The Municipality of Chatham-Kent provides residents and visitors with public transit services to access economic, social and cultural opportunities. The Municipality recognizes residents living in a low income household have specific financial challenges that can reduce their access to public transit. The Affordable Bus Pass ("ABP") program is designed to minimize these barriers by offering eligible program participants the option of purchasing monthly passes at discounted rates.
Overall Program Outcome Goals
The Affordable Bus Pass policy better enables Chatham-Kent residents who are living in a low income household to access transit through the purchase of 30-Day Chatham Conventional transit passes at a more affordable, discounted rate. The outcomes of the Affordable Bus Pass program are:
- Enabling more residents who are living in a low income household, to purchase 30-Day transit passes and use transit services
- Making a positive impact on the budget of residents living in a low income household by enabling them to spend less on transportation costs and allocate more of their budget to basic needs such as food, clothing, child care and shelter
- Improving program participant's perceptions of overall wellbeing, and improving wellbeing through increased opportunities to participate in and contribute to their communities in ways such as; accessing educational, recreational, sporting and cultural opportunities; accessing medical care; reliable transportation so getting to work is not a barrier; and maintaining connections to family and friends.
Operational Program Goals
The program policy and procedures will:
- Provide a clear understanding of the program rules
- Ensure that the program is administered in a way that is citizen-centered, inclusive and respectful
- Effectively meet the overall program outcome goals
- Be consistent, transparent and equitable to all transit users
- Support access to Transit for eligible resident
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Municipal staff are responsible for:
- The ongoing development and improvement of the Affordable Bus Pass program, policy and supporting procedures.
- Affordable Bus Pass application and approval processes
- Affordable Bus Pass sales at Municipal locations
- The development and training of staff involved in administration, customer service and pass sales
- Development of appropriate communications materials to support the program application, outreach and communication
- Maintaining relationships with relevant support agencies to ensure potentially eligible residents are aware of and can easily access the program
1 THE AFFORDABLE BUS PASS PROGRAM
The Affordable Bus Pass ("ABP") program enables eligible Municipal residents living in a low income household to purchase a 30-Day Chatham Conventional bus pass at a discounted rate. The program supports improved access to public transit for those experiencing financial barriers. Municipal employees will administer the program.
The fare is set at a discounted rate of $40 subject to annual review and changes to the Municipal by-law on user fees.
To access the program, applicants must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
4 APPLICATION PROCESS
Accessing the Application form
Residents interested in applying for the Affordable Bus Pass program can access the application form online or at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, 315 King Street W, Chatham
Completing the Application Form
- Applicants must complete the application form in full. Incomplete forms will be returned to the applicant
- All family members 18 years of age and over with an income and living at the same address must sign the application form
- Online application forms must be printed so that all family members can sign the document
- Staff are available to assist applicants to complete the form. However, the applicant must be able to provide the documentation required
- Dependants under the age of 18 who reside in the household cannot apply as individuals
Applicants must submit the required documentation along with their completed application form to verify their income. The following documentation is acceptable (photocopies are accepted):
- Canada Revenue Agency Personal Income Tax Notice of Assessment. This is not a copy of the personal income tax return. Note: If an applicant cannot submit a copy of their Notice of Assessment, they are encouraged to contact Canada Revenue Agency to request a copy. Note: ODSP clients may present current income statement.
- One of the following supporting documents must be provided (for applicant and each family member): Birth Certificate, Driver's License, Baptismal Certificate, Passport, or Ontario Health Card (where the date of birth of card holder is imprinted on the card)
Period of Eligibility
Eligibility for the program is for twelve (12) months, from July 1 to June 30.
Applicants must re-apply to the program each year with their updated income level.
Responsibility for informing the Municipality of changes to financial, residency or other circumstances pertaining to the ABP application and eligibility is the responsibility of the program participant. The program participant must notify the Municipality of changes within thirty (30) days of the change taking effect. If the program participant fails to inform the Municipality of these changes, the Municipality reserves the right to terminate eligibility for the program.
5 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
When an eligible resident becomes a program participant, they must abide by the following conditions of use:
- Purchased passes are only for use by the registered program participant to whom the pass has been issued. Passes cannot be sold, transferred, traded, given away or shared with anyone else.
- The Municipality will replace any lost or stolen passes ONLY if the original card identification number is provided. A Replacement Fee will also be required.
- The pass can be used on all Chatham Conventional urban routes.
6 PASS SALES LOCATIONS
On acceptance to the ABP program, passes can be purchased at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre – 315 King Street West, Chatham
7 PURCHASING PASSES
Program participants must present valid government issued photo identification each time they purchase a pass in person. In the absence of government issued photo ID, the Municipality may accept a program participant's previous month's bus pass along with identification.
Family members that are approved for the program may purchase passes on behalf of other approved program participants in the same household.
8 RECORDS RETENTION & PRIVACY
All private information pertaining to the Affordable Bus Pass program will be kept safe at the Municipality. The Municipality follows the Municipal Act, 2001, and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990.
The Municipality reserves the right to terminate the eligibility of any participant if they are found to be in breach of this policy.