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Free transit passes for those on provincial assistance in the Sault coming to an end

Free bus passes for people on Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in Sault Ste. Marie will soon be scrapped – the city will instead offer these individuals a discounted half-price transit pass.

The free pass program for those on provincial support programs has been in place since 2019 – with approximately 350,000 bus rides taking place in that time.

The new ‘social equity passes’ will come into effect Jan. 1.

Sault city council voted last week to allow the same individuals, those on OW or ODSP, to be eligible for the discounted bus pass.

Changes at the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB) means the organization will no longer be funding the half-million-dollar-a-year program.

"They're still reviewing some of their funding allocation programs right now,” said Brent Lamming, the city’s director of community services.

“They've been great partners through the process. The local offices have both been great to deal with and they are fully supporting the initiative going forward being able to provide something.”

Lamming told CTV News the city has provided passes to two organizations operating with DSSMSSAB and people on disability or OW will have to contact them for purchase – their staff will check to ensure purchasers are eligible for the new ‘social equity passes.’

“We just didn't want to go from having potentially free transit to having no transit,” he said.

“We felt that we needed to come up with some type of solution to help individuals who really want to use transit." Top Stories

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