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Public transit is the primary means of transportation for many low

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Date


Name of MLA
Legislature Office
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6


Dear MLA:

                    Subject: Affordable transportation for all low income Albertans

Give a brief introduction explaining your interest

I am writing to request your support for affordable transportation for people living on low incomes in
Alberta. Rising utilities, housing, and other costs are making it increasingly difficult for people living on
limited incomes to afford the basic necessities of life, including public transportation. In some cases,
people have to choose between buying a transit pass and buying food.

Affordable transportation is essential to people who are unemployed, homeless, the working poor, single
mothers and individuals on disability and social assistance programs. These programs will assist them in
accessing employment, community services, businesses, shopping, medical appointments, places of
worship, recreation activities and to simply enjoy the many great opportunities our cities and towns have
to offer.

The Government of Alberta's website states that, "nearly 400,000 jobs will be created in Alberta over the
next 10 years, but only 300,000 new workers are expected to enter the labour market. This means the
province may face a shortfall that may be as high as 100,000 workers."

Low-income earners often find it difficult to afford a monthly transit pass and this becomes a significant
barrier to employment. Removing this financial barrier will benefit not only the low-income earner and
their family, but also small business owners and other employers by increasing their labour pool and
reducing staff turnover. This in turn has the potential to reduce the number of people on the Alberta
Works program.

While I recognize that the Government of Alberta already provides supports – including assistance for
transportation, to some Albertans who are on AISH, Alberta Works and other income support programs,
community members report that many people have difficulty accessing these supplemental benefits and
find the amounts to be insufficient to cover the high costs of transportation. In addition, the vast majority
of low income Albertans are not on one of these programs and therefore have no access to these
benefits. In Calgary, less than 15% of low income residents receive AISH or Alberta Works benefits.
Moreover, many low income Albertans live in rural areas where municipalities cannot afford to develop
affordable transportation services suited to their communities, such as providing on-call shuttle service or
subsidizing taxi fares.

As affordable transportation for low income Albertans is an income support issue, I am requesting the
Government of Alberta partner with municipalities by providing conditional grants for affordable
public transportation throughout our province. An allocation of $2.25 per capita province-wide would
allow rural and urban municipalities to develop programs suited to their differing needs. The positive
impact this would have on poverty reduction and economic growth far outweighs the investment.
Thank you for making Alberta accessible for all people. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,




Cc.     Vibrant Communities Calgary Fair Fares
        1227 Kensington Close NW
        Calgary, AB T2N 3J6
        info@vibrantcalgary.com
        Phone: 403-283-2122
        Fax: 403-283-2105

				
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