A controversial plan to give out subsidized bus passes to only roughly 1,200 Londoners is being questioned by two City Councillors.
Phil Squire and Mohamed Salih have put forward a motion that will ask staff to find $2 million from other departments which could be redirected to give discount bus passes to more than 6,000 low income Londoners.
Squire told AM980 the current plan continues giving visually impaired Londoners a bus pass for $10 dollars a year, while others would have to pay the full price of $81 dollars a month.
“For me, for instance, I have people in my ward who have muscular dystrophy and they’re low income, so they would pay $52 a month for a bus pass whereas people who are visually impaired would pay virtually nothing for a bus pass and I don’t think that’s fair, I think everybody should be treated the same, and we’re going to an income-based program, and I think it should apply equally to all people who have disabilities,” said Squire.
With less than a fifth of low-income Londoners being able to potentially access the passes, Squire feels that plan is unacceptable.
“If we’re going to do this, we need to cover all of the people who will use this program, and the estimated cost of that is about $2 million,” said Squire. “I think we believe, and I certainly believe, there is lots of fat to be cut at City Hall and lots of other areas where we can find money for this program, which I think is a really worth while program.”
Unless new funding is found for the proposed plan, low income residents would face a first-come, first-serve system to access a discounted bus pass.