City launches expanded Fee Assistance Program
The City of Lethbridge’s Fee Assistance program, aimed at supporting residents facing financial barriers, has expanded to include both recreation and culture activities as well as bus passes.
In last year’s Operating Budget deliberations, City Council made the decision to build off the success of the existing recreation and culture Fee Assistance Program and the temporary refugee bus pass program. An additional $200,000 was added to the budget annually to support subsidized bus passes for both refugees and low-income residents.
“We saw great uptake of the refugee bus pass program and we wanted to make sure that became a resource for not just newcomers to our community but anyone who might have financial difficulty accessing transit,” says City Councillor Belinda Crowson, who brought the initiative forward. “With the addition to the budget, we can now offer resources to more people in need.”
“We know access to recreation and culture activities and transportation both help improve quality of life,“ says Andrew Malcolm, Community Social Development General Manager for the City of Lethbridge. “By removing financial barriers to these important services, the Fee Assistance Program supports a more inclusive community and provides opportunities to invest in the health and wellbeing of all residents.”
Those approved for bus pass Fee Assistance will have two thirds of their bus pass cost covered. Riders will pay for a one month pass and then get month two and three paid for through the program. While transitioning to this new model, refugee bus passes will continue to be fully subsidized until August 2023. Also, starting in August, Access A Ride users will be able to access the 2/3 Fee Assistance subsidization. Funding for recreation and culture programs continues to be available to a maximum of $150 per person, per season (Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec).
View the Fee Assistance Annual Report to learn more about this successful community program.
To access the Fee Assistance Program, visit the City’s website for program requirements and qualifications and to apply online or call Lethbridge 311.
910 4 Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 0P6
or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge)