims to make the service more accessible and affordable for those on social assistance.
The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) is set to launch on Nov. 1 and offers customers the option of paying as they go or purchasing a monthly pass for less than $45.
“The Nov. 1 launch extends to Ontario Works recipients, while Ontario Disability Support Program recipients are soft-launching, with a phased-in approach over the next several months,” reads a media release.
“The PRESTO-based TAP program will help to 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.
“We are pleased to provide an innovative Transit Assistance Program to ensure local Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program clients receive reliable and affordable access to public transit,” says Regional Chair John Henry.
“The TAP program is an excellent example of various Regional departments – in this case Social Services and DRT – partnering to ensure low-cost transit access to Durham Region residents, regardless of their income or demographic,” added Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier, who also serves as chair of the Transit Executive Committee.
Bill Holmes, acting general manager of Durham Regional Transit, noted that launching the program on Presto allows for “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,” he said.
“We are very pleased to be working closely with Durham Region Transit to improve the affordability of transit services for social assistance recipients in the Region. The TAP program will help more Ontario Works clients stay connected to essential job, education and health care opportunities,” added Commissioner of Social Services Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou.
Visit durhamregiontransit.com to learn more about the TAP program.