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Free public transport for Children under 12 in Edmonton

Since June 1, 2018 children twelve and under have been able to use public transport for free, provided they are accompanied by an adult or older teen. Edmonton city council decided to add that caveat as they were concerned the cost would be too high if children under twelve could travel for free all the time. 

Before this policy was implemented only children under six could travel for free with a fare-paying person. While The added changes were part of the mayor’s campaign promise. Mayor Iveson said: “The impact is a couple hundred thousand bucks, which I think we can absorb.”

City officials were seeking to match best practices in other cities, which have similar programs where children under a certain age can ride for free when accompanied by a fare-paying person. “If they were unaccompanied and we were to invite every six to 12-year-old to ride transit whenever they wanted, there was a concern that might have significant cost implications and take people off the yellow bus system, ” added Mayor Iveson.

This policy is part of the plan to make Edmonton a more family-friendly city. This means a family of four, with two children, will save $13 on a round trip. Additionally, Iveson said this enables single parents to drop off children at school while on their way to work. The school system in Edmonton also offers parents a chance to save. As Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools will continue to provide subsidized transit passes for their students.

Communications adviser for the City of Edmonton Tarra Kongsrude, said: “You can take your children out to events or to doctor’s appointments and still have some money left over for other needs. It might also encourage people to take transit more often because it’s not as expensive if you are taking your whole family.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist. She is also the Community Manager and Events Manager of Child in the City.

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