January 22, 2018

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Indigenous, newcomers decry planned jump in bus fare

The preliminary 2018 budget released last week will see the cost of a single bus ride increase 25 cents on Jan. 1 – 20 cents higher than the customary nickel annual hike.</p><p>(Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)</p>

The preliminary 2018 budget released last week will see the cost of a single bus ride increase 25 cents on Jan. 1 – 20 cents higher than the customary nickel annual hike.

(Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Groups of Indigenous and newcomers who ride city buses are protesting the proposed 25-cent Winnipeg Transit fare hike outlined in the 2018 civic budget.

The fare increase will disproportionately affect low-income people whose monthly budgets are already stretched thin with rent and food costs, said Seid Oumar of the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations.

"To them, it's dollars and cents," said Joseph Kornelson, chair of Functional Transit Winnipeg, referring to the city and provincial governments.

"But route cuts mean parts of the city become inaccessible for transit riders."

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Groups of Indigenous and newcomers who ride city buses are protesting the proposed 25-cent Winnipeg Transit fare hike outlined in the 2018 civic budget.

The fare increase will disproportionately affect low-income people whose monthly budgets are already stretched thin with rent and food costs, said Seid Oumar of the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations.

"To them, it's dollars and cents," said Joseph Kornelson, chair of Functional Transit Winnipeg, referring to the city and provincial governments.

"But route cuts mean parts of the city become inaccessible for transit riders."

The advocacy groups are calling on the city to make an affordable fare option available for low-income families who rely on the bus.

The 25-cent fare hike introduced in the preliminary 2018 budget released last week is 20 cents higher than the customary annual hike of five cents.

Transit also identified up to 23 routes that could see a reduction in bus services effective June. Details of the service reductions will be disclosed before council votes on the city budget Dec. 12.

erik.pindera@freepress.mb.ca

With files from Aldo Santin

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