Part of building a smart and livable city is ensuring that no one is left behind. That means finding creative and effective ways to offer a helping hand to those in need. For example, there are people currently living on social assistance that want to find employment but getting to and from the workplace is often a key barrier. That’s where Kingston Transit can come in.
This week City Council formally approved the continuation of a great new program that provides free transit passes to those receiving social assistance in Kingston so that people in need in our community can get to work, to medical appointments, to the grocery store or to school. The program has been made possible through a partnership with the provincial government, where the Ministry of Community and Social Services provides the bulk of the funding to provide the transit passes. After a one year pilot project, the feedback from the free transit passes has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m pleased that now we can continue this program for future years. In fact, the program has been so successful that there are a number of other cities in the province that are looking to introduce similar programs.
As a city we’ve made big investments in our transit system over the last few years. It’s been exciting to see the improvements and the growth in ridership. In fact, Kingston continues to have one of the highest rates of transit ridership growth in the entire country.
The improvement of transit service continues with expanded routes and schedules on Sundays and holidays with plans to introduce a new express bus route along Montreal Street next year. Being able to get from one place to another is critical for all of us. With expanded transit routes and programs like this one, we are ensuring access to transportation is available to everyone in our community.