The Provincial Government today announced details of a new two-year pilot program to provide Metrobus or GoBus passes to income support recipients in metro St. John’s (St. John’s, Mount Pearl and Paradise) beginning this spring.
The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Advanced Education Skills and Labour, made the announcement today. He was joined by St. John’s Councillor Ian Froude, Chair of St. John’s Transportation Commission
Approximately 10,000 income support recipients will receive bus passes. The passes will be mailed out along with information packages providing instructions on how to activate them as well as further program details. It is expected that bus passes will be available in April 2020, with a further update to be provided by the end of March.
New income support recipients will automatically be mailed a bus pass and information package following approval of benefits.
Currently, individuals in receipt of Income Support can receive a bus pass to attend medical appointments. During this pilot, there will be no requirement to verify medical appointments to receive a bus pass, which will reduce strain on the medical system.
Government will invest $2.1 million annually for the program which will be evaluated following the two-year period. This will inform future program delivery.
The province worked in collaboration with the City of St. John’s and Metrobus to develop the pilot program to be delivered by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour in collaboration with Metrobus.
Individuals in receipt of Income Support living in the Metro St. John’s area can call 709-729-7888 if they have any questions related to this or any income support matters.
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“Our government is working hard to improve the lives of residents of our province. Access to affordable transportation is essential to meeting social goals and addressing poverty. This pilot project to provide bus passes to all income support clients in the St. John’s metro region will improve access to more affordable goods and services, as well as provide increased opportunities for community participation and recreation, while positively impacting quality of life and overall well-being.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
“We are excited to partner with the Provincial Government on this very significant program to make public transit available for thousands of people in our city. We are grateful for the substantial investment in these individuals, families and in public transportation. For those receiving income support in the metro-area, this will greatly improve access to employment opportunities, education, participation in the community, and better access to other important services.”
Councillor Ian Froude
Chair of St. John’s Transportation Commission
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
City of St. John’s