Fare increase, lower fare evasion fine among potential changes to Edmonton transit


By Jackson Spring

City council's executive committee will vote on whether to increase single trip cash fares for buses and LRT rides on April 12.

If approved, adult fares will increase in May to $3.75 from $3.50. If the proposed fare is rejected, a report from city administration said it will lose $870,000 of projected revenue in the 2022 budget.

Cash fares increased to $3.50 from $3.25 on Feb. 1, 2020, and are scheduled to increase again to $4 in 2022, unless council decides otherwise.

The proposed increase is one of many potential changes to the Edmonton Transit Service this year, along with adjustments that have already been implemented.

  • In addition to the single trip fare increase, the city is considering a discounted rate of $3 for users of the cashless smart fare system once it is in place, reports the Edmonton Journal.

  • Council is also considering reducing the fine for fare evasion to $150 from $250. This will put Edmonton in line with Ottawa, Calgary, and Montreal, which also charge $150 for that offence. Coun. Aaron Paquette told Global News the fine is unaffordable for nearly half of people who receive tickets, explaining that "$250 might as well be $2 million, and since they have no way of paying, they just accrue more and more fines on their record."

The cash fare increases have been planned since council's last four-year budget deliberations in 2018. (Mack Male/Flickr)

The cash fare increases have been planned since council's last four-year budget deliberations in 2018. (Mack Male/Flickr)
  • The redesigned bus network launches April 25, which includes plans to cut the number of routes by 100, close some stops, open new stops, and pilot an on-demand shuttle service in some areas. Emily Grisé, a transportation and land use researcher at the University of Alberta, said the redesign is more efficient in terms of cost and service, while CBC reports some Edmontonians are worried about the loss of neighbourhood routes and stops. Coun. Jon Dziadyk wants to delay the launch of the bus network redesign. He told CBC on April 6 that he is "convinced that the public is not on board with this," and that "people are outraged." Council will vote on a motion to delay the launch on April 9.

  • The price of tickets and bus passes for some age groups increased on Feb. 1. The price of bus passes for Edmontonians aged 13-24 is scheduled to increase again on Sept. 1.