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SPLIT -- subsidized passes for low-income transit
-- available for Halton Region residents

Last Wednesday, September 14, Halton Region council approved a transit subsidy to help the 28,000 Halton households living with low incomes.

Under the subsidized passes for low-income transit — or SPLIT — pilot program, the region subsidizes half the cost of a monthly transit adult pass for as many as 437 residents. The program will cost the Region $215,000 for 2011 / 12.

Region staff will distribute the passes on a “first-come, first-served” basis for residents who apply through Halton’s employment, housing and social services department. They’ll give out the passes for low cost rides on Burlington Transit, Milton Transit and Oakville Transit for six-month periods and then applicants will have to re-apply for them.

Applicants to the program must have a 2010 tax return in order to apply for the SPLIT pass. Seniors applying for the pass must prove eligibility for the senior fare and students applying must have a valid student identification card.

SPLIT users in Burlington and Oakville will also benefit from a transfer agreement, which will allow them to travel into Hamilton or Peel Region by transferring to Hamilton Street Railway, Brampton Transit and Mississauga Transit buses — so long as they complete their trips in two hours or less.

With the Region paying for half the cost of an adult pass, successful applicants in Burlington, would pay $44 for an adult pass, $20 for a student pass and $10 for a senior pass.

Milton Transit users would pay $30 for an adult pass, $15 for a student pass and $12 for a senior pass.

In Oakville, riders would pay $47 for an adult pass, $12.50 for a student pass and $2.50 for a senior pass.

Determining what “low income” is depends on family size and location. A 2006 Community Development Halton report considers a family of four in Burlington with a total income of $38,610 or less a low-income family.

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