DRT launches pilot Transit Assistance Program

Nov. 1, 2019
The new program will provide reduced fare for low income individuals with access to unlimited DRT rides for C$44.80 per month.

Durham Region Transit (DRT) in Ontario, Canada, has introduced a new pilot fare program, the Transit Assistance Program (TAP), for low-income individuals.  

This PRESTO-based program launched Nov. 1 and will improve transit access and affordability for customers currently receiving social assistance in the Durham Region. With TAP riders can pay as they go and ride DRT unlimited for the month for C$44.80 (US$34.05). 

The Nov. 1 launch extends to Ontario Works (OW) recipients, while Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients are soft-launching, with a phased-in approach over the next several months. The PRESTO-based TAP program will help to eliminate the stigma that some customers have about displaying a separate low-income pass when boarding the bus. To support the launch of the pilot program, approximately 6,000 free PRESTO cards will be made available to eligible customers. 

“We are pleased to provide an innovative Transit Assistance Program to ensure local Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program clients receive reliable and affordable access to public transit,” said Regional Chair John Henry. 

“The TAP program is an excellent example of various Regional departments – in this case Social Services and DRT – partnering to ensure low-cost transit access to Durham Region residents, regardless of their income or demographic,” said Shaun Collier, mayor of Ajax and chair of the Transit Executive Committee. 

DRT Acting General Manager Bill Holmes added, “Launching this program on PRESTO allows for increased flexibility and additional convenience for customers. Because the monthly TAP amount can be carried over if the full amount isn’t used, we’re helping our residents and customers have access to the transit service they need, when they need it.” 

“We are very pleased to be working closely with Durham Region Transit to improve the affordability of transit services for social assistance recipients in the Region. The TAP program will help more Ontario Works clients stay connected to essential job, education and health care opportunities,” said Commissioner of Social Services, Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou.